Baron Alexandre Lamfalussy 1929 - 2015
11 May 2015
With deep regret the Bank for International Settlements has learned of the recent death of Baron Alexandre Lamfalussy at the age of 86.
Born in Hungary, and of Belgian citizenship, Mr Lamfalussy was General Manager of the BIS between May 1985 and December 1993. He joined the Bank in 1976 as Economic Adviser and Head of the Monetary and Economic Department and became Deputy General Manager in 1981.
Many significant events in the history of the BIS occurred under Mr Lamfalussy's leadership, including the signing of the Basel Capital Accord, the establishment of the Group of Payment System Experts (which later became the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures), and the expansion and consolidation of statistics on international banking, which have since become a major reference source for economists and other researchers. In cooperation with central banks around the world, the BIS also participated in addressing the repercussions of the central European and Latin American debt crises of the early 1980s. These events reflected Mr Lamfalussy's desire for the BIS to make a contribution to promoting international financial cooperation and financial stability. Indeed, he was always greatly concerned with financial stability issues and in this respect he was one of the earliest advocates of a macroprudential approach to financial stability.
Mr Lamfalussy was an influential and respected policy maker. In 1988 and 1989, he was a member of the Delors Committee, whose report provided the framework for European monetary union, and in January 1994 he became the first President of the European Monetary Institute, the predecessor of the European Central Bank. He later chaired the Committee of Wise Men on the Regulation of European Securities Markets, which in 2001 developed a new approach for regulating financial markets in Europe that became known as the "Lamfalussy Process".
Like many who lived through the Second World War, Mr Lamfalussy was a strong supporter of European economic and political integration. Throughout his career, first in academia and commercial banking and then at the BIS and in the central banking community, he combined a brilliant intellect with a soft-spoken and courteous manner. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
We extend our deepest condolences to his family.
Jaime Caruana, General Manager