Latvijas Banka`s conference "Sustainability and Money: Shaping the Economy of the Future"
Latvijas Banka hosted an international economic conference with the participation of European financial sector leaders on its centenary
Latvijas Banka hosted a conference "Sustainability and Money: Shaping the Economy of the Future" in the year marking its centenary. The conference was held with the distinguished participation of European financial sector leaders like President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde, Executive Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis, Member of the ECB's Governing Council and Governor of Banque de France François Villeroy de Galhau, Member of the ECB's Executive Board Frank Elderson, Member of the ECB's Governing Council and Governor of Latvijas Banka Mārtiņš Kazāks, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank Stefan Ingves and many others. The opening address to the conference will be delivered by President of the Republic of Latvia Egils Levits..
Mr. Mārtiņš Kazāks speech
Your Excellency! President Lagarde, Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis, dear Governors, speakers, ladies and gentlemen!
It is great pleasure to see so many of you here in person and, of course, it is also a great pleasure to know that so many colleagues of ours are joining the event today online. Our annual conference today is a very special conference as we are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Latvijas Banka. And allow me therefore to begin with a brief look back to the past one hundred years.
Freedom and independence never come for free! Also, to Latvia it didn’t come as a gift. After having declared independence on 18 November 1918, Latvians continued to fight for their newly established country for two more years. To support the men fighting in the war of independence, women led by the Latvian writer Ivande Kaija established the Women’s Gold Fund in 1919. After the victory in 1920 this fund formed part of the State Gold Fund, which went on to become part of the reserves of Latvijas Banka, which, as we know, came into being on 1 November 1922.
I would like to pay tribute to the brave men who fought for the independence of our country. Their sacrifice will always be remembered and serves as encouragement for the people of Ukraine who today, more than a century later, are fighting another war of independence. And I am sure that Ukraine will win, just like we did in 1920!
I would also like to show our reverence for the generous donations of the people of that time. Most of them were much less well-off than any of us here today, which makes their contribution even more admirable. These reserves helped support a trusted national currency, the lats, which served our newly independent state well until its independence was brutally crushed by the Soviet occupation in 1940. During the half-century-long occupation, money played an important role in preserving our national identity and keeping the vision of an independent Latvia alive. In particular, the five-lats silver coins of 1920-1930s became a cherished souvenir passed on from generation to generation. And many families still had those coins in their possession in 1990 when we regained our independence and some still do to this very day. And many families still have them now, and this is a true symbol of continued independence of the Latvian state.
At the beginning of the 1990s Latvia had a brief period of the Latvian ruble as an interim currency which took the brunt of hyperinflation. In 1992, inflation hit sky high – 950%. It is still a vivid memory in the minds of many people here and has made us particularly vigilant about inflation and its very high costs to the economy and society. The Latvian lats returned as our national currency, as a stable and trusted national currency in early 1993. The stability of lats this time around was guaranteed by a peg to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights currency basket and later, a peg to the euro. Moreover, the past had taught us that preserving independence in the long run and achieving prosperity would only be possible by integrating into the European and Transatlantic communities. Latvia’s membership in NATO and the EU from 2004 was crucial to secure our independence.
Joining the euro area in 2014 was also a decisive next step both from an economic and political perspective. To paraphrase the then-president of the ECB Mario Draghi, for a small country to maintain sovereignty in today’s era of great power rivalry, certain aspects of its sovereignty have to be shared with other like-minded countries. It was a remarkable historic coincidence that when Russia’s aggression against Ukraine started in 2014, Latvia had just become a member of the euro area for two months at that time. It was still very early days. This allowed us to knit ourselves even more tightly into the fabric of European nations and common European values. The euro is our currency. And we take a European view – strong Europe means strong member states, also Latvia. And strong Latvia makes Europe stronger.
