The European Central Bank will hold its biennial Central Banking Conference from 18 to 19 November 2010 in Frankfurt am Main. The title of the conference, organised under the auspices of the Executive Board, is:
The Conference provides an opportunity for the ECB to engage at the highest level with the academic, analyst and observer community on policy-relevant topics. It aims to analyse the performance of central banks during the financial crisis and to reflect on lessons for the future regarding the strategy and operational conduct of monetary policy.
The conference will include sessions on monetary policy strategies and operational frameworks, as well as a policy panel with the participation of ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, together with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
|13.30 - 14.30 h||Registration|
|14.30 - 15.00 h||Introductory speech
|15.00 - 17.45 h||Session I
Monetary policy strategies: experiences during the crisis and lessons learnt Pictures [12 MB]
Chair: José Manuel González-Páramo, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
|17.45 - 19.15 h||Session II
Panel - The financial crisis: what did central bankers forget and what did they learn? A historical perspective Pictures [7.29 MB]
|19.15 h||Transfer to the dinner venue|
|20.00 h||Reception and Conference dinner
Reflections on EMU by the former President of the European Monetary Institute, Alexandre Lamfalussy Pictures, Speech
Capitol Theater, Konzert- und Veranstaltungshaus - Offenbach
|8.00 - 8.45 h||Registration and welcome coffee|
|8.45 - 9.15 h||Keynote speech
In search of a robust monetary policy framework
|9.15 - 10.45 h||Session III
Panel - What shortcomings in macroeconomic and finance theory has the crisis revealed, and how should they be addressed? Pictures [5.84 MB]
Chair: Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
|10.45 - 11.15 h||Coffee break|
|11.15 - 11.45 h||Keynote speech
|11.45 - 13.15 h||Session IV
Policy panel - Emerging from the crisis: where do we stand? Pictures [17.5 MB]
|13.45 - 14.45 h||Buffet lunch|
|14.45 - 16.45 h||Session V
Monetary policy operations: experiences during the crisis and lessons learnt Pictures [8.73 MB]
Chair: Vitor Constâncio, Vice-President, European Central Bank
|16.45 - 17.00 h||Concluding remarks
Jean-Claude Trichet Remarks
Upon invitation, media representatives may attend the conference, including dinner and luncheon. In order to attend, media representatives are requested to register via the ECB’s Press and Information Division - see below - no later than 12 November 2010.
Please note: In order to be registered and to gain access to the conference’s and dinner venue, you are kindly requested to take note of the enclosed document, "Media Policy"
Please be informed that participation in the Sixth ECB Central Banking Conference is upon inviatation only. Journalists having received an official invitation are requested to register by Friday, 12 November 2010 via the ECB's Press and Information Division.
For further information or assistance, please contact Stefano Nardelli, Senior Press Officer, on telephone number +49 69 1344 6388 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Nike Spyrou, Principal Communications Assistant, on telephone number +49 69 1344 7455 or via e-mail at email@example.com. They will be also present at the conference.
We look forward to welcoming you to this event.
The European Central Bank will hold its biennial Central Banking Conference on 18-19 November 2010 in Frankfurt am Main. The topic of the conference, organised under the auspices of the Executive Board, is Approaches to monetary policy revisited – lessons from the crisis. The conference will include sessions on monetary policy strategies, operational frameworks and a policy panel with the participation of President Jean-Claude Trichet, together with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
The ECB has reserved 30 seats for graduate or doctoral students with a focus on monetary economics at a university or graduate school in the EU. Students who might be interested can apply for conference participation by sending by 18 October 2010:
Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The successful candidates, who will receive reimbursement for travel costs up to €400 and have costs of accommodation covered, will be informed by 21 October 2010 via email.
European Central Bank
60311 Frankfurt am Main
For any questions regarding the organisation of the conference, please contact the conference organisational office:
Tel.: +49 (0)6173 783435
Fax: +49 (0)6173 783432
Participants are requested to arrange their own transfers from and to the airport, unless indicated otherwise
Transfer will be provided from the conference venue to the dinner venue as of 19.15 h and back to the city centre as of 22.30 h.
The ECB has made a number of preliminary block bookings at the following hotels for your convenience. Accommodation requirements should be confirmed directly with the hotel quoting the reference code. Please note that you are responsible for making your own hotel reservation and will be liable for any charges which may be incurred.
Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof Hotel
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49 (0)69 215 02 ; Fax: +49 (0)69 215 900
Le Méridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
60329 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49 (0)69 26 97 832; Fax: +49 (0)69 26 97 812
Registration for this event will require the storage of your personal data. Should you have any queries regarding the handling of this data, please contact Helga Meister, Head of the ECB’s Publishing, Events and Protocol Division, via e-mail at email@example.com
Stephan Fahr is an Economist in the Monetary Policy Strategy Division of the ECB’s Directorate General Economics. He joined the ECB in 2007 via the Graduate Programme, gaining experience in the divisions of Monetary Policy Research and Euro Area Macroeconomic Developments. His main fields of expertise are monetary and labour economics and DSGE modelling with non-linear applications. Before joining the ECB he was a visiting scholar at the Instituto de Analisis Economico in Barcelona and obtained his PhD from the European University Institute in 2007.
Roberto Motto is an Adviser in the Monetary Policy Strategy Division of the ECB’s Directorate General Economics. He has been working at the European Central Bank since 2000 and specialises in monetary, macroeconomic, financial issues and time series analysis. He has published in the Journal of Applied Econometrics, the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, and has written several working papers. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of York (UK).
Massimo Rostagno is the Head of the Monetary Policy Strategy Division of the ECB’s Directorate General Economics. Before joining the European Central Bank in 1998, he was a research economist at the Banca d’Italia and later desk Economist In the European Department of the IMF. He has written on the political economy of fiscal policy, on the reform of social security, on the history and theory of monetary standards and on monetary economics in general. He has published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control and contributed to several other publications.
Frank Smets is Director General of the Directorate General Research of the European Central Bank. He is an honorary professor in the Duisenberg chair at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen. He is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London and a managing editor of the International Journal of Central Banking. He has written and published extensively on monetary, macroeconomic, financial and international issues mostly related to central banking in top academic journals such as the Journal of the European Economic Association, the American Economic Review and the Journal of Monetary Economics. Before joining the European Central Bank in 1998, he was a research economist at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. He holds a PhD in Economics from Yale University.
Oreste Tristani is the Deputy Head of the Monetary Policy Research Division of the ECB’s Directorate General Research.
His research interests include monetary economics and the nexus between macroeconomics and finance. He has published in academic journals including the Economic Journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.
Before joining the European Central Bank in 1998, he was a research economist at the Banca d’Italia. He holds a PhD in Economics from Warwick University.
Frederic S. Mishkin is the Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and from September 2006 to August 2008 was a member (governor) of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He has also been a Senior Fellow at the FDIC Center for Banking Research, and past President of the Eastern Economic Association. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976, he has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Princeton University and Columbia. He has also received an honorary professorship from the Peoples (Renmin) University of China. From 1994 to 1997 he was Executive Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and an associate economist of the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve System.
Professor Mishkin's research focuses on monetary policy and its impact on financial markets and the aggregate economy.
Jean Pisani-Ferry is the Director of Bruegel, the Brussels-based economic think tank, and professor of economics with Université Paris-Dauphine. He was previously Executive President of the French PM’s Council of Economic Analysis (2001-2002), Senior Economic Adviser to the French Minister of Finance (1997-2000), Director of CEPII, the French institute for international economics (1992-1997), and Economic Adviser with the European Commission (1989-92). His current research focus is economic policy in Europe. He has regular columns in Le Monde, Handelsblatt and the Chinese magazine Caixin.
Guido Tabellini has been professor of Economics at Bocconi University in Milan since 1994, where he has been Rector since November of 2008. Previously, he taught at Stanford University and UCLA. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and a joint recipient of the Yrjo Jahnsson award from the European Economic Association. He is a CEPR Research Fellow. He has been President of the European Economic Association. He has acted as an economic consultant to the Italian government, the European Parliament and the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund. The main focus of his research is on how political and policymaking institutions influence policy formation and economic performance. Much of his recent research is summarised in two books co-authored with Torsten Persson – "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy", MIT Press, 2000; and "The Economic Effects of Constitutions", MIT Press, 2003. He earned his PhD in Economics at UCLA in 1984.
