An unconventional view of the global crisis (Geopolitical Lectures Series)

Category: Alumni Events
28 May 2020
19.00 - 22.00
Online (via ZOOM)

In this Geopolitical Lectures Series-session Christian Ghymers will give us his unconventional view of the global crisis, its systemic nature and possible solutions. This lecture will develop an “out-of-the-box” but rational approach of the global crisis, followed by a lively debate with the participants.


More than a decade after the crash of the American mortgage Ponzi scheme, which triggered the deepest and broadest second post-War financial and economic crisis, the situation has not become more stable and the global crisis seems to remain for long.

This lecture will develop an “out-of-the-box” but rational approach of the global crisis showing its main systemic features. Contrary to the common consensus which identified the “bankers’ irresponsible behavior” and “unrestrainable itch for gain” as the prime cause of the global crisis, this lecture shifts the attention towards more basic macroeconomic relationships and deeper causes.

First, on the financial side, the debt explosion and imbalances leading to the 2008 crash – and which have continued in the last post-decade period up to now – will be explained as a rational consequence of the International Monetary System based upon the dollar-standard or the “International Monetary Scandal” (as coined by Robert Triffin from Louvain University forty years ago). In this framework the unconventional monetary policies used for meeting the challenges of the crisis could be assessed.

Second, on the real side, the driving engine of global socio-economic prosperity – the total factor productivity - is weakening (and even being negative when environment damages are included), triggering a debate about a long-term economic stagnation. This other systemic feature of our world deserves some considerations.

Both financial and real sides of our economies will be related to their social impacts, making clearer the inescapable, global upsurge of populism and loss of trust in democratic governance and institutions. Under these aspects and arguments, a lively debate with the participants will follow.


6.30 PM: Welcome
7.00 PM: Start of the session
9.00 PM: Networking


Christian Ghymers, born in 1948 in Liège, Belgium, Master’s Degree from UCL (Louvain, Belgium) in 1971 and in 1980 degree of "Agrégé de l'enseignement supérieur" (equivalent to PhD, UCL/ICHEC academic agreement, Belgium). He has been teaching international economics as Professor with tenure at ICHEC (HEC - Brussels Management School) since 1977. He also used to teach regularly on regional integration and on macroeconomic international issues in France (Universities of Lille and of Aix-Marseille II), Latin America (Chile, Peru, and others), Africa (Central Banks) and IMF Institute (Joint Vienna Institute), and has been giving regular seminars and classes as “Maître de conferences” at the French “Ecole Normale d'Administration” (ENA, Strasbourg) since 2009. In parallel to his academic activities, he worked as an officer at the Research Department of the Belgian Central Bank (1978-1986), the European Commission (1986-2012, DG ECFIN), being seconded for crisis management to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (2000-2003, ECLAC) and to the IMF (2009-2011, Joint Vienna Institute).

Being retired from the EU Commission, he is presently independent consultant on regional integration, macroeconomic prospects and monetary issues. He is President of the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Relations between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean (IRELAC), President of the Belgian-Chilean Chamber of Commerce, and Deputy-Chairman of the Robert Triffin International Foundation (University of Louvain), member of the Academic Council of the EU-CELAC Academic Permanent Forum (bi-regional organization in charge of the Academic Summit between European and Latin American and Caribbean Universities). He continues to work regularly as adviser. In 2016 he was invited by the Shanghai Development Research Foundation (China) for dealing as independent academic with global monetary issues at the G-20 Finance Ministerial meeting of Shanghai and Chengdu during the Chinese Presidency of the G-20.


This event is part of our Geopolitical Lectures Series. Discover the full programme of this series here.


This event is made possible thanks to our event sponsors and alumni partners.

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