Already before our accession to the euro area, financial conditions in Latvia were greatly influenced by its monetary policy. However, we were not part of the euro area and our access to financial markets was limited or non-existent when needed most. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we were much better equipped. In sharp contrast to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008–2009, Latvia could borrow at very favourable rates and provide support to both households and businesses during the pandemic. Once again, this tale of two crises shows us that being more closely integrated into the European fabric has made Latvia stronger, and, as I said, stronger Latvia, in turn, makes Europe stronger.
Today, the global economy and euro area face the challenge of high inflation which is a true test to the inflation targeting framework. From a long period of too-low inflation, euro area inflation has climbed fast to over 10% in October. Core inflation stood at 5%. Key driver is supply side, especially energy and food prices driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine, but demand side factors have been becoming more prominent. Pandemic fiscal support is still filtering through. Labour markets are strong and wage pressures show no easing, in fact, in certain cases quite the opposite. While inflation expectations have been largely anchored at 2%, the risk of them de-anchoring remains non-trivial. The overall uncertainty is high, and the recession risk is looming. In my view, recession in the euro area is already a baseline scenario, but so far it is likely to be relatively shallow and brief. And hence it will be insufficient to break the backbone of inflation persistence.
What does it mean for monetary policy? Monetary policy, in my view, must remain on a solid path of tightening. Three consecutive policy rate increases so far have been a strong response. Their effect is only gradually feeding through into the economy, but it is clear that interest rates will need to rise much higher to bring inflation down to the target of 2% over medium term. And, in my view, there is no need to pause at the turn of the year. The rate increases must continue into the next year—until inflation, especially core inflation, shows a visible slowdown. Of course, 75 basis point-hike is not a permanent benchmark. It is not the step forever. Uncertainty is high, and decisions must remain to be taken meeting by meeting. At some point rate hikes will need to become smaller, but they will have to be complemented with other policy tools so that all monetary policy instruments are fully aligned and streamlined to reach the inflation target. The first such step was taken last week with respect to the TLTRO III programme. The same will need to be done with APP soon, of course, cautious at first. To avoid unwarranted and disorderly market dynamics, we have the transmission protection instrument. But it is not the only instrument at our disposal. We also have PEPP reinvestment and OMT as part of the tool set.
While central banks have, on occasion, been left as “the only game in town”, we like to see ourselves as team players. A good policy response requires a healthy policy mix with monetary, fiscal, structural, and macroprudential policies each contributing their fair share. I would like to evoke an analogy with music here. While, of course, it is surely possible to listen just to the drums for a while, a complete rock band with a guitar, a base and a lead singer, of course, can provide a much richer sound. And we need a complete band rather than only monetary policy to solve the current challenges.
Of course, the responsibilities of Latvijas Banka extend far beyond monetary policy. For instance, we form the backbone of the Latvian payment system. We have been active drivers of innovation – Latvia was the first euro area country to introduce instant payments back in 2017. Following a decision by the parliament of Latvia in the fall of 2021 we will have reintegrated financial regulation and supervision back into Latvijas Banka as of the beginning of the next year which will allow us to streamline decision-making and enable operating synergies.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The title of today’s conference is “Sustainability and money: shaping the economy of the future”. The choice of the themes today, of course, is not accidental. We know full well that the accumulation of unsustainable financial debt usually leads to a recession, followed by a painful period of deleveraging. Having learned the lessons, we in Latvia now are proudly emphasizing our relatively low levels of financial indebtedness in both the private and public sectors. However, globally (and Latvia is not an exception here) we all have been borrowing from the planet too much for too long and continue to accumulate “debt” towards it. Whether the imbalances that have been accumulated so far can be unwound without a massive storm remains an open question. But what is clear is that a complicated and long period of climate deleveraging is upon us. Navigating the climate and energy transition is our generation’s number one challenge. Yes, you heard me right, the number one challenge of our generation – not the task of the next generation! Delaying this would be devastating and increasingly costly. We will discuss how we can face this challenge together and what role monetary policy and financial sector regulation can and should play in that.
