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Astute analyst of Europe's economic crisis takes up Paulson chair at LSE

A world-leading economist who predicted the present financial crisis engulfing Europe will be the first holder of the John Paulson chair in European Political Economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Professor Paul De Grauwe will take up the post at LSE’s European Institute in February. He is currently Professor of International Economics at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

The chair is funded by John A. Paulson, founder of the investment firm Paulson & Co. He has donated more than £2.5 million for research and teaching to help understand the crisis gripping the eurozone, the threat to the stability of the EU and the actions politicians and economists can take to ensure a stable future for the European trading bloc.

Professor De Grauwe is an expert on European debt and monetary union, a former adviser to the President of the European Commission and a former member of the Belgian Parliament. He writes regularly in the Financial Times and is the author of several books including Economics of Monetary Union.

In 2009 he called for a “new science of macroeconomics”, arguing that existing models failed to grasp the complexities of the modern world. And later the same year he wrote that Greece’s debt problems were likely to cause systemic problems across the eurozone.

Professor De Grauwe said: “Unfortunately for Europe, the need for fresh and incisive thinking at this time of turmoil is all too clear and that is exactly what the Paulson chair will enable, research and teaching which leaves Europe better informed about the difficult decisions it faces. So I am expecting my new job at LSE to be extremely busy and I am looking forward to it.”

Professor Paul De GrauweThe European Institute at LSE applies a broad range of academic disciplines to understand the complex and changing nature of Europe. It has 25 academics who work across the fields of politics, economics, geography, history, political economy, law, philosophy and international relations. It was ranked first for research in the UK's 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and teaches about 200 masters students and 30 doctoral students every year

Professor Kevin Featherstone, the institute’s head, said: “It is impossible to think of a better-qualified person for this chair. Paul De Grauwe combines a deep understanding of Europe’s economic affairs with a questioning and critical mind which pinpoints the crucial questions and sets about answering them. He will, I am sure, be an outstanding first occupant of the Paulson chair.”

The Paulson funding provides not only for the chair but also an associated five-year research programme.

Among the research areas into which the new post will lead investigation are the emerging European Union arrangements of fiscal re-stabilisation, financial rescue and economic governance and the wider interplay between these, the future of the euro, European competitiveness, domestic management of public spending, and the political economy of European integration.

John Paulson founded Paulson & Co. in 1994 and the investment management firm today manages approximately $30 billion. He received an MBA, with high distinction as a Baker Scholar, from Harvard Business School and graduated summa cum laude in Finance from New York University. Mr Paulson serves on the Board of Trustees of New York University, the Deans Advisory Board of the Harvard Business School and the Board of Trustees of the Spence School. 

17 November 2011