Michael Peter Bruno
Hebrew: מיכאל פטר ברונו
|Birthplace:||Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany|
|Death:||Died in Jerusalem, Israel|
|Cause of death:||cancer|
|Place of Burial:||Jerusalem, Israel|
|Occupation:||Israeli economist. He was a governor of Israel's central bank and a former World Bank Chief Economist.|
|Managed by:||Erez Mazor|
About Michael Peter Bruno
Michael Peter Bruno (Hebrew: מיכאל ברונו) (born 30 July 1932; died 25 December 1996) was an Israeli economist. He was a governor of Israel's central bank and a former World Bank Chief Economist.
Michael Peter Bruno was born 30 July 1932 in Hamburg, Germany. His German Jewish family emigrated to Palestine (today's Israel) a year later, following Hitler's Machtergreifung, and settled in the northern Jewish town of Haifa. His father Hans was a doctor, and his mother Lotte, a pianist. Bruno inherited his father's dedication to the sciences, his mother's love of music, and their joint passion for nature and travel. His parents brought their European and cosmopolitan sensibilities with them to Palestine, wishing to some degree to preserve a certain way of life, but the family's early years were faced with difficulties. Palestine was awash with doctors (mostly recent immigrants too) and for several years Hans Bruno earned a living as a car mechanic. When World War II broke, Hans Bruno found that his skills would be better put to use in North Africa, and he joined the British Army and served as a medical officer in Alexandria, Egypt.
During the later struggle for independence from the British Mandate, the family was expelled from their home and relocated to a more hostile part of town, and Michael Bruno had to be taken to school in an armoured school vehicle. Some of these difficulties soon lessened following the declaration of independence of the state of Israel.
After the completion of his military service In 1952, Bruno began studying Mathematics and Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and in 1954, on the recommendation of Don Patinkin, Professor of Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bruno came to England to read Mathematics and Economics at King's College, Cambridge, after which he travelled to California to complete a doctorate at Stanford University. He completed his thesis in 1963, titled Interdependence, resource use, and structural change in Israel.
Bruno's doctoral supervisor, Nobel laureate Kenneth J. Arrow wrote in 1997:
"(Michael's) sharp mind, ability to ask the right questions of the data and the policy context, balanced judgement, and lack of arrogance made him a natural leader. In addition to the governmental and operating positions he was entrusted with, he earned the great respect of his fellow economists, who chose him as president of their societies: The Israel Economic Association, the Econometric Society, and the International Economic Association".
Upon returning to Israel, he worked as director of research at the Bank of Israel from 1957 to 1963, when he joined the Economics department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem which remained his academic home until his death.
He is well remembered as the economist who pioneered the 1985 stabilisation plan, which succeeded in bringing Israel's annual rate of inflation down from 450% and rising to under 20% in the course of two years.
In 1986, after serving as senior policy adviser to the Finance Minister, Bruno was appointed governor of the Bank of Israel when Labour's Shimon Peres was Prime Minister in a national-unity coalition. In the same year, Bruno was concurrently appointed president of the Econometric Society.
Although he was identified with the left-leaning Labour movement, the subsequent Likud Government pressed him to stay on when his term expired in 1991. Bruno rejected this offer and instead joined the World Bank as Vice-President and Chief Economist, a post he held until a few months before his death from cancer. Michael Bruno was also Visiting Professor at MIT, Harvard University, the University of Stockholm and the London School of Economics. The Michael Bruno Memorial Award, initiated in 1999 by the Rothschild Foundation, is a highly prestigious and lucrative science prize.
Bruno died of cancer 25 December 1996, at home in Jerusalem.
Bruno is survived by his second wife Netta (née Ben-Porath), and 3 children – daughter Yael and sons Ido and Asa – from his first marriage to Ofra Hanoch (née Hirshenberg).
Awards and honours
- In 1970, Bruno was appointed the Carl Melchior chair of international economics.
- In 1974, he was awarded the Rothschild Prize for Social Science.
- In 1994, he was awarded the Israel Prize, for economics.
About מיכאל פטר ברונו (עברית)
מיכאל בּרוּנוֹ ( 30 ביולי 1932 – 26 בדצמבר 1996) היה נגיד בנק ישראל החמישי ופרופסור לכלכלה באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים. נבחר כחבר האקדמיה הלאומית הישראלית למדעים ב-1975 וכחבר האקדמיה האמריקאית לאמנויות ולמדעים ב-1982. חתן פרס רוטשילד לשנת 1974 וזוכה פרס ישראל לשנת 1994