The other topic for today is money. While the economic history of the world holds episodes of financial innovation gone wrong, developed capital markets and an efficient and secure payment system remain fundamental enablers of economic growth and prosperity. At the centre of those is money that efficiently and safely fulfills its three key functions – a unit of account, a means of exchange, and a store of value. Technological changes today pose new challenges to the hybrid money system in which both central bank money and private sector money play an important role. We will discuss how money itself could and should change to reflect technological progress and foster economic development, and what is the role of society’s ability and willingness to use new technologies and what central banks should do to facilitate and support those changes.
Finally, let me invite you to a brief thought experiment. Let us imagine that the year is 2122 – a hundred years into the future – and that Latvijas Banka is celebrating its 200-year anniversary. Which of the trends or events that we view as important today will still be important enough to be reflected on then? I think it is safe to say that neither the current spike in inflation nor the recent Covid-19 pandemic will make it into the governor’s remarks a hundred years from now. I am confident that in a couple of years we will have resolved the current inflation episode just as we have largely overcome the pandemic and its economic effects today. However, this does not mean that decisions taken to tackle these issues are not important today. The opposite is true. The faster we resolve such temporary challenges, the more time and effort we will be able to devote to addressing strategic long-term trends.
In the introductory panel we will discuss what we need to do now to both tackle today’s issues and proactively deal with key long-term trends. I do think that the climate transition, and technological changes in combination with the dawn of a new era of great power rivalry, as well as the fundamental change in Europe’s security landscape following Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine will continue to shape Europe and Latvia for decades to come. Latvia’s membership in NATO, the European Union, and the euro area gives me hope that a repeat of 1940 is impossible. However, we know that hope is not a strategy. In order for Latvijas Banka to celebrate its 200-year anniversary in an independent and prosperous Latvia, we must resolve the challenges that we are facing today boldly and decisively. We owe it to ourselves, our children and the generations to come!
Therefore, today I look forward to gaining valuable insights from all our distinguished speakers! May we have thought-provoking panel discussions and fruitful exchanges!
Ladies and gentlemen, to the next 100 years!
Address by the President of Latvia Egils Levits
Dear honourable guests and conference delegates!
I am delighted to open today’s conference and welcome you to discuss the future of our economies and the euro area. It is a great honour for me to speak to such a distinguished audience here today. 2022 is a special year for Latvia. This year we celebrate one hundred years of the three pillars of Latvia’s sovereignty. The Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, Satversme, was adopted on 15 February 1922, whilst the first President of Latvia, Jānis Čakste, was elected in November of the same year. Also, in the autumn of 1922, the Bank of Latvia came into being by a decision of the Government and ever since it has been the guardian of Latvia’s monetary stability. Since the restoration of independence in 1991, Latvia has lived through its fair share of challenges. We truly know what it means to transform our economy. Having been at the centre of our financial system for so long, the Bank of Latvia has been a stabilising and guiding force. It is therefore natural that today our central bank is one of the key institutions to drive change and contribute to tackling the future challenges of our society. Climate change and the transition away from the fossil-based economy are the biggest of them all.
We are glad to welcome you to Riga once again. During your visit in 2012 as the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, you encouraged Latvia to join the eurozone. You quoted the great Latvian poet and playwright Jānis Rainis: “Those who change will endure.” I am happy to say today that your encouragement seems to have worked, as Latvia is a member of the euro area already for eight years. Together with our European partners, we are now focusing on common goals and shaping the policies in the increasingly complex modern economies. We recognize the need to invest our trust in the EU’s institutions and structures, to have the ability to respond to the fundamental needs of our citizens.