William R. White is the chairman of the Economic Development and Review Committee (EDRC) at the OECD in Paris. This committee carries on regular evaluations of the policies of both member countries and aspiring members of the OECD. In his capacity as chairman, to which he was appointed in October 2009, White also contributes to meetings of WP1 and the Economic Policy Committee of the OECD. He is a member of the Issing Committee, advising the German chancellor on G-20 issues. White has continued to publish articles on topics related to monetary and financial stability as well as the process of international cooperation in these areas. And he speaks regularly to a wide range of audiences. Previously, White worked from June 1994 through June 2008 at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). He was appointed to the position of economic adviser and head of the Monetary and Economic Department (MED) in May 1995. As economic adviser, White published articles and oversaw the preparation of the BIS annual report. As head of the MED, he had overall responsibility for the department’s output of research, data, and information services, as well as the organization of meetings for central bank governors and staff around the world. White was also a member of the Executive Committee, which manages the BIS. Before his tenure at the BIS, White held various positions at the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada. White was educated at the University of Windsor and received his PhD from the University of Manchester.
Marc Flandreau a former graduate from École Normale Supérieure, Paris
(1986-90) and Fulbright Scholar at the University of California,
Berkeley (1991-1993) holds a PhD in Economic from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris and the London School of Economics, London. He is a Professor of International Economics and International History at the Graduate Institute for International Studies and Development, Geneva.
He is a specialist of the history of the international monetary system. He has written extensively on the history of money, exchange rates, monetary policy and financial crises. In the past he has taught or held visiting positions in Sciences Po, Paris, Stanford, Berkeley, and the London School of Economics. He has held consulting positions at the IMF, the Bank of France, the Bank of International Settlments and Lehman Brothers, France and since 1994 he has been as research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London. His books include The Glitter of Gold. France and the Emergence of the International Gold Standard 1848-1878 (Oxford, 2003) and Money Doctors: The Experience of International Financial Advising 1850-2000 (Routledge, 2004).
Born in 1942, Carl-Ludwig Holtfrerich has been Chair of Economics at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies and the department of economics of the Freie Universität Berlin from 1983 to 2007. Prior to this he was professor of economic history at the University of Frankfurt am Main (1980-1983). He had been a Visiting Scholar both at Harvard University and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He also taught as a guest professor at St. Antony's College of Oxford University. Today, he is a faculty member of the Graduate School of North American Studies the on theme "Challenges of Freedom" at the Freie Universität Berlin and an ordinary member of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
His research experience includes memberships in numerous academic advisory boards for institutions such as the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich, the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., the European Association for Banking History in Frankfurt am Main, the Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte in Frankfurt am Main, and the Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg. Professor Holtfrerich's main research interest has been in financial and banking history of the 20th century. He is the author of numerous essays and books.
Holtfrerich hat zwei Kinder.
Harold James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and Marie Curie Professor at the European University Institute, Florence, and is a monthly contributor to Project Syndicate. He was educated at Cambridge University and was a Fellow of Peterhouse before coming to the United States in 1986. His books include: The German Slump: Politics and Economics 1924 1936, Oxford, 1986 (Oxford University Press) (paperback 1987); A German Identity 1770 1990, London 1989 (Weidenfeld and Nicolson), New York 1989 (Routledge Chapman Hall); International Monetary Cooperation since Bretton Woods, New York and Washington D.C. 1996 (Oxford University Press and International Monetary Fund); Monetary and Fiscal Unification in Nineteenth Century Germany; What Can Kohl Learn from Bismarck?, Princeton 1997 (Princeton Essays in International Finance); The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression, Cambridge Mass. 2001 (Harvard University Press, translated into Chinese, German, Greek, Korean, Japanese, Spanish); The Deutsche Bank and the Nazi Economic War Against the Jews, New York/Cambridge, 2001 (Cambridge University Press); Europe Reborn: A History 1914-2000, (Longman/Pearson 2003). His most recent books are Family Capitalism (Harvard University Press 2006) The Roman Predicament (Princeton University Press 2006) and The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle (Harvard University Press, 2009). In 2004 he was awarded the first Helmut Schmidt Prize for Transatlantic Economic History, and in 2005 the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Writing on Economics. He is currently working on the history of European monetary integration.
Jean-Philippe Bouchaud was born in France in 1962. After studying at the French Lycée of London, he graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he also obtained his PhD in physics. He was then appointed by the CNRS until 1992. After a year spent in the Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge), he joined the Service de Physique de l’Etat Condensé (CEA-Saclay), where he worked on the dynamics of glassy systems and on granular media.
He became interested in economics and theoretical finance in 1991. His work in finance includes extreme risk models, agent based simulations, market microstructure and price formation. He has been very critical about the standard concepts and models used in economics and in the financial industry (market efficiency, Black-Scholes models, etc.)
