The day before Christine Lagarde took office as president of the European Central Bank (ECB), monetary policy in the euro area was in the center of discussion at a DVFA forum jointly organized with the IMFS. In his opening speech, Ludger Schuknecht, Deputy Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, made a claim for unburdening monetary policy makers and building confidence. In a situation where ageing will weigh on growth, savings and public finances, banks are major holders of government debt, and the debt ratio is still high in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Schuknecht appealed to “strengthen the triangle of stability”. In his view, this means implementing structural reforms, rebuilding fiscal buffers and reducing regulatory privileges.
Discussing the inflation trend in the euro area, Jörg Krämer of Commerzbank supported a “monetary policy of comprehensive stabilization” in order to safeguard price stability and financial stability. In his opinion, this could have a dampening effect on the financial cycle, “turning away from boom bust cycles”. In the first panel on ECB strategy, chaired by Ingo Mainert of Allianz Global Investors, Volker Wieland, IMFS, called for a more rule-oriented monetary policy. Referring to the Monetary Policy Report of the Federal Reserve, he demonstrated how central banks integrate monetary policy rules such as the Taylor rule into their strategy. Moreover, he asked the ECB “to take more and broader inflation measures into account” and not to focus solely on the HICP. Krämer, on the other hand, proposed an inflation target between 1.25 and 2.25 percent. In his view, low inflation was not detrimental. Gunter Schnabl of Leipzig University called for putting a greater emphasis on asset prices instead of inflation.
In a panel on the ECB’s independence as a supranational institution, legal experts Markus Kerber of TU Berlin and Christoph Degenhart of Leipzig University criticized the ECJ jurisprudence regarding the ECB’s asset purchases. Wieland pointed out that the Federal Constitutional Court was still dealing with the ECB’s PSPP program. “QE is a regular monetary policy instrument,” he said, arguing that now the court had to clarify whether QE was proportionate.
In further contributions, Frank Engels, Union Investment, warned against an increasing Japanization of the euro area, and Ulrich Bindseil of the ECB explained how the ECB uses equilibrium interest rates within its monetary policy.
The first research conference on banking regulation jpintly organized by the European Banking Institute (EBI) and the IMFS serves as a platform for bringing together new ideas on banking regulation from the academic side and confront them with practical problems as Thomas Gstädtner, president of the Supervisory Board, and Tobias Tröger, managing director, emphasized in their opening remarks. Among the EBI's academic members, the IMFS is the representative of Goethe University.
In his keynote lecture, Rolf Strauch, chief economist of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), underlined the need for an intensive debate at this juncture. On the fiscal side, the situation was much better than after the crisis and some national banking sectors have been deeply restructured, he argued. Non-perfoming loans (NPL) were also declining. Nevertheless, according to Strauch, "the European banking sector was lagging behind", being "consistently outperformed by its peers in the US", which were faster in reducing costs and delivered higher returns. Strauch stressed that completing the Banking Union would be important to fix this situation, creating a bigger market.
According to Strauch, the introduction of a European Deposit Scheme (EDIS) and a fiscal backstop for the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) would be the next steps. "The ESM is ready to take up its role as backstop to the SRF", Strauch said. Furthermore, the level of bail-in securities for the Single Resolution Board (SRB) was another step to reduce risk. On the political agenda, a consensus on introducing risk weights on sovereign exposures at the international level had to be reached, Strauch cautioned. In this regard, he referred to a recent proposal to introduce concentration charges on sovereign bonds.
In that sense, completing the Banking Union was one of the main topics of the conference besides the implications of Brexit and the regulation of non-bank banks. In presentations and panel discussions, academics and financial experts exchanged their ideas on further aspects.
How to maintain price and financial stability in Germany and Turkey was the leading question at the German-Turkish Forum for Constitutional Law on September 29 and 30. During the conference, which had been organized by the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS) judicial experts, central bankers and market participants discussed ways of safeguarding price stability and explored the limits of credit financing.