We live in a time with growing geopolitical security threats, including a full-scale invasion of a sovereign country in Europe and increasingly autocratic regimes challenging the rules-based international order. Which is base of peace in the world. As a result of Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine, we are now in the middle of an energy crisis and rising inflation rates across Europe. As we prepare for the winter, there is no easy solution to the current energy crisis. Only that we must isolate Russia economically and rid ourselves of prolonged dependence on its natural energy resources. Since the beginning of the war, Latvia provides the most aid to Ukraine by % share of our GDP. Ukraine is fighting also on behalf of all of Europe and our values. Next week I am going to attend COP27 in Egypt. We will discuss that the shift toward cleaner sources of energy still is not happening fast enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. Every crisis is an opportunity. The International Energy Agency has said in its World Energy Outlook report that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will accelerate a peak in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels. Let us use this crisis wisely. I am glad the Bank of Latvia advocates a more comprehensive inclusion of sustainability objectives in monetary policy. However, there is also a role for the commercial banking sector to become a more active participant in shaping Latvia’s future economy. Finally, we need to develop Latvia’s capital market to have new channels of financing and investments in the green transition.
Whilst the role of central banks evolves in the complex world of the 21st century, its independence is part of the accepted wisdom of modern economics and should remain as such. European Central Bank's mandate of maintaining price stability in the euro area is laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In December 2018 I was one of the judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union who took part in the judgment on the question, of whether the ECB’s government bond-buying programs were within its price stability mandate. We had to interpret from a legal point of view the famous three words of then ECB President Draghi “whatever it takes.” These three words saved the Euro. But the question was whether this statement was within the mandate of the ECB. In the judgment, we confirmed the independence of the ECB and the wide margin of appreciation of its mandate. This ruling was later controversially contested by the German Federal Constitutional Court with implications extending well beyond the issues of monetary policy. This controversy, which was later solved, shows that the benefits of central bank independence from political interference are undeniable. Politics on both – European and national levels – should preserve and respect it.
In Latvia irrespective of economic and political cycles, the Bank of Latvia can use its independence and analytical expertise to shape the public debate and overall decision-making culture. The ECB runs a single monetary policy for 19 European countries – soon to be 20 – which have their own fiscal policies and their own appreciation of the fiscal discipline. How will the current level of inflation affect the ECB’s fiscal-monetary policy mix? In short, we do not know yet. However, more than before we need EU governance structures that provide adequate and effective crisis responses.
Many topics in today’s conference will be about the future of financing and our transition towards greener economies. I consider the digital transformation of our societies as one of the most important tasks. The digital space has become a vital part of our lives, especially after global pandemic lockdowns. It has enormous potential to contribute to the sustainable development of our economies. In Latvia, we support innovative and proven digital solutions that promote the efficiency of public administration, public participation in decision-making and the creation of new economic opportunities. To protect the strategic autonomy of European payments and monetary sovereignty, ECB is working on introducing a digital euro in near future. However, to ensure that citizens can continue to trust our currency, we must ensure their privacy is prioritized in this process. Security threats in cyberspace are increasing. If the digital euro is introduced the data collected should never be passed on to third parties and used for the surveillance and tracking of citizens. Therefore, in parallel with technological developments, we should actively define new legal principles to avoid risks and damage to citizens’ rights and freedoms. My firm opinion is, that only when all the issues of privacy, and the danger of possible spying, tracking and controlling people are answered in consistency with citizens’ rights and the rule of law, we can go on with the creation and introduction of digital euro.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The euro is shared by over 340 million Europeans. However, we share more than a single currency. We share common values, laws and interests, which must be defended at all times. The EU's strength is in close cooperation amongst ourselves, with our transatlantic and like-minded partners. We are changing together, and we will endure together.
I wish you all a successful conference and fruitful discussions!
☕️REGISTRATION, WELCOME COFFEE
Master of Ceremony Mr Juris Kravalis, Head of General Secretariat, Latvijas Banka
Mr Eglis Levits, President of Latvia
Mr Mārtiņš Kazāks, Governor, Latvijas Banka
INTRODUCTORY PANEL - A Bridge over Troubled Waters
- 2008 vs 2020 or "A Tale of Two Crisis"
What were the measures that helped the euro area as a whole and Latvia to emerge from these crises stronger? What homework was done by the euro area in-between the two crises? What was the role of the euro in overcoming the thorny way from the GFC to the pandemic in Latvia in particular?
