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In Memoriam

07.02.1942 - 04.02.2019

In Memoriam Bernard LIETAER


Bernard was a friend of mine and several other CoR-EU members. A couple of months ago he called me after a long absence since he had moved to Germany. He insisted on seeing me, saying he was often in Brussels for cancer treatment. It was obvious that he was sceptical about recovering health. We agreed to arrange a meeting, but my calls in the weeks thereafter remained unanswered…

I had the pleasure of working with him within the Board of Directors of the CoR-EU Chapter, most intensively when we prepared a report we commissioned on the role of money in our society. We believed that the prevailing money system undermines an equitable and sustainable world. With vision, expertise and clarity Bernard explained the systemic problems, proposing practical innovations to solve the problem, often referring to lessons from nature.

Bernard had been active in the domain of money systems for a period of 35 years in an unusual variety of functions. While at the Central Bank in Belgium he co-designed and implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system (later basis for the EURO), serving also as President of Belgium’s Electronic Payment System. He was General Manager, Co-Founder and Chief Currency Trader for the Gaia Hedge Funds, one of the world’s largest off-shore trading funds. Its flagship fund was rated as the world’s “top performing managed currency fund” and “the top performing off-shore fund”. Business Week identified him as “the world’s top currency trader” in 1990.

Our late friend was professor on “Money, Sustainability and Business Strategy” at the Sorbonne in Paris, a Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, visiting professor at the Finance University in Moscow, Fellow at the World Academy of Arts and Sciences and at the World Business Academy.

Bernard’s main contribution to the Club of Rome was the publication of “Money and Sustainability – the Missing Link” (UK: Triarchy Press 2012) of which he was the main co-author with Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber. It was endorsed as a report from the Club of Rome EU-Chapter. As Dennis Meadows wrote in the Foreword: “…the prevailing system is incompatible with sustainability.” Among other publications, “The Future of Money” (Random House, London, 2001) translated in 18 other languages, is probably the most widely known.

It was a privilege to have spent hours with Bernard in his Brussels flat, amidst impressive bookshelves. We enjoyed many a conversation with excellent wine and food, which he cooked with talent and love for his friends.

We are much indebted to him for his foresight and contribution to a more sustainable world.

Mark Dubrulle
President & Executive Director, CoR-EU
Ex officio Member of the Club of Rome

Pictures of last event

European Green Deal: The reaction from the Club of Rome