Wassily Leontief

Banquet speech

Wassily Leontief’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1973

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen:

May I use this occasion to acknowledge first of all my debt and to express my thanks to the many hundreds of professional colleagues, economists and statisticians in my own country and other parts of the world for the cooperation and working support received from them over the last forty years. Without this generous support, I would not be here.

To my hosts on this festive occasion, I would like to say that as a small boy I used to hear fairy tales about beautiful far away lands, princesses and kings, splendid palaces on clear northern waters populated by white swans. Today one of these fairy tales came true; I am dining with the King and the Princesses in a golden hall, surrounded by the gracious ladies and gentlemen of their court.

We are told that evil spirits are threatening to dim the lights, but be assured they will not succeed. While being driven here from the Grand Hotel, I looked up and saw the shining stars; they are unusually bright tonight.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1973, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1974

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1973

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