Nobel Prize-winning professor overslept, missed an important call

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) — When Professor Philip H. Dybvig went to bed Sunday night, he turned on his phone’s “Do Not Disturb” setting. When the professor woke up the next morning, Dybvig found he had what he said was “a ton of messages” on his phone.

“Someone had said a few days earlier that this is the day (of the Nobel Prize announcements), so I’m like, ‘Did I get a Nobel Prize?'” he said. “And my first thought was that it’s more likely that I got some prank calls.”

Dybvig, a professor of banking and finance at Washington University’s Olin School of Business, went online and searched the organization’s website for the Nobel laureates. And so the 67-year-old found out that he was one of three winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences.

Dybvig won “for research on banks and financial crises” along with his colleague Douglas Diamond and former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. In 1983 Dybvig and Diamond authored “Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity” and introduced a model to explain bank instability with “long-term assets and short-term liabilities”.

For nearly four decades, the ideas in this paper have been used by regulators and cited by scientists. It has even been called the “go-to” paper for understanding a financial crisis.

Nobel prizes are endowed with 10 million Swedish kronor (almost 900,000 US dollars) and will be presented on December 10th. Dybvig said he will travel to Stockholm, Sweden to accept the award.

“I think the main value of the award is recognition,” he said, noting that the money made from potential speaking engagements and the like would be more useful to someone younger.

As for his share of the prize money, Dybvig will likely spend the money on his family.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Nobel Prize-winning professor overslept, missed an important call

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