Restoring Trust in the Global Financial System

With Neal Flieger, Stephen Jordan, Seamus McMahon, Christian Menegatti, Tom Donaldson

Thursday, April 9, 2009 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM

Trust. Photo by Neal Sanche (CC).

Beyond the reach of policy tools such as fiscal spending or monetary loosening, a widespread lack of trust in the financial system threatens to keep the global economy in the doldrums. Until capital starts flowing again, capital spending will slow, consumption will fall, and job creation will be sluggish.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the global financial crisis. From the ratings agencies' lack of rigorous assessment of financial risk, to the Securities and Exchange Commission's failure to regulate, to the Bush administration's policy of promoting an "ownership society" of home owners, to investment banks' invention of increasingly complex financial products, to global demand for U.S. debt—blame is nearly limitless.

Most recently a debate has raged over how much banking executives should be compensated and whether bonuses are deserved. Are bonuses a symbol of greed or do they reward performance? This debate has occurred in front of a larger public shaming of the banking industry as a whole. Bankers are now demonized as lawyers once were.

Is it possible to restore public trust in the various institutions of finance? Is strict government regulation of hedge funds and derivative markets the answer? Could self-policing do the trick, or is a more fundamental solution, such as a realignment of the short- and long-term priorities of financial institutions, necessary to repair this dangerous breach of public confidence? If the economy is to rebound, confidence in the financial sector, the economy's circulatory system, must be restored.

Tom Donaldson will moderate. Further details and additional speakers TBD.

This luncheon event is coordinated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Business Civic Leadership Center as part of the Carnegie Council's Workshops for Ethics in Business, sponsored by Booz & Company's strategy+business magazine. Support also comes from Merck and New York University's Center for Global Affairs.

Policy Innovations
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
170 East 64th Street
New York, NY 10065-7478

(212) 838-4120
(212) 752-2432 - Fax

Map: Click Here (opens a new window)

The luncheon cost is $65 for the general public, $45 for Carnegie Council subscribers, and free for Carnegie New Leaders who have already paid their membership fee. (A limited number of complimentary seats have been reserved for academics, press, students, and nonprofit professionals.) Please send your RSVP, payment info, and inquiries to:

Read More: Business, Economy, Ethics, Finance, Governance, United States, Americas, Global

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