THE PER JACOBSSON Foundation, founded to carry forward the ideas and the work of the late Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, was established on February 5, 1964. The initiative came from a group of his friends and associates who recognized how much the economic recovery and progress of the free world owed to his imaginative thinking and stimulating personality. Chairman of this group is W. Randolph Burgess, former United States Ambassador to NATO, with Eugene R. Black, former President of the World Bank, and Marcus Wallenberg, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Stock-holms Enskilda Bank, associated with him as Honorary Chairmen of 45 Sponsors from all parts of the world.
The group envisaged a Foundation, financed from private as well as from official sources, which each year would invite individuals recognized as leading authorities—whether with an academic or practical background—to lecture on international monetary questions before appropriate audiences in various countries. The Foundation would then publish and give wide distribution to these lectures.
The results of this initiative have been highly sucessful. The minimum financial goals were met in a single two-month period. Following large initial contributions made by the International Monetary Fund, and by the Bank for International Settlements and the eight central banks represented on its Board, more than as much again has been received by the Foundation, and is still being received, from private, national, and international donors (including the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank) having a common interest in promoting a wider understanding of international financial and monetary affairs.
Arrangements have now been concluded for the Foundation’s first lectures. Maurice Frere, President of SOFINA and formerly Governor of the National Bank of Belgium and President of the Bank for International Settlements, and Rodrigo Gomez, Director-General of the Bank of Mexico, have accepted invitations to speak on the topic “Economic Growth and Stability.” The lectures will be given on the afternoon of Monday, November 9, 1964, at the University of Basle, Switzerland.
Thus, less than eighteen months after Per Jacobsson’s death, there has come into being a mechanism for carrying forward something of the essence of his qualities: scholarship; involvement in the great movements of economic and political thought and action of the day; communication and clarification of ideas. Through the Foundation, continuing vitality will be given to the ideals of international cooperation on monetary and financial affairs to which Per Jacobsson devoted his life.