- Preventing the Next Crisis
What are the current and future challenges ahead for the euro area? How to reconcile fiscal and monetary policy in the current environment? How to restore monetary policy space through structural reforms and productive investments? What is the role of measures taken at individual country vs community level?
- Future trends
What does the Green Deal mean for European citizens? How to address the climate goals while strengthening European fiscal capacity and harmonising progress in individual country efforts to reach these objectives? What is the role of central banks to facilitate climate transition? And what should be done by governments? Where does Europe stand regarding digitalization and automation and where does it need to arrive? How could digitalization and increasing scope of automatization in labour intensive sectors pave the way to bringing back strategic industrial infrastructure to Europe without imposing trade barriers? What is the role of currency in that respect? What can digital currency bring to people and businesses in a digital economy? How could digital euro strengthen the international role of our currency and how could European citizens benefit from that?
Mr Mārtiņš Kazāks, Governor, Latvijas Banka. Before that, from August 2018, he was a Member of the Council of Latvijas Banka. In his capacity as Governor of Latvijas Banka, he is a Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the General Council of the ECB. Mārtiņš Kazāks is the Governor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Republic of Latvia. From 2014 to 2018, he was a Member of the Fiscal Discipline Council of the Republic of Latvia. From 2006 to 2011, he was a Member of the Strategic Analysis Committee of the President of the Republic of Latvia. Since 2005, Mārtiņš Kazāks was Chief Economist of Swedbank AS in Latvia, and since 2010, also Deputy Chief Economist of the Swedbank Group. Mārtiņš Kazāks has lectured at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (1996–2008), the University of London, Riga Stradiņš University and Riga Business School. Mārtiņš Kazāks holds a PhD in economics and a MSc in Economics (with distinction) from the University of London, a Diploma in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Economics from the University of Latvia.
Ms Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank. Between 2011 and 2019, she served as the eleventh Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Prior to that she served as French Economic Finance Minister from 2007 to 2011 after having been Trade Secretary from 2005 to 2007. A lawyer by background, she practiced for 20 years with the international law firm Baker McKenzie, of which she became global chairman in 1999. In all such positions, she was the first woman to serve. In 2020, Lagarde was ranked the second most influential woman in the world by Forbes and has been named by TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Christine Lagarde was named Officier in the Légion d'honneur in April 2012 and Commandeur dans l’ordre national du mérite in May 2021.
Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President, European Commission. Responsible for an Economy that Works for People, also in charge of Trade. Before this, he was Vice-President responsible for the euro, social dialogue, financial services and Capital Markets Union. He was Latvia’s longest-serving head of government with three terms as prime minister. He has been Finance Minister, Member of the Latvian Parliament and European Parliament. Before politics, he was chief economist at the Bank of Latvia; research assistant at Mainz University, the Institute of Solid-State Physics in Latvia and University of Maryland.
PANEL DISCUSSION I - Shadowed by Carbon
- Towards Truly Green Economy
Why should central banks and the financial sector care about environmental risks? How can addressing of environmental risks ensure sustainable transformation of society? How can we integrate the values of nature in policy making and transformation of business? How does society benefit from understanding the value of natural capital and how does such understanding contribute to society's prosperity? What is the role of the financial sector in addressing efficient transition and in driving meaningful green human development? How could the financial sector make the most efficient use of scientific potential and research in this regard?
- 'Top-down' vs 'bottom-up' approaches
How much should we look into micro level to explore impacts on the local ecosystems? How to integrate region specific risks in evaluating environment-related shocks. Environmental risk assessments ¬ mayor knowledge gaps, prospects of filling them. Is there a scope for cooperation between supervisors, the financial sector, as well as science and research? What are the first conclusions from dealing with environmental risks faced by the financial system and future steps and challenges in this regard? What role do environmental risks play in supervision of the financial sector and what can society expect from central banks and supervisory authorities in this regard? How can we motivate the financial sector to implement the green transition?
