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Baron Robert Triffin Edit Profile


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.


  • article

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

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

    • "Une Banque Monétaire Européenne avec des fonctions de banque centrale, 1986, Répères, Bulletin Économique et Financier

    • "The IP Multimedia Subsystem (International Monetary System... or Scandal?) and the Express Mail Service (European Monetary System)", 1987, BNLQR

  • book

    • Monopolistic Competition and General Equilibrium Theory, 1940.

    • Europe and the Money Muddle, 1957.

    • Gold and the Dollar Crisis: The future of convertibility, 1960.

    • Statistics of Sources and Uses of Finance, 1948-1958, with Stuvel et al., 1960.

    • The Evolution of the International Monetary System: historical appraisal and future perspectives, 1964.

    • The World Money Maze: National currencies in international payments, 1966.

    • Our International Monetary System: Yesterday, today and tomorrow, 1968.

  • paper

    • "The Thrust of History in International Monetary Reform", 1969, Foreign Affairs

    • "The Use of SDR Finance for Collectively Agreed Purposes", BNLQR

    • "The European Monetary System: Tombstone or cornerstone?", in: The international monetary system: forty years after Bretton Woods. Proceedings of a conference held at Bretton Woods, N.H., May 1984, 1984

    • "The European Monetary System in the World Economy", 1989, Rivista di politica economica"

    • "The International Monetary System : 1949-1989", 1990, ECU Newsletter Torino.

  • peper

    • " The international accounts of the United States and their impact upon the rest of the world", 1985, BNLQR

  • Report

    • "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


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