INTERNATIONAL EXPERT IN MONETARY DESIGN AND CO-CREATOR OF THE EURO
Bernard Lietaer is a civil engineer, economist, author and professor. He studies monetary systems and promotes the idea that communities can benefit from creating their own local or complementary currency, which circulate parallel with national currencies.
Bernard Lietaer, the author of The Future of Money: Beyond Greed and Scarcity and New Money for a New World, has been active in the realm of money systems for close to 40 years in a wide variety of functions. With the publication of his post-graduate thesis at MIT in 1971 (which included a description of “floating exchanges”) and the Nixon Shock of that same year which eradicated the Bretton Woods system by unhinging the US dollar value from its gold standard and inaugurated the new era of universal floating exchanges (previous to that time the only “floating exchanges” involved some exotic currencies in Latin America), the fledgling management consultant suddenly found himself to be at the center of the financial world’s attention. The techniques that he had developed for those marginal Latin American currencies were overnight the only systematic research which could be used to deal with all of the major currencies of the world. A major US bank negotiated exclusive rights to his approach which required that he begin another career. While at the Central Bank in Belgium (National Bank of Belgium) he implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system. During that period, he also served as President of Belgium’s Electronic Payment System. His consultant experience in monetary aspects on four continents ranges from multinational corporations to developing countries.
He co-founded one of the largest and most successful currency management firms; GaiaCorp, and managed an offshore currency fund (Gaia Hedge II) which was the world’s top performing managed currency fund during the 1987-91 period he ran it. Business Week named him “the world’s top currency trader” in 1992.
Lietaer currently lives in Brussels, Belgium. He was a visiting scholar at Naropa University, USA from 2003-2006 where he designed and implemented the University’s Marpa Center for Business and Economics. He studied engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium, and held an assistant professorship of international finance at the same university. During his engineering studies in Leuven he was a member of the Olivaint Conference of Belgium. He was also a research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California, Berkeley.
Within his books he describes and draws from the perceptions of freiwirtschaft. He is the originator of a complementary currency called the terra.
In 2012, he was the lead author (with Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber) of Money & Sustainability: the missing link, a publication of The Club of Rome, in which he predicted that “the period 2007-2020 [will be] one of financial turmoil and gradual monetary breakdown.” The book was published in May 2012 and has been slated for release in several languages in November 2012.