Khodadad Farmanfarmain


Former governor of the Central Bank of Iran During the economic boom Khodadad Farmanfarmaian became the governor of the central bank of Iran, in 1968, at the early age of 40. He played a key role in steering Iran's 'economic miracle' when it was developing world's fastest-growing economy. As governor, he helped to oversee monetary policymaking, driving Iran's development into, first light industry such as textile and then heavy industries, including steel and aluminium. This 'catch-up industrialisation' resulted in Iran doubling its income per capita in a decade. The 'miracle' ended in 1973 when the oil price quadrupled and Iran's leader the Shah injected the resulting windfall oil revenue into the economy. Inflation soared, wages gaps grew and corruption became rife. Farmanfarmain resigned from the central bank to become chairman of Industrial Bank of Iran, the nation's largest privately owned bank. Farmanfarmain also established the Iranzamin, Tehran International School and the Harvard Business School in Tehran. He later said that inflowing petrodollar had 'made the Shah drunk' and that the country's former leader had 'no real understanding of economic development.' After Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution Farmanfarmain left his country and settled with his family in London and worked in private banking and financial services companies. Khodadad Farmanfarmain was born into a family of the Qajar dynasty - which by then had been abolished by an act of parliament and Reza Shah Pahlavi had been crowned Shahenshah (King of kings). He studied at the American University of Beirut, attended tutorial college in Oxford, enrolled at a college in Colorado and took undergraduate and master degrees in economics at Stanford University, returning to Colorado for a PhD.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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