Warren Coats

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Warren Coats
Warren Baghdad.JPG
Born (1942-05-19) May 19, 1942 (age 75)
Bakersfield, California
Nationality American
Institution University of Virginia
Field Monetary economics
Alma mater University of Chicago
University of California at Berkeley

Warren L. Coats, Jr. (born May 19, 1942 in Bakersfield, Calif.[citation needed]), is an economist specializing in monetary policy. He retired from the International Monetary Fund in May, 2003, to join the Board of Directors of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. He is President of Economic Consulting, providing technical assistance to central banks, and is currently advising the central banks of Afghanistan (for the IMF), and Kazakhstan (for the government of Kazakhstan).

Early life[edit]

Warren Coats was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, where he graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1960 in absentia while spending his senior year abroad with the International Christian Youth Exchange in the German village of Rasdorf. While in Germany he lived with the family of Albert Martin for a year and attended the Gymnasium in Hünfeld near Fulda.

From 1960 to 1962 Coats attended Bakersfield College, where he co-founded and edited the Weekly Blatt, an underground weekly campus newspaper dedicated to presenting conservative and libertarian political perspectives on current events.

During 1962–66 Coats attended the University of California at Berkeley and received a B.A. in Economics in June, 1966. At Berkeley he served as president of several organizations including the University Young Republicans (UYR), the University Conservatives, and his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. In his capacity as president of the UYR he was a member of the Free Speech Movement Coordinating Committee and allied with the presidents of the University Young Democrats, University Conservatives, and the Young People's Socialist League in an effort to restore free speech to the campus without violence.

In 1966–70 Coats studied economics at the University of Chicago. His doctoral dissertation was on The September 1968 Changes in 'Regulation D' and Their Implications for Monetary Supply Control, with Milton Friedman[1] heading his dissertation committee. His Ph.D was granted in 1972. While studying at Chicago, Coats taught part-time at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1966–1967 and 1968–1970). In 1968 he took a leave of absence to join Louise Wilkinson at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, where both where Assistant Professors. They married in Hawaii that summer before returning to Chicago to resume their graduate studies.


Coats was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia from 1970–75 and Assistant Chairman of the Economics Department in 1975. He joined the IMF at the beginning of 1976 and became chief of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) division in the Finance Department in 1983. He has published one book and over a dozen articles on the SDR.

In January 1992 Coats rejoined what is now the Monetary and Capital Markets Department (MCM) in the IMF to lead a technical assistance mission to Bulgaria followed by back-to-back missions to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. From there on, his career focused on an intensive program of developing new central banks and currencies that has lasted beyond his retirement. He has led more than 70 missions that have provided practical advice and assistance to central banks around the globe often under crisis conditions. These include missions to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Iraq,[2] Israel, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Malta, Moldova, Nigeria, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Turkey, the West Bank and Gaza Strip[3] and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He supervised the establishment of new central banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the reestablishment, transformation, and development of the payment and banking systems in Kosovo, and helped Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and later Bosnia and Herzegovina introduce their own currencies.

Coats’ work on banking sector issues in Moldova, Bulgaria, Croatia, Turkey and Yugoslavia has provided him with the practical experience reflected in his several articles on banking sector soundness issues (including several papers on Bank Insolvency Law). He has also written on various monetary theory and policy issues, including electronic money and inflation targeting. He edited a book on Inflation Targeting in Transition Economies published by the IMF and the Czech National Bank and co-edited a book on the same subject published by the Czech National Bank in 2003. The difficult negotiations he led for the IMF to establish a new central bank following the end of the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina are chronicled in his most recent book, One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, published in August, 2007, by Jameson Books.[4]

Coats’ monetary advice has not always been trouble free. At a widely attended press conference in Kabul in January 2002, Coats was asked by a New York Times reporter whether the IMF was recommending that Afghanistan replace the existing currency with U.S. dollars. He responded that dollarization was one of the options under consideration. When he failed to explain that if the policy to dollarize were adopted then the existing currency would be redeemed for dollars, the Afghani immediately depreciated about 25%. The next day acting central bank governor Abdul Fitrat detailed more fully how the adoption of dollarization (which was rejected in any event), would work and the exchange rate recovered fully within a day.[5]

At the time he retired from the IMF in May, 2003, to become a Director of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA),[6] Coats was the Assistant Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department (MCM). Coats was a visiting economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 1979 and was seconded to the World Bank for one year to help write the 1989 World Development Report on the Financial System.

