Fortune on Fortune

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

Published research reports by and/or about Fortunes
compiled by Jessica Girard and Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Improbable Research staff

Here is a quick, meandering tour of research done by people named Fortune on subjects to which they are nominally suited.

Peter Fortune

Peter Fortune, who bears the title Senior Economist and Advisor to the Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, has researched and/or written extensively about fortune and fortunes. New Fortune fans might want to begin by dipping into one of these studies:

“Margin Requirements, Margin Loans, and Margin Rates: Practice and Principles,” Peter Fortune, New England Economic Review, September-October 2000, pp. 19-44.

“A Primer on U.S. Stock Price Indices,” Peter Fortune, New England Economic Review, November-December 1998, pp. 25-40.

“Stocks, Bonds, Options, Futures, and Portfolio Insurance: A Rose by Any Other Name...,” Peter Fortune, New England Economic Review, July-Aug. 1995, pp. 25-46.

“Is Margin Lending Marginal?” Peter Fortune, Regional Review, vol. 11, no. 3, 3rd Quarter 2001, pp. 3-6.

“Are Stock Returns Different Over Weekends? A Jump Diffusion Analysis of the ‘Weekend Effect,’” Peter Fortune, New England Economic Review, September-October 1999, pp. 3-19.

J. Neill Fortune

J. Neill Fortune, a professor of economics at the University of Windsor, in Ontario, Canada may have special insight on the rise and fall of fortunes. Two of his influential publications are:

“Expected Inflation, Wealth Effects and Personal Expenditure,” J. Neill Fortune,
Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, vol. 118, no. 2, 1982, pp. 205-14.

“The Inflation Rate of the Price of Gold, Expected Prices and Interest Rates,” J. Neill Fortune, Journal of Macroeconomics, vol. 9, no. 1, Winter 1987, pp. 71-82.

Fortunes and Failures

Joyce Fortune, a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Technology Management Department at the Open University in Milton Keynes, U.K., has pursued the secrets of failure. She has produced, among other things, this pair of papers:

“Systemic Methods for the Analysis of Failure,” Geoff Peters and Joyce Fortune, Systems Practice, vol. 5, no. 5, October 1992, pp. 529-42. They explain that:

An overview of the origins and development of systems failures teaching and research at the United Kingdom Open University is... presented, together with two systemic methodologies for the analysis of failure that have stemmed from this work.

“The Formal System Paradigm for Studying Failures,” Joyce Fortune and Geoff Peters, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, vol. 2, no. 4, December 1990, pp. 383-80.

Fortune on Luck

W.D. Fortune’s interest tends toward the volatile, as is evident in the not-terribly-well-celebrated:

“Safety With Explosives,” W.D. Fortune, Chemical Engineering, vol. 81, no. 10, 1974, p. 5.

Fortunes on the Unfortunate

Two Fortunes, at least, have spent time studying people who are unfortunate.

Anne E. Fortune of the State University of New York, Albany and D.G. Fortune of Hope Hospital in Salford, U.K. authored and co-authored, respectively, these studies:

“Studies on Social Work Issues,” Anne E. Fortune, Social Work Research, June 99, vol. 23, issue 2, pp. 67-8.

“Response of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis to Psychological Stress in Patients with Psoriasis,” D.G. Fortune, et al., British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 153, no. 6, December 2005, pp. 1114-20.

Fortune on a Possible Unfortunate Mistake

D.W. Fortune and several colleagues at the Dermogynaecology Clinic at Mercy Hospital for Women in Melbourne, Australia, delved into the possibly unfortunate. Their report is:

“Human Papillomavirus Vulvitis -- A New Disease or an Unfortunate Mistake?” D.W. Fortune, et al.,
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol. 101, no. 11, November 1994, pp. 992-8.

A Fortune of Small Things

A fortune can, or at least could, be found in the world of economic entomology. I. Fortune is or was the name. Imported insects were the game:

“Notes on an Imported Fire Ant,” C. Lyle and I. Fortune, Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 41, no. 5, 1948, pp. 833-4.

Title image generated with Atom Smasher.


This article is republished with permission from the January-February 2006 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!

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