Bernard Lietaer (February 7, 1942 – February 4, 2019) was a civil engineer, economist, author and professor.
He studied engineering at the University of Leuven, where he went back as a professor of international finance from 1975 - 1978 and again from 1983 - 1986.
Already as a student he was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the best business students in America; discovered the link between monetary system and misery.
Working for the Central Bank of Belgium he implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system, conducted fundamental research about the subject of money, and - in 2009 - found, with Robert E. Ulanowicz and Sally J. Gerner, the law of sustainability.
In this book he outlines 3 paradigm shifts we must go through to ensure sustainability of our world.
When he went to MIT in the U.S., he started working as well for McCormick Consultants. Because of his post-graduate thesis, "Financial management of Foreign Exchange. An Operational Technique to Reduce Risk," in 1969, he was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the ten best business students in America that year. When it was published as a book in 1971, just after President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard, it turned out to be the only systematic research which could be used with all of the major currencies of the world.
Continuing to work on this subject, he discovered the link between our monetary system and misery; and in 1978, he published the book "A role for Europe in the North-South Conflict.
During his time at the Central Bank in Belgium (National Bank of Belgium), he was the president of Belgium's Electronic Payment System and implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system.
He co-founded one of the largest and most successful currency management firms, Gaia Corp, and managed an offshore currency fund (Gaia Hedge II) which was the world's top performing managed currency fund during the 1987-91 period while he ran it. Business Week named him "the world’s top currency trader" in 1992.
In 1991, he obtained the book "Interest and Inflation free money" written by Margrit Kennedy (German version published in 1990), which made him finally understand the most important problems of our monetary system. He started fundamental research about the subject of money, which resulted in two books: "The Future of Money," 1999, and "Mysterium Geld" (Mystery of Money), 2000.
consequence, he developed the idea of Complementary Currencies, which he spread in several books,
also together with Margrit Kennedy and other authors as well as in other
publications, numerous conferences, as a professor at different universities
and a consultant to companies, organizations and governments worldwide.
In 2009 he found – with Robert E. Ulanowicz and Sally J. Goerner, based on the research of Ulanowicz – the Law of Sustainability, the scientific proof that as monocultures, our actual monetary systems are very unstable over the long term. In the publication "Money and Sustainability – The Missing Link" of the Club of Rome, he pointed out, with Christian Arnsperger, Sally J. Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber, that our monetary system drives our world out of sustainability.