Professor Norbert Kloten

Liberal conservative economist

Norbert Wilhelm Kloten, economist and banker: born Sinzig, Germany 12 March 1926; Professor of Economics, University of Tübingen 1960-76, Honorary Professor 1976-2006; Chairman, Sachverständigenrat 1970-76; President, Land Central Bank, Baden-Württemberg 1976-92; President, Institute of Applied Economics, Tübingen 1979-2003; Chairman, Economic Advisory Council, Federal Ministry of Economics 1992-96; married 1953 Annemie Münzel (one son, two daughters); died Tübingen, Germany 5 April 2006.

Norbert Kloten was one of the most influential economists of the Federal Republic of Germany - as scholar, economic adviser and central banker contributing decisively to the country's reconstruction after the Second World War and to turning Germany into one of the world's leading industrial nations.

He was born in 1926 in Sinzig, where his family had been running their estate for generations, and grew up in the neighbouring, more up-market town of Bad Honnef. After graduating from the University of Bonn in 1948 with the degree of Diplom-Volkswirt, he took his doctorate there under the supervision of Professor Erwin von Beckerath and Professor Matthias Ernst Kamp, and then, in 1956, his Habilitation (higher doctorate) under Professor Erwin von Beckerath. A short spell followed as Visiting Lecturer at the Bologna Center of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. During the summer of 1958 he replaced his academic teacher Erwin von Beckerath, and then for the winter semester 1959/60 Professor Hans Peters at the University of Tübingen - after which he was appointed to a permanent professorship there at the early age of 33 (a chair once held by the political economist Friedrich List).

Kloten first devoted himself to biography and the history of economic ideas, to the early Italian school, Enrico Barone and Vilfredo Pareto, and then Jean-Baptiste Say, William Stanley Jevons and, especially, John Stuart Mill; as well as Alfred Marshall, Gustav Cassel, and (working with von Beckerath) Lorenz von Stein. The ideas of these economists remained a lasting influence.

His active mind kept him abreast of developments in economics, but he remained a liberal conservative in economic theory, very much in the tradition of Walter Eucken and von Beckerath. His conviction of the importance of monetary stability dates from these early teachers. It coloured his whole approach to his support for the establishment of European Monetary Union and the European Central Bank, which reflected, as it turned out, the Bundesbank model.

When in 1976 he accepted the offer of the presidency of the Land Central Bank in Baden-Württemberg, the University of Tübingen made him an Honorary Professor, a position he held until his death. Running concurrently with his responsibilities as academic and central banker, Kloten pursued a third major activity, as an adviser - which proved to be his particular talent.

Since 1967 he had been a member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Ministry of Economics and he served as its Chairman from 1992 to 1996. He was a member also, from 1969, of the Sachverständigenrat, the body that advises the Federal Government in Germany. This responsibility lasted until 1976 when he took over the presidency of the Land Central Bank; and he was its Chairman from 1970 until 1976. In addition, he acted in an advisory capacity to African and Asian governments, and latterly spent much time in China, too.

He was offered many other professorships - including one at Munich that would have meant taking over the Ifo Institute. He was tempted, but decided on the Central Bank offer, principally because it made him an ex officio member of the policy-making Central Bank Council of the Deutsche Bundesbank at a time when the Bundesbank was, for all practical purposes, determining not only German but European monetary policy. This powerful position he held until 1992 when he reached retirement age.

Kloten hardly retired, however. He remained President of the Institute of Applied Economics in Tübingen until 2003, and played an active part as Curator of the Thyssen Stiftung and the Volkswagen Stiftung, encouraging research on system transformations. He also continued to attend meetings of the Trilateral Commission, which he regarded as an outstanding international body.

In England he contributed 10 papers to volumes edited or co-edited by me between 1983 and 2001, with a further paper, "Aftermath of the Reunification of Germany", to be published later this year. A Roman Catholic, he felt close to the Von Hügel Institute at St. Edmund's College, Cambridge, and its then Director, the Rev Dr F.P. McHugh, and I were happy to get him actively involved in several of their conferences, at which he was one of the most stimulating participants. Most of his English papers are concerned with issues such as the impact of innovations and globalisation of financial markets on monetary policy, the role of central banks in a global competitive environment, the German reunification and currency reform of 1990, and, most of all, aspects of the European Monetary and Political Union. As a serious and unusual interest Kloten explored the role of ethics in the regulation of globalised markets.

To celebrate Norbert Kloten's 80th birthday last month, the University of Tübingen and the Deutsche Bundesbank jointly arranged a Festakt at Tübingen at which the Bundesbank President Professor Axel Weber and Professor Hermann Albeck were the main speakers. Most remarkable was the fact that Norbert Kloten, close to death with cancer, still managed to write his "Reflexionen", a detailed account and assessment of his professional life. Sadly, he was too ill to present these "Reflections" himself to his 350 guests, and they had to be read by his daughter Ilka Kloten.

It was a moving moment when, at the end of the paper, he was helped up from his wheelchair to address just a few words of greeting. He received a standing ovation.

Stephen Frowen

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
Life and Style
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone