Wednesday May 31, 2023 ar 5 pm.: Debate on "The future of the International monetary system" at the occasion of the publication of the book "Robert Triffin: A Life” by Ivo MAES (Prof. UC Louvain). Debate with Eric de Keuleneer (Chair), Ivo Maes (Robert Triffin Chair, Université catholique de Louvain), Jacques de Larosière (former Managing Director of the IMF), Peter Praet (former member of the ECB Executive Board (tbc), Elena Flores (Deputy-Director General, DG ECFIN, European Commission), Francesco Papadia (former Director-General, ECB) .
“Robert Triffin: A Life” by Ivo Maes is a must read. It is remarkably well documented and gives a new and original perspective on one of the great monetary thinkers of our time. Ivo Maes shows how Triffin’s critique of the Bretton Woods System proved luminous and why the Triffin dilemma is still pertinent today. The readers will also be impressed by Ivo Maes developments on Triffin’s resolute support for European integration, anticipating a kind of European Central Bank.”—Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank and Honorary Governor of Banque de France
Robert Triffin, a Belgian-American scholar and policy advisor, was a defining voice in economics and international politics in the twentieth century. He is best known for his analysis of the vulnerabilities of the international monetary system—the “Triffin dilemma”—, but he also played a key role in the debates on European monetary integration, especially as the monetary advisor of Jean Monnet. With his proposals for a European Reserve Fund and a European currency unit, he became one of the intellectual fathers of Europe's single currency, the euro.
This intellectual biography evaluates what made Triffin a crucial figure in modern economic history. With an emphasis on the ideas that shaped the postwar international system, Robert Triffin: A Life explores both the man and the mission. In addition to analyzing his work in economics and policymaking, Ivo Maes and Ilaria Pasotti trace Triffin's story from a very modest background, as the son of a butcher in Flobecq, who grew up through the interwar period, to a singularly influential economist in the late twentieth century.
“Robert Triffin: A Life” received the 2022 Best Book Award of AISPE, the Italian society for the History of Economic Thought.
Eric De Keuleneer Professor at the ULB Solvay Brussels School and Executive Director, University Foundation. He has published on various subjects including capital markets, energy markets, corporate governance and social responsibility of enterprises. In addition to his academic expertise, Prof. De Keuleneer has an extensive professional track-record. Until 2018, he was Chief Executive Officer of OCCH, Brussels (Office Central de Crédit Hypothécaire; state owned bank), since 2001 renamed Credibe. He was the Director of Corporate and Investment Banking at the ‘Generale Bank’ Brussels and Head of Syndication and Trading at Kredietbank Luxembourg. He is a member of various Boards in the private sector and the non-profit sector.
Ivo Maes is a Professor, Robert Triffin Chair, at the Université catholique de Louvain, as well as at ICHEC Brussels Management School. He was Senior Advisor at the Economics and Research Department of the National Bank of Belgium. He previously served as a member of the Committee for Institutional Reform of the West African Monetary Union and as the President of the Council of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought. He has been a visiting professor at Duke University (USA), the Université de Paris-Sorbonne, and the Università Roma Tre.
Jacques de Larosière was Director of the French Treasury, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Governor of the Banque de France and President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 1988-89, he was a member of the Delors Committee, a crucial stepping stone in Europe’s economic and monetary union project. In 2008-2009, he became the President of the so-called “de Larosière Committee”, which was at the heart of a profound reform of the institutional architecture of financial supervision in the European Union. His latest book is « En finir avec le règne de l’illusion financière » (Odile Jacob).
Elena Flores is Deputy-Director General at the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission, where she is responsible for International and Investment. Since she joined DG ECFIN, Ms. Flores has held several senior management positions, including Director for International economic and financial relations, global governance (2015-2021); Director for Policy Strategy and Coordination (2011 – 2015); Director for Economies and Member States II (2007 – 2009). Between 1999 and 2002, Ms. Flores served as Advisor in Commissioner Solbes’ office, responsible for economic policies, employment, taxation and financial issues.
Francesco Papadia is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel and Chair of Prime Collateralised Securities and of the Selection Panel of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. He was Director General for Market Operations at the ECB from 1998 to 2012. Before he worked at the Research Department of the Banca d’Italia. From 1980 to 1983 he was an Economic Adviser at the European Commission. His latest books are “The Value of Money” (co-editor, Villa Vigoni Verlag) and “Central Banking in Turbulent Times” (Oxford University Press).