The International Monetary System: A Time of Turbulence

By Jacob S. Dreyer; American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research | Go to book overview

Introductory Remarks

Arthur F. Burns

At an occasion like this, lively conversations develop at the luncheon table, which some would like to continue. At the same time, all of us are eager to hear from our distinguished guest, Dr. Emminger. He is known to all of us; he requires no introduction. He has been a frequent visitor to this country. He knows Washington and New York City better than most Americans do. I just asked Dr. Emminger how many times he has flown across the Atlantic, and he simply responded, "More than a hundred times." Being a conservative, he gave -- I think -- a very conservative reply.

Dr. Emminger's active participation in international economic affairs covers the entire period since World War II. He first represented the German government in negotiations that led to the establishment of the European Payments Union. I do not think there has been an international financial meeting since then at which Dr. Emminger did not take a prominent part.

Much has happened in the thirty-five years since the end of World War II. Throughout this period Germany has been blessed with strong and extraordinarily capable economic leaders. The German economic miracle is largely attributable to this fact. And Dr. Emminger, I need hardly add, has been at the forefront of the formation of economic policies in his country in all these years.

I first had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Emminger in 1954 in Paris. I remember that meeting vividly. My knowledge of the international arena was very limited, but I already had great respect for the way in which the Germans were proceeding to rebuild their economy. During that meeting of the OEEC, a predecessor of OECD, one foreign representative after another was critical of Germany's financial policy. They kept urging Dr. Emminger to persuade his government, in the interest of the international economy, to reduce taxes, to increase government spending, to run deficits, to ease credit conditions -- in short, to share in the incipient inflationary wave that was elsewhere under way. I was

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