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The Future of Finance: Opening Remarks

October 12, 2014 @ 9:05 AM - 9:20 AM (ET)

As recovery takes hold and we put the crisis behind us challenges and opportunities are being posed for the financial sector and finance as a whole. We have witnessed a depletion of trust and a loss of faith in markets, a deficit that still needs to be addressed. Meanwhile banks are adapting to new market and regulatory realities and are being challenged by the expansion of nonbanks while technology raises the prospect for enhancing financial inclusion but also the potential for disruption.

There are evident implications for financial stability, economic growth, and social cohesion from these changes. As a result, economists and policymakers are increasingly coming to the view that economic concerns cannot be divorced from financial changes and ethical concerns.

The central question is: how do we make the financial sector not only safer but of better service to all members of society?

This seminar will facilitate a discussion of these issues, bringing together leading policymakers and other thinkers on the topic from a broad range of fields including the financial sector, academia and religion. The discussion will reflect upon the continued tendency of the financial sector to prize short-term personal gain over longer-term social purpose; strengthening and de-risking of bank balance sheets with implications for future bank business models; the opportunity for nonbanks and shadow banking to add to economic growth while raising the need to expand the regulatory perimeter; it will also explore implications of the idea that financial markets (and capitalism in general) are only sustainable if there is trust in the system, which in turn requires minimal standards of ethics and integrity.