Ms Inese Suija-Markova, Vice-mayor of Cēsis Municipality. Received her MBA degree from Riga Technical University in 2006. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Her research focuses on knowledge transfer and knowledge-intensive business services management. She is the Managing Director of the Institute for Environmental Solutions, a private research and development organization that develops innovative solutions for sustainable land use and natural resource management. She has served as Vice-Chairman of the Vidzeme Planning Region Development Board since 2021. Inese gives talks on innovation development and creativity. She has received scholarships from the United States State Department, the Government of Canada, and the UNESCO Bank Fellowship Programme. She has moderated, participated in, and spoken at numerous international conferences and workshops.
Mr François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor, Banque de France. François Villeroy de Galhau has been Governor of the Banque de France since November 2015 and was reappointed for a second term in November 2021. He is a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and Chairman of the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority). In 2022, he was also appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). He graduated from ENA as an Inspector of Finance and spent nearly 20 years working for the French Ministry of Finance (1984-2003), followed by 12 years at BNP Paribas. He is the author of several books including L’Espérance d’un Européen (Odile Jacob, 2014) and Retrouver confiance en l’économie (Odile Jacob, 2021).
Mr Frank Elderson, Member of the ECB's Executive Board. He oversees the ECB’s Legal Services and is Vice-Chair of the ECB’s Supervisory Board. Mr Elderson previously served as Executive Director of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). At DNB he held several senior positions before joining its Governing Board in 2011. Frank Elderson co-chairs the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Risks of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. From January 2018 to January 2022 he served as the first Chair of the newly founded Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System. Mr Elderson studied various courses at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. He graduated in Dutch law at the University of Amsterdam in 1994 and obtained an LL.M. Degree at Columbia Law School, New York, in 1995.
Ms Gretchen C. Daily, Professor of Environmental Science, Stanford University, Member of SEB External Sustainability Advisory Board. The Bing Professor of Environmental Science in the Department of Biology at Stanford University, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and co-founder and Faculty Director of the Natural Capital Project. Daily’s group is advancing science to support the deep societal transformations needed to secure people and nature. Her efforts span fundamental research and engagements with decision-makers focused on valuing nature in policy, finance, and operations around the world. Daily has published several hundred articles and a dozen books, including Nature’s Services (1997), The New Economy of Nature (2002), Natural Capital (2011), The Power of Trees (2012), and Green Growth that Works (2019). Daily is an elected fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
PANEL DISCUSSION II - Future of Money
- Finance Disrupted
Cryptocurrencies; the rapid rise of decentralized finance, the explosive growth of data and exploitation of data by firms; particularly big techs; the massive hacks that regularly compromise the personal data of millions of individuals – what do all these trends mean for us, customers and ordinary citizens? How will our lives be changed by these developments?
- Future is Now
How do private companies foster technological innovation and the creation of "private money"? What benefits can private sector provide vis-à-vis the traditional/public payment system? How should we treat private and public, centralized and decentralized finance – as complements or substitutes? What are the reasons behind the current rise of the cryptocurrencies?
- The Pros and Cons of Public vs Private, Central vs Decentralized money
How does the prospect of a decentralized money and finance compares with other cases in history (e.g. 1800's in the US)? How likely will private money drive out public money and how likely will public authorities lose the control over money creation? What benefits can public digital money provide over the current system? What is the role of central banks? Why they matter in this regard? How will citizens benefit from the introduction of central bank digital currencies?
