Germany and the Euro: The Revenge of Helmut Schmidt

Kurt Viermetz Lecture delivered at the American Academy in Berlin

June 5, 2014

Andreas R. Dombret: I'm more than pleased to have been asked to introduce Fred Bergsten as today's speaker, and I would like to say a little bit about him, and also a little bit about the Euro crisis.

Now Fred is—and it's probably one of his most important jobs—is a member of the president's advisory committee on trade policy and negotiations. He is a senior fellow and director emeritus of the Peterson Institute and many of you will remember Adam Posen, who spoke here not too long ago, where he served at the Peterson Institute for more than 30 years. And today he is also a member of the advisory committee of the Export Import Bank, and Fred is cochairman of their private sector advisory group of the United States India Trade Policy Forum.

Now, all of these positions have brought Fred for the circle, as he started his career in government service. By the way, as I just learned, Fred wrote 43 books on international economics and he is going to read them all to us tonight.

Now while he was in government service, his previous government posts include: Assistant Secretary for International Affairs of the US treasury, from 1977 to 81. (You have to correct me if I say silly things.) He was Undersecretary for Monetary Affairs from 1980 to 1981, and at the very beginning of his career, if I may add, he was Assistant for International Economic Affairs to Henry Kissinger which makes him a bipartisan, independent member of government because he worked both for Republican and Democrat governments.

It was actually Henry Kissinger who said, and I quote him, "If you don't know where you're going, every road will get you nowhere." And this is particularly true in times of crisis, and it kind of leads me to the topic of this evening's lecture.

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C. Fred Bergsten Senior Research Staff

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