Fama wins Onassis Prize in Finance

http://news.uchicago.edu/news.php?asset_id=1444 Eugene Fama, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and founder of the efficient market hypothesis, is the inaugural winner of the $250,000 Onassis Prize, given in recognition of a leading academic’s lifetime contribution to the study of finance. The Onassis Public Benefit Foundation of Greece sponsored the award, which is named for Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping tycoon who died in 1975. Given biennially, it will honor achievements in shipping trade and finance. “Professor Fama’s contribution to the area of finance has changed the way of thinking about stock market fluctuations and his theories are known all over the world,” said Costas Grammenos, the inspiration behind the prize and a member of the selection committee. “Aristotle Onassis is a legend in shipping, trade and finance, and I think he would have been very pleased with our selection of Professor Fama for this prize bearing his name,” said Grammenos, a professor at Cass Business School in London and founding director of the school’s Center for Shipping, Trade and Finance. The Cass Business School awards the Onassis Prize. Fama’s efficient market hypothesis holds that stock prices reflect all available information, and as a result, investors should be unable to beat the market. Fama has received many awards during his career, including the inaugural Morgan Stanley American Finance Association Award for Excellence in Finance in 2007 and the inaugural Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics in 2005. “The selection committee for the Onassis Prize is made up of experts with an intimate knowledge of research in finance,” Fama said. “It is thus a special honor to be the inaugural winner. In my view, finance is the most successful area of economics in terms of scientific and practical impact, and it deserves to have a special prize,” he said. In addition to Grammenos, the selection committee included George Constantinides, the Leo Melamed Professor of Finance at the Chicago GSB; Charles Goodhart, professor emeritus at London School of Economics; Robert Merton, professor at Harvard Business School; and Myron Scholes, a former faculty member at the Chicago GSB. Merton and Scholes each won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1997. Fama will formally receive the Onassis Prize in April 2009 at the equivalent of a state banquet at London’s Guildhall.

*yawn* efficient markets hypothesis = lolcats