|1st President of the European Central Bank|
1 July 1998 – 31 October 2003
|Vice President||Christian Noyer (1998-2002)
Lucas Papademos (2002-2003)
|Succeeded by||Jean-Claude Trichet|
|2nd President of the European Monetary Institute|
1 July 1997 – 1 July 1998
|Preceded by||Alexandre Lamfalussy|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|President of the Central Bank of the Netherlands|
1 January 1982 – 1 July 1997
|Preceded by||Jelle Zijlstra|
|Succeeded by||Nout Wellink|
|Member of the House of Representatives|
16 January 1978 – 28 June 1978
|Member of the House of Representatives|
8 June 1977 – 8 September 1977
|Minister of Finance|
11 May 1973 – 19 December 1977
|Prime Minister||Joop den Uyl|
|Preceded by||Roelof Nelissen|
|Succeeded by||Frans Andriessen|
|Born||Willem Frederik Duisenberg
9 July 1935
|Died||31 July 2005
Faucon, Vaucluse, France
|Political party||Labour Party (since 1959)|
(m. 1960-1980; divorced)
(m. 1987-2005; his death)
|Children||Pieter Duisenberg (born 1967)
One daughter and one other son
|Alma mater||University of Groningen (Master of Economics, Doctor of Philosophy)
University of Amsterdam (Honorary degree)
Willem Frederik "Wim" Duisenberg (9 July 1935 – 31 July 2005) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA). He was the first President of the European Central Bank from 1 July 1998 until 31 October 2003. He was instrumental in the introduction of the euro in the European Union in 2002. He was also credited for making numerous improvements for the economy of the Netherlands. A successful economist and financier he served as Minister of Finance from 11 May 1973 until 19 December 1977, he later served as President of the Central Bank of the Netherlands. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.
Willem Frederik Duisenberg was born on 9 July 1935 in the Frisian town of Heerenveen. He studied at the University of Groningen, where he received a MSc degree in Economics, with majoring in international economic relations. In 1965, he obtained a PhD degree; his thesis was "The Economic Consequences of the Disarmament".
Duisenberg subsequently worked for the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. for years followed by a year as an advisor to the director of the Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank in Amsterdam. He was then appointed a professor at the University of Amsterdam where he taught macroeconomics.
From 1973 to 1977, Duisenberg was Minister of Finance under Prime Minister Joop den Uyl, Shortly afterwards, he gave up his seat in the Dutch parliament to become vice president of Rabobank, a Dutch bank. Two years later, he was appointed director of the Nederlandsche Bank, serving as its president from 1982 to 1997.
His tenure at the Dutch central bank was marked by caution and reserve. Under his direction, the Dutch guilder was linked to the German Deutsche Mark, and this benefited the Dutch economy, owing to the strength of the German currency. He also followed German central bank's interest rate policies closely, which earned him the nickname "Mr Fifteen Minutes" because he quickly followed any interest rate changes made by the Deutsche Bundesbank.
First president of the European Central Bank
Owing to the success of his monetary policy, he became well known in other European countries, and this led to his appointment in 1998 as the first president of the new European Central Bank in Frankfurt, much to the chagrin of France, who wanted a French candidate. A compromise was agreed upon (although publicly denied by all parties) whereby Duisenberg would serve for at least four years, upon which the Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet, director of the Banque de France, would take over. In 1999, Duisenberg received the Vision for Europe Award in recognition of his efforts toward the unification of Europe.
During his tenure at the bank, Dr. Duisenberg was known for his cautious monetary policy and for defending the euro through its early years. He sometimes frustrated investors and politicians by sticking to the bank's inflation-fighting stance, keeping rates higher than some would have liked. "I hear, but I don't listen" to such pleas, was one of his typically blunt responses. Dr. Duisenberg repeatedly said it was up to European governments to pursue structural changes such as loosening rigid rules on hiring and firing personnel if they wanted more growth.
Duisenberg announced he would retire on 9 July 2003 (his 69th birthday), but he remained in office until Trichet was cleared of charges of fraud in connection with the collapse of the French bank Crédit Lyonnais. Trichet took over presidency of the ECB on 1 November 2003.
Duisenberg died in 2005 at the age of 70 while on vacation at his villa in Faucon near Orange, France. He drowned in his swimming pool after suffering a heart attack. A commemoration service was held on 6 August 2005 in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Duisenberg was buried later that day in the Zorgvlied cemetery in Amsterdam.
- Order of the Netherlands Lion (Netherlands)
- Knight (11 April 1978)
- Commander (17 June 1997)
- Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
- Honorary doctorate in Economics from the University of Amsterdam (8 January 2001)
- (Dutch) Dr. W.F. (Wim) Duisenberg (Parlement & Politiek)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wim Duisenberg.|
|Minister of Finance
|President of the Central Bank of the Netherlands
|Non-profit organization positions|
|2nd President of the European Monetary Institute
|Merged into the European Central Bank|
|New institution||1st President of the European Central Bank