Professor Christian Waldhoff of Humboldt University explained the legal framework of price stability in German constitutional law and on the European level. Professor Helmut Siekmann, IMFS, analyzed how price stability is maintained in the Eurozone and what is its role within the European System of Central Banks. In this regard, he made clear why the OMT programme of the European Central Bank was not in line with the legal basis of the ECB. In comparison to that, Șebnem Özbek Uygun of the Turkish Central Bank, described the situation in Turkey, illustrating the possibilities of maintaining price stability on the basis of the Turkish legal system. Furthermore, Ismail Can gave on overview about the judicial and decision-making bodies of the Turkish Court of Accounts. On the other hand, Professor Werner Heun of the University of Göttingen pointed out the limits of credit financing fot the government according to German constitutional law and on the European level. Finally, the participants discussed the monetary and fiscal policy and their legal framework.
The German Turkish Forum on Constitutional Law aims at the academic exchange of ideas about basic issues of constitutional law in both countries. The conference series was established by Otto Depenheuer, Ilyas Dogan and Osman Can and takes place alternately in Germany and Turkey.
To the photo gallery of the conference
On 7 February 2013, the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS) and the House of Finance honored Stefan Gerlach, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and former Managing Director of the IMFS, for his contributions to the IMFS. The celebration was held in the form of a symposium – „Central Banking: Where are we headed?" –, which took place in Goethe University’s casino building and which was followed by an interested audience from the financial and central banking sector as well as the media.
In the first part, Sabine Lautenschläger, Deputy President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, and Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), discussed current topics of the European Central Banking System. The main focus was on the proposed single banking regulatory authority for the Eurozone which should be established at the ECB.
Sabine Lautenschläger and Benoît Cœuré said that it is essential to strictly separate off monetary policy from banking supervision when implementing such an authority within the ECB. Thereby, they addressed the concerns of many critics who fear a conflict of interest between these two areas. Sabine Lautenschläger said that according to the current proposal the ECB’s Governing Council will have the final say on decisions in the banking supervision and not the authority’s board. In her view, this would complicate the strict separation between monetary policy and banking supervision. On the other hand, if the authority’s decisions were binding for the Governing Council, the ECB’s independence would be jeopardized.
Patrick Honohan fundamentally questioned if the ECB should be responsible for the banking supervision in the long run. Moreover, Benoît Cœuré said that the decision to establish a European supervision within the ECB was primarily due to the urgent need for a solution in the middle of the European debt crisis.
Despite these reservations, the central bankers described the single banking supervision as an important step to adapt the institutional framework of the Eurozone in response to the crisis and to prevent that future national banking crises spread across borders. Sabine Lautenschläger pointed out that an advantage of the European banking supervision is that it operates on the basis of more comprehensive information compared to a national supervision. Therefore, it will be possible to detect risks that affect the banking system or emanate from it more easily and at an earlier stage. Benoît Cœuré said that more information will also help to better design monetary policy.
Patrick Honohan stressed the importance of breaking the links between sovereigns and banks by implementing a supranational banking supervision. According to Sabine Lautenschläger, national supervisors often run the risk of being overprotective towards domestic banks for national concerns. Finally, Cœuré called for quickly implementing the European banking supervision in order to be able to continue with the development of the other elements of a European banking union, such as the bank resolution mechanism.
After a discussion with the audience, Athanasios Orphanides from the MIT Sloan School of Management and Michael Burda from the School of Business and Economics of the Berlin Humboldt University spoke about monetary policy, fiscal policy and the politics of the European Monetary Union.
Orphanides compared the ways European governments acted in former crises with the current crisis. In the past, politicians usually worked towards a solution that also advanced the European project. Today, they do not immediately address problems even if these were recognized. According to Orphanides, the reason is a crisis of European political leadership. Governments prefer to postpone decisions that involve political costs - especially shortly before elections. With always having an election in one country of the Eurozone, there is risk of a permanent blockade. Only the threat of an imminent collapse could encourage politicians to incur the political costs. He regrets in this regard that during the current crisis interventions of the ECB diffused the pressure on political leaders to solve upcoming problems.
In the end, Michael Burda presented three scenarios of how Europe could look like in ten years. He gave an optimistic, a pessimistic and a realistic outlook. He considered as realistic that the Euro remains the common currency in all Euro countries, but transfer payments will continue to be made within the EU. Furthermore, Burda assumed that Greece receives a debt reduction but doesn’t continue with its reform efforts. Finally, he warns the European governments that they should go back to the no bailout principle and be no longer liable for the debt of other member countries.
