Controversial Economist

Politics by the Numbers

Hans-Werner Sinn Picture compilation
For decades, Hans-Werner Sinn has shaped German economic policy as the country's most respected analyst. But a series of seemingly wrong calls have some questioning his accuracy.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the IFO Institute in Munich, is one of Germany’s most respected economists.

  • Facts


    • Mr. Sinn has been criticized of late for labeling immigrants as an economic drain on the country.
    • A prolific writer, he carved his reputation on a sober assessment of the challenges facing post-reunification Germany.
    • Mr. Sinn and the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, have clashed repeatedly on the euro.
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It was a festive evening last May when the Quandt Foundation, a trust run by the major shareholders of German automaker BMW, held a dinner at the Munich Residenz, once the home of Bavaria’s last king, Ludwig II. Where dukes, electors and fiscally irresponsible royals once held court, Stefan Quandt, a BMW shareholder, honored the region’s future leaders.

A string quartet played Mozart. Hushed attendants served filet medallions with seasonal vegetables in the “Kaisersaal.”

More than a hundred guests soaked in the baroque ambience – among them world leaders from the fields of science, economics and diplomacy. The glittering gala was a part of Munich’s ”Economic Summit,” which was organized by the Institute for Economic Research in Munich, the country’s leading economic research group known by its German acronym, IFO, and the BMW Foundation.

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