This year’s conference provided a forum to discuss the big economic topics of the day including to what extent governments should make full use of stimulus to combat economic headwinds from the Covid-19 crisis and what this could mean for both real investment and financial asset prices.
The panelists, among the most respected thinkers considering these topics today, included Nobel Laureate and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz; Chief ECB economist Philip Lane; and Jens Ulbrich, Director General Economics, Deutsche Bundesbank.
In the keynote session kicking off the conference, Societe Generale Chairman Lorenzo Bini Smaghi highlighted the difference between Europe and U.S. central bank responses to the current economic crisis, pointing out the challenges Europe has without an integrated capital market to help refinance companies, leaving Europe more reliant on bank financing than the US. He underscored that banks can only lend in proportion to the amount of capital they have.
Later, SG’s Michala Marcussen led a panel with economic luminaries including Professor Stiglitz, Banco de Espana Governor Pablo Hernández de Cos, and Banque de France Governor François Villeroy de Galhau which covered topics spanning from the successes and failures of the pandemic response to the danger on the horizon due to massive and rising public debt.