Ivo Maes with Ilaria Pasotti
Robert Triffin: a Life
Oxford University Press, 2021
With World War II still raging, nations came together to create a new international monetary order, the Bretton Woods system. One man saw the political, economic, and moral tensions inherent in keeping the dollar, a national currency, as a global reserve currency. When the monetary arrangement collapsed in 1973, economist Robert Triffin had already predicted its downfall two decades previously. Best known for his analysis of the vulnerabilities of the international monetary system - the "Triffin dilemma" - Triffin was a voice of reason and compassion in the postwar period. He played a key role in Europe’s EMU process, becoming one of the intellectual fathers of Europe's single currency, the euro.
Robert Triffin: A Life explores both the man and the mission. Ivo Maes and Ilaria Pasotti trace Triffin's story from a very modest background, as the son of a butcher, who grew up through the interwar period, to a singularly influential economist in the late twentieth century. The first biography of one of the intellectual giants of the postwar era, Robert Triffin: A Life critically examines the accomplishments and the legacy of a scholar who believed that innovations in economic policy could lead to a better and more peaceful world.
> "Robert Triffin's life and research: Takeaways for the current and future international monetary order" - Presentation of the book as part of the SUERF BAFFI Bocconi - Meet the Author Series - Sept. 13, 2023
> "Robert Triffin: A Life" was awarded the prestigious Best Book prize by the Italian Association for the History of Economic Thought (AISPE) - Oct. 14, 2022