Monday, December 31, 2012

KS - Monetary and Economic Policy Management, then and now

Kumiharu Shigehara
Deputy Secretary-General
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

A key-note speech delivered at the Emile van Lennep Memorial Conference on "A Global Order for Sustainable Economic Growth" jointly organised by the Netherlands' Ministry of Finance, De Nederlandsche Bank, the University of Groningen and the Netherlands' Institute for Banking and Stockbroking Industry in Amsterdam, on 20 April 1998

I. Introduction

It is a great honour for me to accept Nout Wellink's invitation to participate in the Emile van Lennep Memorial Conference on a "Global Order for Sustainable Economic Growth". This invitation to be a key-note speaker presumably reflects the fact that, in addition to my service as a central bank economist and practitioner for 20 years, it happens that I have virtually had a "career" as an OECD economist, having worked in different positions on four different occasions.

Emile van Lennep was OECD Secretary-General during my first two periods of service there; the first one (1970-1974) included work as Head of Monetary Division in charge of servicing the Economic Policy Committee's Working Party N-3 for "the promotion of better international payments equilibrium", chaired by Otmar Emminger, then Vice-President of the Deutsche Bundesbank; and the second period of service (1980-1982) was again devoted, though not exclusively, to Working Party N-3's activities under the chairmanship of Sir Kit McMahon, then Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. Even after Emile van Lennep's departure from the OECD, I had the opportunity to communicate with him from time to time, both during my two most recent periods of service at the OECD (1987-1989 and 1992 to the present) and during my service at the Bank of Japan. He sent me his last personal letter in May 1996 to comment on my lecture at the Bundesbank's conference on monetary policy strategies (1). He recalled at that time the debates between the Americans and Europeans on US monetary policy during the 1960s when he was Chairman of the OECD Working Party N-3. His letter demonstrated his continued strong interest in monetary and economic policy debates. He was scheduled to visit the OECD to meet Secretary-General Donald Johnston and myself on 8 October 1996 which, sadly, turned out to be the day of his funeral in his home town of the Hague.


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