Mr Mārtiņš Bitāns, Deputy Head of Monetary Policy Department,
Latvijas Banka. Mārtiņš Bitāns has a Master's Degree in International Economics from the University of South Denmark, Odense. Mārtiņš Bitāns started his career at Latvijas Banka in 1998 as an economist of the Monetary Policy Department, later becoming a senior economist and Head of the Monetary Research and Forecasting Division. He has mostly researched the issues of international competitiveness and sustainable development and is the author of several publications of Latvijas Banka on the above. In 2007–2009, Mārtiņš Bitāns worked for the International Monetary Fund as Adviser to the Executive Director of the Nordic-Baltic Constituency of the IMF.
Mārtiņš Bitāns is the representative of Latvijas Banka in the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).
Mr Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics, Professor of Political Science, University of California. Barry Eichengreen is George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Chair and Distinquished Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1987. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London, UK). In 1997–1998 he was Senior Policy Advisor at the International Monetary Fund. His most recent books include In Defense of Public Debt with Asmaa El-Ganainy, Rui Esteves and Kris Mitchener (Oxford University Press, 2021) and The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era (Oxford University Press, 2018). Professor Eichengreen was awarded the Economic History Association's Jonathan R.T. Hughes Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2002 and the University of California at Berkeley Social Science Division's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2004.
Mr Stefan Ingves, Governor, Sveriges Riksbank. He holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Banking and Risk Management Committee of the Bank of International Settlements. Stefan Ingves is also a Member of the General Council of the ECB and First Vice Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board. He is also Governor for Sweden in the International Monetary Fund, Board Member of the Nordic-Baltic Macroprudential Forum and Chairman of the Toronto Centre for Global Leadership in Financial Supervision.
Stefan Ingves has previously been Chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department at the IMF, Deputy Governor of the Sveriges Riksbank and General Director of the Swedish Bank Support Authority. Prior to that he was Head of the Financial Markets Department at the Ministry of Finance of Sweden. Stefan Ingves holds a PhD in economics.
Ms Florence Diss, Head of EMEA Ready to Pay Partnerships, Google. Florence heads up Ready to Pay Partnerships across EMEA. In her ten+ years at Google she has covered a range of different product partnerships from Maps and Geo to Shopping and Ads, helping launch products as diverse as Google Transit, Local Inventory Ads and now Google Pay. Prior to Google, Florence began her career at BCG in finance, and went on to lead partnerships at a procurement start-up now part of Capgemini.
Mr. Mārtiņš Kazāks, Governor, Latvijas Banka
Article about digital currencies by Mr. Barry Eichengreen
Article about future of the money by Mārtiņš Bitāns and Emīls dārziņš
The conference will comprise three panel discussions. The introductory panel "A Bridge over Troubled Waters" will compare the crises of 2008 and 2020, discuss the homework done by the euro area in-between the two crises and Latvia's experience. The discussion with Christine Lagarde and Valdis Dombrovskis, moderated by Mārtiņš Kazāks, will also look at the current and future challenges ahead for the euro area, at how to reconcile fiscal and monetary policy in the current environment and at the required structural reforms. Future trends like the Green Deal and its implications, the role of central banks and the financial sector in addressing climate change will also be discussed.
The next panel discussion "Shadowed by Carbon" will look at the issues of moving towards a truly green economy, changes in society and the contribution of the financial sector to the process. The discussion will be moderated by Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Cēsis Municipality Inese Suija-Markova and the panellists will include François Villeroy de Galhau, Frank Elderson and Professor of Environmental Science at Stanford University and Member of SEB External Sustainability Advisory Board Gretchen C.Daily.
The final panel discussion "Future of Money" will discuss the evolution of cryptocurrencies, decentralised financial services, the role of private companies in fostering technological innovation and the creation of "private money", various types of money and their development. The discussion will be moderated by Deputy Head of Monetary Policy Department of Latvijas Banka Mārtiņš Bitāns and the panellists will include George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics, Professor of Political Science at University of California Barry Eichengreen, Stefan Ingves and Head of EMEA Ready to Pay Partnerships, Google, Florence Diss.
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