Adieu to Maury

Author:Lucia Buono - Eugenio Cerutti
Pages:3-4
SUMMARY

Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld, our chief economist and RES Director, is retiring at the end of the year after more than three years on the job. His time here has been marked by many achievements, of which this short column can only elucidate a couple, while conveying some of the more personal and intangible aspects that we learned about him and that have influenced IMF staff over his tenure.

 
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Photo: Michael Spilotro
Adieu to
MAURY
Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld,
our chief economist and RES
Director, is retiring at the
end of the year after more
than three years on the job.
His time here has been marked
by many achievements, of
which this short column can
only elucidate a couple, while
conveying some of the more
personal and intangible aspects
that we learned about him and
that have influenced IMF staff
over his tenure.
As would have been anticipated at the
start of Maury’s tenure, many of his
initiatives were linked to his well-known
expertise as an international economist.
For example, the External Sector
Report (ESR) has seen its methodology
renewed and its status lifted to that
of an IMF agship report. The ESR
analyzes the current account balances
for the world’s largest economies. These
assessments are a key aspect of the
IMF’s mandate to promote international
monetary cooperation and help
countries build and maintain strong
economies. Similarly, Maury pushed
for further studies on globalization and
trade issues. These were reected in
Chapter2 of the October 2016 World
Economic Outlook, other RES products
(including collaboration with World
Trade Organization and the World
Bank), as well as in his blogs and opinion
pieces calling for more international
cooperation and highlighting the danger
of some trade policy proposals. As nicely
demonstrated in his opinion piece in the
Financial Times, “Targeting specic trade
decits is a game of whack-a-mole,”
he always provided excellent clarity on
complex questions using tactful humor
to deliver these timely messages.
Maury is not a typical economist who
remains within a narrow eld. He has a
broad range of interests and concerns
about the future. One clear example was
IMF RESEARCH perspectives | IMF.org/researchbulletin
Lucia Buono
Eugenio Cerutti
lbuono@IMF.org
ecerutti@IMF.org

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