Peer Steinbrück (Germany)

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Former German Finance Minister

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Having worked in various state economic ministries, Peer went on to become federal finance minister in Angela Merkel’s ‘grand coalition’ government where he spoke against much of the orthodox thinking on the economic crisis.


Peer Steinbruck was a member of the German government during the coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first term of office. He was responsible for a number of difficult and unpopular decisions during the economic crisis, which were intended to alleviate its effects in the long term.

After a series of ministry appointments in the West German government, including in Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s office, Peer served as economic and finance minister in a number of the country’s federal states. After the ousting of Gerhard Schröder’s Social Democrat party (SPD), a ‘grand coalition’ was formed led by Angela Merkael as Chancellor with Peer appointed finance minister and deputy leader of the SPD.

As finance minister at the time of the banking and eurozone crises, Peer became a key figure in world economics. He criticised the Keynesian approach and argued against the large fiscal stimulus packages many countries embarked upon.

Since leaving the finance ministry Peer returned as a member of the Bundestag, served as a member of the mining, chemical and energy committee, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and as chairman of the German-American Parliamentary Friendship Group.

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