Motivational Speakers Profiled – Leszek Balcerowicz
Write-up by Celebrity Speakers
He has a wealth of experience in the location of market place reform getting been the principal architect of the radical reforms implemented in the early 1990′s that stimulated his country’s transformation into a free market economy. In addition to his political positions, he was also President of the National Bank.
Balcerowicz was born in 1947 and graduated from the Foreign Trade Faculty at the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw. He subsequently went on to acquire an MBA from St. John’s University in New York, USA. He returned to the Warsaw School of Economics where he obtained his Economics PhD. in 1975.
He is presently Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics and Chairman of Bruegel, a Brussels based think tank institution funded by a number of governments which aims to contribute to the quality of economic policymaking in Europe. He is also a member of the ‘Group of Thirty’, a prestigious international body of 30 of the world’s leading financial figures, such as Paul Volcker, Jean Claude Trichet, Ernesto Zedillo and Jacob Frenkel.
Balcerowiczs’ significant contribution to his country’s economic growth was the development of the so called ‘Shock Therapy’ in 1989. The country had suffered stagnant growth and 640% inflation with the majority of the state-owned industrial infrastructure becoming either ineffective or obsolete. Following the immediate fall of the Soviet State, a democratically elected Polish government set about reforming the country.
In 1989, a commission of professionals, chaired by Balcerowicz, determined a program to transform the economy to one far more modelled on Western European and American principles.
The Program referred to as for 11 key changes such as laws allowing bankruptcy, the linking of interest rates to inflation, wage rise restrictions to counter hyperinflation, corporate taxation, foreign investment, opening the zloty to international exchange forces, customs and employment practices.
The Program was approved by the IMF in December 1989 and support funding package was released allowing the country to refinance its debts on the international markets. Whilst harming brief term growth, the plan has been proved powerful as a stimulant to the long term growth of the nation.
It was, nonetheless, this short term lack of growth and public unpopularity that led to President Walesa criticising Balcerowicz and manoeuvring him out of office in 1982.
In 2005 he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland’s highest decorative order and was elected to be a member of the Galeria Chwaly Polskiej Ekonomii, an organisation for those who have produced lifetime achievements for the Polish Economy.
Balcerowicz presents in Polish and English but also converses in German and Russian.
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