As last speaker, the honored Stefan Gerlach took the opportunity to stress the importance of the interdisciplinary research conducted by the IMFS. The symposium was closed by the Managing Director of the IMFS, Volker Wieland.
The 4th Workshop on Money, Macro and Finance in East Asia was organized jointly by the IMFS, the Deutsche Bundesbank, and the University of Hamburg and took place in the Bundesbank’s training center in Eltville. The workshop traditionally brings together researchers from universities and central banks who deal with current macroeconomic and financial developments in East Asia. The topics discussed in 2012 included: China’s role in the development of global inflation; global imbalances from a regional perspective using Chinese regions as an example; liberalization of capital accounts in China and its effects on Renminbi exchange rates; demographic factors for determining real interest rates in Japan; modeling macroprudential policy for Hong Kong and Korea and the monetary policy regime in Singapur.
The tremendous relevance of East Asia’s economies for the international economic development increasingly shifts the focus of economic research on macroeconomic and monetary issues toward the region. The economic policy experience from this region, such as the application of macroprudential measures, is particularly relevant for European economies.
The workshop’s highlight was the keynote by Andrew Filardo (Bank for International Settlements), who discussed the challenges for the international monetary system in the context of international spillover effects and focused on the implications for Asian economies. Andrew Filardo also discussed the geopolitical reactions to “tail risks”, the effects of volatile international capital flows, and the perspectives of economic policy coordination in East Asia.
In November 2012, the IMFS and the House of Finance jointly organized a lunchtime conference on “Fiscal and Monetary Policy Challenges in the United States and the Euro Area”. Richard W. Fisher, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, started off the conference with a speech on the current monetary and fiscal challenges in the United States, which was both entertaining and interesting.
Fisher called on the U.S. government to provide the necessary conditions for job creation. He argued that monetary policy had already done its homework. “We filled up the tank, now we’re just waiting for the signal to go.” He explained that now it was fiscal policy’s turn. Fisher particularly emphasized the need to avoid the “fiscal cliff” – the simultaneous increase in tax rates and decrease of government spending through sequestration – at the end of the year. He claimed that if businesses do not trust long-term fiscal policy, they would not create jobs. He argued that monetary policymakers must realize that they are reaching their limits in terms of the job market.
Following the speech by Fisher, Volker Wieland presented current research based on a model developed by the European Central Bank. According to this model, states facing consolidation pressure should give preference to spending cuts over increasing taxes, especially income taxes, as tax increases have negative short and long-term effects on the economy.
The conference was concluded with a Q&A session with the audience and journalists.
The conference on “State Aid in the Banking Market – Legal and Economic Perspectives” was jointly organized by the IMFS (Prof. Helmut Siekmann) and the Policy Platform at the House of Finance (Dr. Margit Vanberg). The organizers were able to attract a prominent visitor to the IMFS,Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for Competition, who gave the keynote address on this topic. Prof. Rainer Klump, Vice President of Goethe University and Florian Rentsch, Minister of Economics, Transportation and Development of the State of Hessen, gave the welcoming speech.
In his speech, Commissioner Almunia emphasized that not every financial institute facing difficulties could be kept in operation using government aid. Public funds should only be used if there is a chance that the bank will subsequently again be able to conduct business independently. According to Commissioner Almunia, European governments have observed this maxime. Since the beginning of the crisis 45, banks in the EU have been restructured or liquidated or are currently in the process of doing so.
Prof. Daniel Zimmer (University of Bonn and Monopoly Commission) started off the academic session of the conference by criticizing the actions of the European governments. While in the U.S. more than hundred of institutes had to declare bankruptcy since the beginning of the subprime crisis, in Europe governments on the dubious pretext of systemic relevance bailed out even several medium-sized banks, such as the German IKB or the Danish Fiona Bank. Referring to the concept of competition, he also questioned the terms of the regulatory agencies requiring individual banks to reduce their balance sheets.
