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Richard Cantillon

Richard Cantillon (1680–1734) was the father of modern economics. Murray Rothbard called him "one of the most fascinating characters in the history of social or economic thought" and described him as "a Gallicized Irish merchant, banker, and adventurer who wrote the first treatise on economics more than four decades before the publication of the Wealth of Nations." Cantillon became a millionaire by investing in John Law's "Mississippi Company" and predicting the popping of the now-infamous Mississippi bubble. He moved to England, where he died in a fire, allegedly set by his discharged cook.