Maxwell Fry Lecture: Alec Chrystal (Bayes Business School)

Wednesday 13 October 2021 (17:30-18:30)

Contact Max Everett ( if you have any queries.

Maxwell J. Fry (1944-2000) was a prominent figure around the world in International Finance and his work was widely acclaimed in central banking circles. His contribution was in the fields of international and development (‘global’) finance and this annual lecture is given by an internationally leading academic or policymaker on a topic that reflects Fry’s interests.

Fry received his PhD in Economics at the London School of Economics in 1970 and taught at The City University of London for four years. In 1974 he joined the Department of Economics at the University of Hawaii before leaving to teach at University of California-Irvine in 1980. Shortly after this he accepted an endowed chair as a Professor of International Finance at Birmingham Business School. He passed away prematurely in 2000 and we remember him each year in late October.

2021 Lecture: Alec Chrystal

The Maxwell Fry Global Finance Lecture 2021 will be given by Professor Alec Chrystal (Bayes Business School at City, University of London).

Lecture Title: The Yuan and the Dollar Crisis

Lecture Summary 

The talk will examine the evolving role of major currencies in the world economy in recent decades. The US dollar has had a dominant role since at least WW2. Several potential and imagined threats have emerged from time to time.  A famous book by Robert Triffin (“Gold and the dollar crisis” 1960) initiated a debate about the “international liquidity crisis” which led to the invention of the SDR that was intended to replace the USD as “the principal reserve asset of the international monetary system”. But the SDR failed to make the grade for reasons that will be discussed.  A more recent potential threat has come from the emergence of China as the world’s biggest exporter and potentially with the worlds’ largest GDP.  It will be shown that the emergence of China has so far done almost nothing to impact the role of the USD, and this looks likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Some other potential threats will also be discussed including cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Speaker Profile 

Current positions:
Emeritus Professor of Money and Banking, Faculty of Finance, Bayes Business School, City University of London. 

Alec Chrystal’s first academic post was as a lecturer in economics at the University of Manchester. He was then an economic adviser in HM Treasury working in international finance before moving to be a lecturer in Economics at Essex University. Alec joined the City University Business School in 1988 after being Professor of Economics at Sheffield University.  During 1997-2001 he was working as a senior adviser in the monetary analysis wing of the Bank of England.  Alec returned to Bayes (formerly known as CASS) in September 2001 to become Head of a merged Finance Faculty, a post he held until 2009. 

He has research interests in monetary economics, international finance, and political economy.  Several books have been authored or co-authored, including the latest seven editions of a well-known principles of economics textbook, Economics, with Richard G. Lipsey, Controversies in Macroeconomics (with Simon Price) and Political Economics (with James Alt).