Athanasios Orphanides (formerly with the Central Bank of Cyprus) focused on this issue from an economic perspective. He criticized that the European banking market was distorted because of the different solidity of the respective states. Compared to banks in Northern Europe, institutes in Southern Europe are at a disadvantage due to reservations among investors. Inefficient institutes in the North are thus able to refinance more easily than solid banks in the South. Orphanides therefore called for a standardized European internal market with a common deposit protection scheme.
Both speakers as well as Prof. Joel Monéger (University of Paris-Dauphine/Institute Droit Dauphine) and Prof. Martin Hellwig (Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods) answered questions from the moderator Thomas Huertas (Ernst & Young, London) and the audience.
Since 1999 the “ECB and Its Watchers“ conference brings together representatives of the European Central Bank and its watchers once a year. In 2012, the IMFS, together with the Center for Financial Studies, was the co-sponsor of the event for the first time. Since 2004, Volker Wieland has been in charge of organizing the conference.
On June 15, 2012, ECB President Mario Draghi and Peter Praet, Member of the ECB Board, spoke to watchers from business, the media, and the financial world. Given the current events, this year’s anaylsis, criticism, and advice of the “ECB Watchers“ to politicians, financial market players, and citizens of the European Union seemed more significant than ever.
In his speech, President Draghi defended the ECB’s policy measures. He explained that besides its clear focus on price stability, the ECB had done its best to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis. Providing massive liquidity by means of three-year refinancing operationswas necessary due to the instability of the financial markets. He added that the ECB would continue to provide liquidity for solvent banks if needed. Two days ahead of the much-anticipated parliamentary elections in Greece, Draghi emphasized the significance of a joint European approach in order to create growth and jobs, to improve competitiveness internationally, and to protect the social values of Europe.
Among the “ECB Watchers“ who afterwards discussed the questions raised by Draghi were members of governments and national central banks, such as the Portuguese Finance Minister Vítor Gaspar, the Vice-Governor of the Irish Central Bank, Prof. Stefan Gerlach, as well as Lucio Pench from the European Commission, influential scientists such as Prof. Lucrezia Reichlin (London Business School), Sir John Vickers (Oxford University), Prof. José Campa (University of Navarra) and Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn (ifo-Institut) as well as chief economists from financial institutes, such as Willem Buiter (Citigroup).
The issues discussed ranged from banking regulation and monetary policy to the current state of economic alignment in the Eurozone. More specifically, the discussion focused on appropriate regulatory frameworks for the banking sector in order to address systemic risks, and the need for a banking union. In terms of monetary policy the discussion dealt with the question of whether the level of liquidity provided by the ECB was insufficient, adequate, or too high. Similarly, the question whether the ECB is dealing effectively with the challenges of the Eurozone’s heterogenous economic situation was also raised. Several speakers also focused on the divergences within the Eurozone and analyzed the need for economic alignment. In addition, the developments of the alignment process were assessed and different visions about a future institutionalization of the Eurozone and the composition of the monetary union were presented.
The conference set a record with about 300 registered participants, among them about 70 journalists. As in previous years, the conference was broadcasted – partly live – by CNBC, Bloomberg, and Reuters TV. President Draghi’s speech and other conference content were covered in the main newscasts of the German public television stations, ARD and ZDF.
In early 2012, the IMFS (Prof. Roman Inderst), together with the Doctorate/Ph.D.-Program Law and Economics of Money and Finance (Prof. Brigitte Haar), organized a conference on “Retail Financial Services after the Crisis: Legal and Economic Perspectives on Investor and Consumer Protection”.
The event started off with a podium discussion featuring regulation experts and was followed closely by the audience on both days of the conference. Representatives of the European Commission (Jacqueline Minor, Director of Consumer Affairs), German Financial Supervisory Authority (Michael Sell, Executive Director), British Financial Services Authority (Peter Edmonds, Risk Division), Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (Christian Grugel, Head of Department), as well as the banking industry (Martin Krebs, Executive Board, ING-DiBa) took part in the discussion. The discussion focused on several political proposals in Germany, Great Britain, and Europe to improve the knowledge about financial products among private investors.
Following the discussion, leading experts on capital market law and finance presented their research on the foundations of investor and consumer protection as well as their implementation into regulatory practice. In line with the interdisciplinary concept of the conference, each of the four sections on this topic included both an economist and a legal expert.
The first section dealt with “Behavioral Law and Economics of Financial Regulation”. Prof. Michael Barr (Michigan Law School, former Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, U.S. Treasury) analyzed to what extent insights from behavioral economics influenced the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and the Consumer Protection Act. Prof. Paul Heidhues (European School of Management and Technology) presented a theoretical model on the exploitation of naiveté in a competitive credit market.
The second section focused on the “Investor Model and Consumer Trust”. Prof. Niamh Moloney (London School of Economics) discussed the question of whether private investors should be seen as consumers of financial products rather than investors in the capital market. Prof. Luigi Guiso (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance) emphasized the importance of trust in order for financial markets to work and illustrated this in his own empirical analyses.
Starting off the second day of the conference, the third section dealt with the “Scope of Investor and Consumer Protection”. Prof. Susanne Kalss (Vienna University of Economics and Business) discussed how Austrian courts deal with the flood of lawsuits of private investors caused by the financial crisis. With the help of a theoretical model, Prof. Marco Ottaviani (Bocconi University) explained the behavior of financial consultants toward naïve and cautious consumers and discussed potential policy options.
In the final section, Prof. Eilis Ferran (University of Cambridge) began her presentation on “Consumer Protection: Experience and Potential” with a lecture on lessons learned from the British scandal surrounding payment protection insurance. Prof. Mark Armstrong (University of Oxford) concluded the conference with a presentation of his research on contingent payment for financial services in a model with naïve and intelligent consumers.
The second volume of the European Business Organization Law Review 2012 was dedicated to the IMFS/LEMF conference und published the conference presentations.
This panel, taking place at the Haus am Dom in Frankfurt, was jointly organized with the think tank Open Europe, and attracted a large number of journalists.
In the first session the legality of the ECB’s decisions to buy government bonds on the secondary market in light of its primary mandate of price stability and independence from fiscal policy was explored. The second session focused on benefits and costs of the ECB’s actions during the eurozone crisis, including its liquidity provision for banks, its bond buying programme and its decisions on interest rates. Besides, the question was asked, whether, moving forward, the ECB should start acting more as the lender of last resort for the eurozone.
The speakers and panelists were Antonio Sáinz de Vicuña (European Central Bank), Markus C. Kerber (Technical University of Berlin, Professor in EU competition law, leader of the study centre Europolis), Ignazio Angeloni (European Central Bank), Helmut Siekmann (IMFS), Raoul Ruparel (Open Europe). The debate was chaired by Stephan Balling (Börsenzeitung).
The European Money and Finance Forum (SUERF), the Deutsche Bundesbank and the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS) took the opportunity of the first anniversary of the creation of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), to organise a joint conference in Berlin on 8-9 November 2011. The purpose of this event was to take stock of first experiences with the ESRB; to discuss current issues in the field of macroprudential supervision, including the integration of macro-financial elements into macroeconomic models, the measurement and indicators of systemic risk, macroprudential tools and their effectiveness; and to identify forthcoming challenges for the ESRB and macroprudential supervision at large.
The program of the conference comprised panels, keynote sessions and four working sessions.
- Keynote Session I (Systemic Aspects of Risk Measurement and Risk Management: lessons from the Financial Crisis),
Policy Panel (Measurement of Systemic Risk / Experiences with the ESRB – the view from within and in relation to other policy areas/institutions / Financial Markets)
- Keynote Session II (Managing macroprudential and monetary policy – a challenge for central banks),
Session 1 (Theoretical and empirical macro-financial models linking financial stability and the performance of the economy),
Session 2 (Empirical models on the causes, transmission channels and the real impact of financial crises),
Session 3 (Measuring Systemic Risk) and
Session 4 (Macroprudential instruments to contain systemic risk).