He founded the company Science & Finance in 1994 that merged with Capital Fund Management (CFM) in 2000. He is now the President and Head of Research at CFM, and professor at Ecole Polytechnique since 2008. He was awarded the IBM young scientist prize in 1990 and the C.N.R.S. Silver Medal in 1996. He has published over 250 scientific papers and several books in physics and in finance.
Martin Eichenbaum is the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Economics at Northwestern University and the director of the Center for International Economics and Development at Northwestern University.
Eichenbaum is the co-editor of the American Economic Review, a Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Monetary Economics and an associate editor of the American Economics Journal – Macro. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a fellow of the Econometric Society, a Senior Consultant for the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Chicago. Eichenbaum has also served as a consultant for the IMF and the World Bank.
He earned his B. Comm in Economics from McGill University and his PhD in Economics from The University of Minnesota.
Ben S. Bernanke began a second term as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on February 1, 2010. Dr. Bernanke also serves as Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee, the System's principal monetary policymaking body. He originally took office as Chairman on February 1, 2006, when he also began a 14-year term as a member of the Board. His second term as Chairman ends January 31, 2014, and his term as a Board member ends January 31, 2020.
Before his appointment as Chairman, Dr. Bernanke was Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, from June 2005 to January 2006.
Dr. Bernanke has already served the Federal Reserve System in several roles. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2002 to 2005; a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia (1987-89), Boston (1989-90), and New York (1990-91, 1994-96); and a member of the Academic Advisory Panel at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1990-2002).
Dr. Bernanke was born in December 1953 in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in Dillon, South Carolina. He received a B.A. in economics in 1975 from Harvard University (summa cum laude) and a Ph.D. in economics in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Bernanke is married and has two children.
Nuno Cassola holds a PhD in Economics form the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK). He joined the Research Department of the Banco de Portugal in 1994 where he became Head of the Monetary and Financial Division in 1996. In 1999 he joined the European Central Bank in Frankfurt where he is currently Adviser in the Market Operations Analysis Division in the Directorate-General Market Operations. From 2007 until 2009 he was Deputy Head of Financial Research Division in the Directorate-General Research. From November 2001 until February 2007 he was a member of the Liquidity Committee of the European Central Bank.
Alain Durré is a Principal Economist in the Monetary Policy Stance Division of the Directorate General Economics of the European Central Bank. He is a member of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France (LEM-CNRS) and of the IÉSEG-School of Management of Lille Catholic University. He has also been acting as consultant for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on topics related to the money market analysis and the conduct of monetary policy (strategy and implementation). He has written and published on monetary and financial issues related to central banking in academic journals and has been awarded the Josseph de la Vega Prize in 2005 for his work on the microstructure analysis of the Euronext Stock Exchange focusing on the volatility regimes and the provision of liquidity in order book markets. Before joining the European Central Bank in 2004, he was an Associate Professor at the Lille Catholic University (France) and a research economist at the National Bank of Belgium. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Université catholique de Louvain.
Cornelia Holthausen is Adviser in the Financial Research Division of the ECB’s Directorate General Research. She is also research affiliate of the CEPR. Cornelia's research interests lie in the fields of money markets, central bank operational frameworks, banking supervision and regulation, and payments systems. She has published, inter alia, in the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, and the Journal of Financial Intermediation. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.
Spence Hilton is a senior vice president in the Markets Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. After earning his Ph.D degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Hilton joined the Bank in 1981 as an economist in the Research and Statistics Group, where he conducted research on international trade and domestic business conditions issues Since he joined the Markets Group in 1990, Mr. Hilton has served in a variety of roles associated with the conduct of monetary policy and financial market analysis. At various times Mr. Hilton has headed staffs responsible for the daily formulation and execution of open market operations, liquidity projections, portfolio design for the Federal Reserve balance sheet, and discount window operations for the New York Reserve Bank. He is currently a Senior Policy Advisor focusing on monetary policy issues.
James J. McAndrews is an Executive Vice President and the Director of Financial Research. His research focuses on the economics of money, payments, and banking. He has worked on many policy issues for the Bank in those areas. He has participated in several Federal Reserve System and international work groups. He has served as a consulting economist to the Bank of England, Reserve Bank of Australia, the Swedish Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and to the World Bank. Mr. McAndrews joined the Bank in 1997 after having served as a Senior Economist and Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Marvin Goodfriend is Professor of Economics and Chairman of the Gailliot Center for Public Policy at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University and a B.S. in mathematics from Union College. He was Director of Research and Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond from 1993 to 2005 where he regularly attended meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. In 1984-5 he served as a senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisors at the White House. He was a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Chicago from September 1988 to June 1990. He has been a visiting scholar at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the European Central Bank, the Institute for International Economic Studies at the University of Stockholm, the International Monetary Fund, the Swiss National Bank, and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City, and New York. He served on external review panels to evaluate research and policy advice at the European Central Bank, Norges Bank, the Swedish Riksbank, and the Swiss National Bank. Dr. Goodfriend is co-editor of the Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy and has served on editorial boards of the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, the International Journal of Central Banking, and the Journal of Monetary Economics. He is a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Rafael Repullo is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI) in Madrid, and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). He is also Executive Vice-President of the Econometric Society, Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the European Economic Association, and Founding Member of the European Corporate Governance Institute. He holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE), and has worked in the Department of Economics of the LSE and the Research Department of the Bank of Spain. He has been a Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, and has held visiting appointments at the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the London School of Economics, and the Universities of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Tel Aviv. He has served as Co-Director of the CEPR Financial Economics Programme. His recent research is in the areas of banking and finance. He is currently Co-Editor of the International Journal of Central Banking.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn assumed office as the tenth Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on November 1, 2007. Upon being selected by the IMF's Board of Executive Directors, Mr. Strauss-Kahn indicated that he will press ahead with reform of the 186-member country institution that helps oversee the global economy.
Prior to taking up his position at the IMF, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was a member of the French National Assembly and Professor of Economics at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. From 2001 to 2007, he was reelected three times to the National Assembly, and in 2006, he ran for the Socialist Party's nomination for the French presidential election. In 2000 and 2001, he taught economics at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and was named visiting professor at Stanford University. He was also a personal advisor to the Secretary General of the OECD.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn holds a PhD in economics from the University of Paris. He also graduated in law, in business administration, in political studies, and in statistics. As an academic, his research fields include household saving behavior, public finance, and social policy.
A French national, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, on April 25, 1949 and spent his early years in Morocco.
Henrique de Campos Meirelles has been Governor of the Central Bank of Brazil since January 2003.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of International Settlements in Basel Switzerland.
Prior to these positions, he was President of BankBoston Corporation and of FleetBoston's Corporate and Global Bank.
Mr. Meirelles was a Board member of Raytheon Corporation, Bestfoods, Champion International, BankBoston Corporation and FleetBoston Financial.
He was also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Carroll School of Management of the Boston College, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the New England Conservatory of Music and of the Institute of Contemporary Arts of Boston.
Mr. Meirelles holds an Honorary Degree from Bryant College.
He was elected a Congressman in Brazil in 2002.
Among other awards, Mr. Meirelles was chosen “Brazilian of the year 2008” by ISTOÉ magazine, “Central Bank Governor of the Year ” by Euromoney", Central Banker of the Year of the Americas by The Banker, Financier of the Year 2008” by Latin Trade, "Person of the Year 2010" by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce "and Personality of the Year" by the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain.
Alexandre Lamfalussy was born in Hungary in 1929. He is a Belgian citizen.
He left his native country in 1949, studied economics at the Catholic University of Louvain (1949-1953), and afterwards spent two years on post-graduate research at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he obtained a doctorate (D.Phil.) in economics. From 1955 to 1975 he worked with Banque de Bruxelles, first as Economic Adviser and later as member of the Executive Board. On a “sabbatical” from the Bank, he was visiting lecturer at Yale University during the academic year 1961-62.
He joined the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel in 1976 as Economic Adviser and Head of the Monetary and Economic Department. In May 1985 he was appointed General Manager of the BIS, a position he held until the end of 1993. During his tenure of office – in 1988-89 – he was member of the “Delors Committee”, which was entrusted by the European Council with the task of “proposing concrete stages leading towards monetary and economic union”.
From 1 January 1994 until 30 June 1997 he served as President of the European Monetary Institute in Frankfurt – the institution which was in charge of setting up the European Central Bank and designing the operational framework for the single monetary policy.
In July 2000 the European Finance Ministers (Ecofin) appointed him Chairman of the Committee of Wise Men on the Regulation of the European Securities Markets. The Committee’s recommendations, presented in its report on 15 February 2001, were endorsed by Ecofin and the Stockholm Summit, and are now being implemented. At the same time the report’s “four-level” regulatory process has been extended to the whole financial services industry.
In December 2008 the Belgian Government asked him to a chair a high-level experts Committee for main proposals to the Government on how to improve the crisis-resistance capability of the Belgian financial system. The final report of the Committee was handed over to the Government in June 2009.