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Business

Germany's best-known economist dies at 67

German economist Norbert Walter is dead. He'll go down in the history books as Germany's best-known economic analyst for decades.

Germany's most renowned economic pundit, Norbert Walter, died on Friday at the age of 67, one of his two daughters, Jeannette Zimmermann, confirmed vis-à-vis DAPD news agency.

Walter started his career as an economist back in 1971 when he joined the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

He worked as chief economist at Germany's biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, between 1990 and 2009. He made a name for himself as an analyst with a sharp foresight, predicting economic developments domestically and internationally that others failed to see.

Facing harsh criticism from the German government, Walter at a very early stage said the German economy would contract by 5.0 percent throughout 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis. History proved him right, although the cabinet in Berlin had left out no chance of lashing against his "incredible pessimism".

Walter published a number of books in which he appeared as a staunch supporter of a free market economy that needed to be freed from the fetters of too much state intervention. He frequently called for an overhaul of the complicated German taxation system and criticized the downsides of the welfare state.

Until the end of his life, Norbert Walter was a member of the Central Committee of Catholics in Germany. He left behind his wife and two grown-up daughters.

hg/sej (Reuters, dapd)