Following his IMF retirement, he continued providing technical assistance to central banks[7] as a consultant with the IMF, BearingPoint, the Asian Development Bank, and Deloitte Consulting. His recent consulting assignments have included Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Sudan.[8]

Coats is a member of Alpha Tau Omega (Past President of Berkeley chapter), American Economic Association, The Mont Pelerin Society, Order of the Golden Bear, The Philadelphia Society (past member of board of directors), and the Western Economic Association International, (past member of the executive committee).[9]

His honors include: Kyrgyzstan’s Certificate of Honor, presented by President Askar Akaev in Bishkek in 1997,[10] in recognition of his work to prepare Kyrgyzstan to introduce its own currency, and he was inducted into Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1999.

Coats currently serves as director of the Africa Youth Peace Call (AYPC), and Universal Trading & Investment Co., Inc., and is on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

Current employment[edit]

Coats ended seven years on CIMA in 2010 and joined the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review soon thereafter. He is currently part of the IMF country team as a consultant, negotiating a program with Afghanistan that can be supported with an IMF Extended Credit Facility. He is part of a Deloitte team financed by United States Agency for International Development helping the new government of South Sudan prepare for independence by establishing a new central bank and issuing a new currency.[11]

Coats presented proposals for a hard SDR issued by a global currency board (Real SDR Currency Board) at a G20 High Level Seminar on the Reform of the International Monetary System in Nanjing, China, on March 30 of 2011, on May 4, 2011, in Astana, Kazakhstan, and on July 1, 2011, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


  • One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, (Ottawa, Ill., Jameson Books), 2007.[12]
  • My Travels to Baghdad, 2004.
  • with Douglas Laxton, and David Rose, eds., The Czech National Bank's Forecasting and Policy Analysis System, (Prague: Czech National Bank), 2003.
  • Ed., Inflation Targeting in Transition Economies: The Case of the Czech Republic, (Prague: Czech National Bank and Washington DC: International Monetary Fund), 2000.
  • Special Drawing Rights – Operations and Role in Development Finance, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, (New Delhi, Allied Publishers, LTD), 1990.
  • with D.R. Khatkhate, eds., Money and Monetary Policy in Less Developed Countries: Survey of Issues and Evidence, (Oxford, England: Pergammon Press), 1980.

Selected articles[edit]


  1. ^ Skousen, Mark. "Milton Friedman Turns 100 Today — the Day I Tore up his $20 Bill!". MSkousen.com. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Stevenson, Joe (February 10, 2006). "Iraq latest trouble spot visited by former IMF official". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Amsterdam, Robert. "Warren Coats on Democracy". RobertAmsterdam.com. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "SelectedWorks of Warren Coats". bepress. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Landler, Mark (January 31, 2002). "I.M.F. Backs Official Shift to U.S. Dollar by Afghans". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Contributors at a Glance: Warren L. Coats". Cayman Financial Review. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Debate on Abolishing the Federal Reserve". C-SPAN. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Morris, Ben. "Printing money: How to create a currency". BBC News. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Warren's Space". Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Challenges to Economies in Transition: Stabilization, Growth, and Governance". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Meier, Katherine. "Annual Hutchinson Lecture to feature Warren Coats, monetary and banking expert". UDaily. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Rahn, Richard. "Economic Diplomacy: Warren Coats is its Finest Practitioner". The American Spectator. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Rahn, Richard (Fall 2010). "A Constant Unit of Account" (PDF). Cato Journal. 30 (3): 521–533. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 

External links[edit]