An Exclusive Interview with Lewis E. Lehrman, Part 6

It is an extraordinary privilege to present this exclusive interview with Lewis E. Lehrman, in 21 installments, of which this is the sixth. 

Lewis E. Lehrman has written widely about economic and monetary policy.  He has co-authored the book Money and the Coming World Order (1976) with renowned MIT Economist Charles Kindleberger and others.  Lehrman has written about economics in publications such as Harper's, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, Crisis, Policy Review and National Review.  His writings about monetary economics earned him an appointment by President Ronald Reagan to the Presidential Gold Commission in 1981.  Along with Congressman Ron Paul, Lewis Lehrman collaborated on a minority report of the commission, which was published as The Case for Gold (1982).

Lehrman published seven volumes on “Rueff Monetary Economics” (The Collected Works of Jacques Rueff, 1997, Plon, in French).  Jacques Rueff, the distinguished French monetary economist, established the monetary and economic plan of the Fifth French Republic, as President DeGaulle's chief financial advisor. The primary purpose of the plan was to restore economic prosperity, a stable French currency, and the end of French inflation by means of convertibility to gold of the French franc.  Lehrman has been named to the advisory board of the American Principles Project’s Gold Standard 2012 initiative.

 Lewis E. Lehrman [Photo by Ralph Benko]

Q.  You met, studied, and worked with Rueff, and even arranged for the publication of his complete works in French, and are handsomely acknowledged in his autobiography.  When and under what circumstances did you first meet him?

I met Professor Rueff first through correspondence, impressed as I was with his plan for the stabilization and growth of the French financial system and the French economy at the birth of the Fifth Republic in 1959.  President de Gaulle based his reform of the French financial and economic system on proposals by Jacques Rueff including the convertibility of the French franc -- proposals which de Gaulle issued by decree.  During the following decade, France was the fastest growing economy among developed countries. 

It was in 1972, I believe, I first met Professor Rueff.  My wife Louise and I visited with him and Madame Rueff at their home -- 52 Rue de Varenne, Paris, in 1973 or 74.  In 1976, we made an agreement whereby The Lehrman Institute would collect all of his works to be published in French.  Plon, the great French publisher had published the memoirs of President de Gaulle, and they were enthusiastic about the Institute publishing the collected works of Jacques Rueff. 

In my opinion, Rueff was the greatest philosopher-economist of the twentieth century.  It is often said that John Maynard Keynes was number one.  This opinion, I believe, is derived from the fact that the English speaking nations of Great Britain and America dominated the world and its intellectual opinions in the twentieth century.


 

 

Kathleen M. Packard, Publisher
Ralph J. Benko, Editor

In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff
(1896-1978)

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