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Baron Robert Triffin


Robert Triffin was a Belgian economist best known for his critique of the Bretton Woods system of fixed currency exchange rates. His critique became known later as Triffin's dilemma.He helped to develop the European Monetary System.


TRIFFIN, Robert was born in 1911 in Flobecq, Belgium.


Kain-lez Tournai, Louvain University, Harvard University.


Instructor, Harvard 1939-1942. Chief Latin American Division, Board of Governors Federation Reserve System 1942-1946. International Monetary Fund, Chief Exchange Control Division 1946-1948, Chief Representative in Europe 1948-1949.

Special Policy Adviser, Economics Co operation Admin, and Alternate United States Representative European Payments Union 1949-1951. Frederick William Beinecke Professor, of Economics Master of Berkeley College, Yale University 1951-1977. Headed numerous monetary and banking reorganization missions to Latin American countries, Iran, etc.

Consultant to United Nations 1952. Council of Economics Advisers (United States) 1953-1954, 1961. Consultant OEEC 1957-1958, European Economic Community since 1958.

Vice-President American Economics Association 1966-1967. Guest Professor University College, de Louvain la Neuve 1977-1978. Commander Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium) 1973, Honorary Title of Baron, conferred by King of the Belgians 1989.


  • "National central banking and the international economy", 1947, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System.

  • "The international role and fate of the dollar", 1978, Foreign Affairs

  • "Intégration économique européenne et politique monetaire", 1960, Revue Econ Politique

  • "The future of the European Monetary System and the ECU", 1984, CEPS Papers

  • All works


A fundamental reform of the international monetary system has long been overdue. Its necessity and urgency are further highlighted today by the imminent threat to the once mighty U.S. dollar.


  • World Academy Art and Sci.

  • American Academy Arts and Scis.

  • American Economic Association ( vice president 1967-68)

    1967 - 1968

  • Council Foreign Relations


  • Other Interests