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Bernard Lietaer (February 7, 1942[1] – February 4, 2019[2]) was an electrical engineer, economist, author and professor. He studied monetary systems and promoted the idea that communities can benefit from creating their own local or complementary currency, which circulate parallel with national currencies.

Bernard Lietaer
Bernard Lietaer - PopTech 2011 - Camden Maine USA.jpg
Bernard Lietaer in 2011
Born(1942-02-07)February 7, 1942
DiedFebruary 4, 2019(2019-02-04) (aged 76)
OccupationElectrical engineer, economist, author and professor


Early LifeEdit


Lietaer, the author of The Future of Money: Beyond Greed and Scarcity and New Money for a New World, was active in the realm of money systems for close to 40 years in a wide variety of roles. With the publication of his post-graduate thesis at MIT in 1971[3] (which included a description of "floating exchanges") and the Nixon Shock of that same year which eradicated the Bretton Woods system by unhinging the US dollar value from its gold standard and inaugurated the new era of universal floating exchanges (previous to that time the only "floating exchanges" involved some exotic currencies in Latin America), the fledgling management consultant suddenly found himself to be at the center of the financial world's attention.[citation needed] The techniques that he had developed for those marginal Latin American currencies were overnight the only systematic research which could be used to deal with all of the major currencies of the world. A major US bank negotiated exclusive rights to his approach which required that he begin another career.[4] While at the Central Bank in Belgium (National Bank of Belgium) he implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system. During that period, he also served as President of Belgium's Electronic Payment System. His consultant experience in monetary aspects on four continents ranges from multinational corporations to developing countries.

He co-founded one of the largest and most successful currency management firms; GaiaCorp, and managed an offshore currency fund (Gaia Hedge II) which was the world's top performing managed currency fund during the 1987-91 period he ran it.[5] Business Week named him "the world’s top currency trader" in 1992.[6]

At the time of his death, Lietaer lived in Brussels, Belgium. He was a visiting scholar at Naropa University, USA from 2003-2006 where he designed and implemented the University's Marpa Center for Business and Economics.[7] He studied engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium, and held an assistant professorship of international finance at the same university. During his engineering studies in Leuven he was a member of the Olivaint Conference of Belgium.[8] He was also a research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California, Berkeley.

In his books he described and drew upon the perceptions of freiwirtschaft. He was the originator of a complementary currency called the terra. In 2007, a journalist explained that, in Lietaer's view, such diversified, internationally valid currencies can help "address specific needs and enable certain exchanges — whether to fight global warming, promote employment or facilitate education and health care."[9]

In 2012, he was the lead author (with Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber) of Money & Sustainability: the missing link,[10] a publication of The Club of Rome, in which he predicted that "the period 2007-2020 [will be] one of financial turmoil and gradual monetary breakdown." The book was published in 2012.[11]

Personal Life and DeathEdit


  • The Future of Money (London: Random House, 2001)
  • New Money for a New World (Qiterra Press 2011) (with Stephen Belgin)
  • Hallsmith, Gwendolyn; Lietaer, Bernard (2011-05-28). Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies. New Society Publishers. ISBN 978-0-86571-667-4.
  • Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link / A report from the Club of Rome (with Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber)(Triarchy Press 2012)
  • People Money: The Promise of Regional Currencies (with Margrit Kennedy and John Rogers) (Triarchy Press 2012)
  • Money and Sustainability: The Missing Link (with Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner and Stefan Brunnhuber), Triarchy Press Ltd, 30. May 2012, ISBN 978-1908009777


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Bancor Foundation announces death of president Bernard Lietaer".
  3. ^ "Library of Congress LCCN Permalink 74130275". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  4. ^ "Bernard Lietaer's Beyond Greed and Scarcity: Preface". Retrieved 2012-12-06.
  5. ^ "Bernard A. Lietaer Professional Background". 2006. Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26. His own biography and curriculum vitae cites the Micropal survey of 1,800 off-shore funds. In the preface to The Future of Money: Beyond Greed and Scarcity Lietaer wrote: "We almost tripled the money in three years".
  6. ^ "ABOUT THE GLOBAL LEADERSHIP NETWORK, page 353" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2008.
  7. ^ [2] Archived 6 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ (german) Mein Weg ist Karma-Yoga, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), KursKontakte. Retrieved December 30, 2013 2014
  9. ^ Kamp, Jurriaan. "If we want a new world, we need new money" (Vol 5 Issue 6, July/August 2007). Ode Magazine. p. 87.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Money & Sustainability:the missing link" Archived 13 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, News release [nd], The Club of Rome

External linksEdit