Departing from tradition, both Yegor Gaidar, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and Karl Otto Pöhl, former Chairman of the German Bundesbank, were invited to give the 1993 Lionel Robbins Lectures. The experiences of each author reflect the vast economic changes spreading across Europe—economic reform in the East and growing economic integration in the West. Gaidar helped launch Russian economic reforms in 1992; Pöhl fought the hyperinflation in Europe of the 1970s and 1980s and laid the groundwork for monetary stability in Western Europe. These lectures provide insight into how these leaders assessed the risks of their situations and used basic economic analysis to chart their courses.
Gaidar reviews the events that led up to the August coup in Russia to argue that gradualism was not a viable approach to economic reform. He describes the conditions and dilemmas of the time, observing that reform in Russia is as much a political puzzle as it is an economic challenge. He outlines the successes and present dangers and concludes with an optimistic assessment of Russia's prospects for reform.
Pöhl provides an insider's view of the efforts of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to stabilize exchange rates from the 1970s on. He describes the tension in one country between the goals of price stability and exchange rate stability. This leads to a discussion of how monetary union was proposed in Europe and why the movement has hit snags. An appendix provides more details on the objectives and proposed structure of European monetary integration.
Lionel Robbins Lectures