La Belgique et l’Europe dans la tourmente monétaire des années 1970 - Entretiens avec Jacques van Ypersele

Working Paper N° 314

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Abstract

Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou is a discrete person but well-known in Belgian and international political and economic circles. After an outstanding academic career at the Universities of Namur, Leuven and Louvain and then at Yale in the United States where he gained a PhD, he started out his professional life as an official at the International Monetary Fund. He then returned to Belgium where he held important posts in various Finance Ministers’ cabinets. He played a major role in European and international monetary negotiations, notably in his capacity as President of the European Monetary Committee when the European Monetary System was being set up. Later, as head of Prime Minister Wilfried Martens’ cabinet, he was one of the architects of the 1982 devaluation of the Belgian franc. Discretion and modesty prevented Jacques van Ypersele from talking about himself much. He took some convincing before agreeing to be interviewed. The end result was these three interviews which took place at his home between June and October 2015 which he re-read the following summer. We were also given access to his private archives, the source of the documents published in the Annex.