Streit Council Board Member Receives Honorary Degree
On December 10, 2010, the Free University of Tbilisi awarded Steve H. Hanke, a Professor of Applied Economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a Doctorate of Economics, Honoris Causa for his pioneering work on currency boards and economic reforms in emerging-market countries. On the occasion of this award, Prof. Hanke’s new book, A Blueprint for a Safe, Sound Georgian Lari, which he co-authored with his long-time collaborator and former Hopkins post-doctoral fellow Dr. Kurt Schuler, was released.
In accepting his honorary degree, Prof. Hanke indicated that he was particularly pleased to receive the recognition for his work on economic reform from Dr. Kakha Bendukidze, the founder of the Free University of Tbilisi and Georgia’s former Minister of the Economy, as well as Georgia’s former State Minister. Dr. Bendukidze is a man Prof. Hanke believes is one of the greatest economic reformers in the former Soviet Union – a conclusion Prof. Hanke supports by pointing to evidence from the World Bank’s authoritative Doing Business 2011 report. Based on a series of measurable metrics, Doing Business 2011 concludes that Georgia has been, by far, the most successful economic reformer in the world during the last five years. Georgia’s reforms have pulled it from the rank of 112th in 2005 to its current rank of 12th. This makes Georgia the highest-ranking former communist country in terms of the ease of doing business. Thanks to Georgia’s implementation of many economic reforms that Prof. Hanke developed, Georgia is now in a league with the world’s elite countries (Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand hold the top three positions).