Among the speakers were Claudia Buch, University of Tübingen, Stephen G. Cecchetti, Bank for International Settlements, Martin Hellwig, Max-Planck-Institute and ESRB, Philipp M. Hildebrand, President, Schweizerische Nationalbank, Stefan Ingves, Governor, Sveriges Riksbank, Jürgen Stark, European Central Bank and Jens Weidmann, President, Deutsche Bundesbank. The conference was funded by the Stiftung Geld und Währung. A conference compendium was published in 2012.
The conference “Finanzsektor im Wettbewerb - Finanzkrise und Marktwirtschaft / Banken und Wettbewerb“, was jointly organized by Prof. Roman Inderst, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS) and Prof. Brigitte Haar, The Doctorate / PhD Program Law and Economics of Money and Finance (LEMF).
Speakers: Prof. Wernhard Möschel (Univ. Tübingen; vormals Vorsitzender der Monopolkommission), Prof. Hannes Rehm (Sprecher des Leitungsausschusses des Sonderfonds für Finanzmarktstabilisierung, SoFFin), Dr. Horst Satzky (Partner, Hengeler, Mueller; Vorstand des Forschungsinstituts für Wirtschaftsverfassung und Wettbewerb), Prof. Daniel Zimmer (Univ. Bonn, Mitglied der Monopolkommission)
The Asian economies have gained increasing importance for the worldwide development and their weight will increase further. They proved largely resilient to the current financial crisis, yet the roots of the crisis were not unrelated to economic developments and policies in the region. This raises the question of what lessons we can draw from macroeconomic, financial and banking developments in Asia. This second informal workshop on Money, Finance and Banking in Asia, organized jointly by Michael Funke (University of Hamburg), Stefan Gerlach (IMFS), Heinz Herrmann (Deutsche Bundesbank), dealt with these issues in the Conference Centre of the Deutsche Bundesbank Eltville am Rhein.
Due to a thematic overlap, the Xth Walter-Hallstein-Kolloquium was jointly organized by the „Wilhelm-Merton-Zentrum für europäische Integration und Ordnung der Weltwirtschaft“and the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability. It was geared towards an audience from all faculties. The central question was what kind of structures are needed to avoid and mitigate future crises. Dr. Daniela Schwarzer (Foundation “Wissenschaft und Politik”, Berlin) thus analyzed the management of the current crisis and asked what lessons could be learned. ). Prof. Dr. Martin Nettesheim (Eberhard Karls-University of Tübingen) discussed the rescue measures in light of European and constitutional law. Prof. Dr. Christoph Herrmann (University of Passau), Prof. Dr. Christoph Paulus (Humboldt-University Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Helmut Siekmann (IMFS) analyzed the consequences of the crisis and debated future prospects. Finally, Dr. Christian Thimann (ECB) discussed the challenges of creating the proposed new organizational structure.
In cooperation with The Doctorate / PhD Program Law and Economics of Money and Finance (LEMF) the IMFS organized this conference in June 2010. An overview from the legal perspective was given by Jörn Axel Kämmerer, Professor of Public Law, Public International and European Law at the Bucerius Law School. He focused in the first part of his presentation on the European approach to sovereign defaults, in the second part on perspectives for a “European State Insolvency Regime”, by discussing alternative ways of sovereign debt restructuring.
Michael Burda, Professor of Economics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, adopted the economic perspective and discussed “The simple mechanics of solvency, stability and sovereign debt”. He reminded, that fiscal discipline in a monetary union is essential – the US and Europe have different interests. He pointed out, that world recession was a massive distraction to fiscal discipline and concluded, that it is time to renew focus on stability.
The panel was chaired by Prof. Dr. Brigitte Haar (LEMF, Goethe University). Panelists aside of Prof. Burda and Prof. Kämmerer were Prof. Dr. Stefan Gerlach (IMFS, Goethe-University), Prof. Dr. Helmut Siekmann (IMFS, Goethe-University).
The American Chamber of Commerce, the FAZ-Institute, the House of Finance and the IMFS jointly organized the panel discussion on „Ursachen, Auswirkungen und Lehren der Finanzkrise: Eine systematische Bestandsaufnahme” (Causes, Consequences and Lessons-learned from the Financial Crisis: An appraisal”). The panel discussion explored the reasons and consequences of the financial crisis and presented a general overview of the state of research and opinions. The roundtable aimed at finding a suitable balance between the different positions and contributing to the current discussion.
The panel was chaired by Gerald Braunberger (FAZ), the panelists were Carl-Christoph Hedrich (Commerzbank AG), Vincent Kerkhof (Adam Opel GmbH), Philipp Lingnau (Morgan Stanley Bank AG) Eugen Paravicini (Hessisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Landentwicklung) Helmut Siekmann (IMFS).
This half-day conference was conducted in French and German in the House of Finance. It dealt with „Gesetzgeberische Maßnahmen zur Verhinderung der Übernahme börsennotierter Unternehmen im Wege des ‚Anschleichens’“/„Mesures législatives pour empêcher l´absorption des entreprises quotées en bourse par des voies détournées“ („Legislative measures to prevent the takeover of listed companies by way of `creeping´ takeovers”). The speakers were Prof. Charles Goyet (Université de Strasbourg), Prof. Daniel Ohl (Avocat au barreau de Paris, Professeur associé Université d'Orléans), Dr. Roger Müller (Managing Director and General Counsel Deutsche Börse AG), Prof. Theodor Baums, Prof. Roman Inderst, Prof. Helmut Siekmann (IMFS).
The IMFS organized jointly with the Norges Bank a conference in Oslo on „Inflation targeting twenty years on”, as 20 years earlier New Zealand was the first country to adopt inflation targeting (IT) in its formal definition, which first announced a consumer price index (CPI) inflation target in 1989 as part of its economic reform and restructuring effort. The anniversary seemed a good time for some deeper and longer reflection. The conference sought to answers to a wide range of questions, from the nature and causes of the spread of IT through the degree of its success as a monetary policy strategy to the ways in which it is developing and may develop in the future. Among the speakers and discussants were Governor Athanasios Orphanides (Central Bank of Cyprus), Charles A.E. Goodhart (LSE), Stephen G. Cecchetti (BIS), Hans Genberg (Hong Kong Monetary Auhtorities), Lars Heikensten (European Court of Auditors) and Governor Svein Gjedrem (Norges Bank).
The two-day conference was realised under the patronageof the Federal Minister of Finance and the President of the Deutsche Bundesbank.
Session I: OVERALL LESSONS FROM THE FINANCIAL MARKET CRISIS
Session I examined the causes of financial market crises and offer proposals for how to prevent them. The overall lessons to be learned from the current crisis, which focus on changes in regulatory and institutional arrangements were discussed, from the perspectives of authorities with responsibility for financial stability, financial economists and legal scholars.
Session II: TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE
Session II focused on the importance of transparency and disclosure in ensuring financial stability. The complexity of innovative financial products as well as the lack of transparency and disclosure of relevant risks contributed importantly to the financial market crisis. The appropriate design of the regulatory frameworks were analysed and suggestions for improvements were discussed.
Session III: REGULATION, SUPERVISION AND COMPETITION
Session III dealt with regulation, supervision and competition aspects of the crisis. The implications for competition of the increasingly prominent role of the state in the banking sector was discussed.
Session IV: MONETARY POLICY IN TIMES OF CRISIS
The session on monetary policy explored two matters: First, what role, if any, monetary policy played in the run up to the crisis. Second, how will monetary policy framework change as a consequence of the crisis? In particular, does the crisis suggest that central banks should "lean against the wind" when asset prices and credit growth rise rapidly but inflation remains low and stable?
The speakers and discussants were: I) Hermann Remsperger (Chairman, Stiftung Geld und Währung), Otmar Issing (Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the House of Finance and President of the Center for Financial Studies), Kenneth E. Scott (Stanford Law School), Sushil Wadhwani (Wadhwani Asset Management), Martin Andersson (Finansinspektionen, Stockholm) II) Theodor Baums (Institute for Law and Finance), Charles K. Whitehead (Cornell University Law Schoo), Ian Harvey-Samuel (Shearman & Sterling, London), Lars Heikensten (European Court of Auditors), Neelie Kroes (European Commission), Peter Praet (National Bank of Belgium), Charles Goodhart (London School of Economics), Hyun Shin (Princeton University), Alberto Giovannini (Unifortune SGR SpA).