Katharine Ramsden

Debates, conversations and ideas at the Washington Ideas Forum

This week we’re at the Washington Ideas Forum, of which we’re a proud underwriter. WIF brings together the country’s top journalists with the world’s most fascinating newsmakers for two days of enlightening interviews, spirited dialogue and working sessions on today’s most pressing policy issues. (more…)

The Finance Crisis: Lessons Learned from Canada and the Way Forward [Video]

Part 1:

In this panel discussion from The Finance Crisis: Lessons Learned from Canada and the Way Forward, the conversation, moderated by Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, focuses on Canada’s performance during the financial crisis and what regulators can take away from its success. Panelists: Michael Horgan, Deputy Minister of Finance of Canada, Sarah Dahlgren, Executive Vice President, Financial Institution Supervision Group, Federal Reserve/NY, Mark Wiseman, Executive Vice-President, Investments, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Clay Lowery, former Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, U.S. Treasury.

Part 2:

In this panel discussion from ”The Finance Crisis: Lessons Learned from Canada and the Way Forward,” Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland moderates a conversation focused on the success of Canada’s financial system through global economic turmoil and what lessons can be learned by countries with less healthy financial systems. Panelists: Ted Price, Assistant Superintendent, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada, Gordon Nixon, President and CEO, RBC Financial Group, CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers, Tom Glocer, CEO Thomson Reuters and Nicolas Veron, Senior Fellow, Bruegel and Visiting Senior Fellow Peterson Institute.

Part 3:
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Global Return to Economic Growth

Thomson Reuters, along with the Atlantic Council, the Rotman School of Management, and The Embassy of Canada hosted special event, The Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned From Canada and The Way Forward.

Closing out the day, Financial Times US Editor Robin Harding moderated a panel on global economic growth. Participants included Tim Adams, former Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs, now Managing Director at The Lindsey Group; Craig Alexander, SVP and Chief Economist at TD Bank Financial Group; Troy Davig, Senior US Economist for Barclays Capital; Peter Rashish, VP for Europe and Eurasia at the US Chamber of Commerce and Alan Schwartz, Executive Chairman at Guggenheim Partners.

Adams outlined the headwinds global growth faces, including ‘welfare states we can’t afford, aging demographics and mature economies – a short term loop that is capping growth.” Rashish sounded a bit more optimistic note, stating, “the reform path leads to growth through implementation.”

Several speakers addressed the challenges that politics and national self-interests pose and the necessity for balancing, with Schwartz saying “capital is global, but politics stay local” and Alexander highlighting the need for ‘firewalls to protect against contagion”.

Panelists appeared to agree that strong actions would be required. Alexander said, “financial markets are about faith and control…you have to be bold, over-deliver, but its hard to get confidence back if you keep saying ‘it’s not enough’.” Adams stated, “shock and awe (impact) actions will require a huge commitment.”

Katharine Ramsden is managing editor, Thomson Reuters.

Restoring US Competitiveness

Thomson Reuters, along with the Atlantic Council, the Rotman School of Management, and The Embassy of Canada hosted special event, The Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned From Canada and The Way Forward.

The afternoon programming picked up with an interview of Melody Barnes, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council for the White House by Financial Times US Economic Editor Robin Harding.

Citing US unemployment stuck at 9%, Harding asked Barnes to talk about how the Administration was working to stimulate demand and get Americans back to work. Barnes touched on a number of initiatives that she described as aligning economic recovery and employment objectives with issues the US needs to tackle, including infrastructure, education, healthcare and the environment.

Starting with the American Jobs Act, she described ‘long term investments’ aimed at putting people to work, a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to producing win-win-wins like jobs in the health sector, where focus on better healthcare, greater effectiveness and efficiency and higher employment is a smart triple play. Pointing to another initiative involving 13 auto companies, Barnes said building more fuel efficient cars was good for the environment, makes them more attractive to overseas markets and stimulates demand, in turn creating more jobs and economic improvement.

Barnes also responded to questions on process – “we are using the tools we have, such as executive action and executive order, to move forward while focused on getting Congress to act,” – and on whether regulation was killing jobs, “we have to address and attack the regulatory burden companies now labor under.”

Looking to the future, Barnes discussed the critical role of education in competitiveness and the need for college and work-ready standards and the creation of an ‘innovation culture’.

Katharine Ramsden is managing editor, Thomson Reuters.

Will New Measures Prevent the Next Financial Crisis?

Today, Thomson Reuters, along with the Atlantic Council, the Rotman School of Management, and The Embassy of Canada are hosting a special event, The Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned From Canada and The Way Forward.

The second session today, a panel moderated by Chrystia Freeland, Editor of Thomson Reuters Digital, looked ahead.

Ted Price of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Canada led with the opinion that “by and large regulatory rules are backward-looking” and therefore ill-suited to prepare us for the future, placing emphasis on the critical importance of supervision.

Jill Sommers, Commissioner of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission spoke to the enormous challenges of crafting regulation in the aftermath of the crisis, saying that making regulation(s) consistent, global and along different timelines, as they are dealing with, was a task of significant complexity and one causing uncertainty for all participants.

Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer pointed to what he called ‘many sensible policies and principles’ in Canada’s approach to markets and business, and raised the challenge of reconciling international activities like electronic trading of ForEx with local/national jurisdiction.

Gordon Nixon, President and CEO of RBC Financial Group talked of the need for “smart regulation” that focused on root causes and effective solutions, and was not overly complex, saying the current situation was “having economic impact.” Nicholas Véron of the Peterson Institute for International Economics discussed deregulation versus re-regulation and the need to figure out what belongs at the local versus international global level(s) in regulatory reform.

Katharine Ramsden is managing editor, Thomson Reuters.

 

Lessons for the Atlantic: How Canada Performed During the Financial Crisis

Today, Thomson Reuters, along with the Atlantic Council, the Rotman School of Management, and The Embassy of Canada are hosting a special event, The Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned From Canada and The Way Forward.

The event is a gathering of leaders discussing the future of the global financial system through the lens of the Canadian experience. The morning sessions of today’s conference, which is being held at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC began with a welcome from Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. and opening remarks from Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Governmt & Regulatory Affairs, Thomson Reuters; Stephen Adler, Editor-In-Chief, Reuters News, Executive Vice President News, Thomson Reuters; and Brian Henderson, Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council. The panelists immediately dove into a lively discussion of Canada’s performance during the financial crisis, and what can be learned from it.

Moderated by Dean Roger Martin of the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, panelists debated what made Canada different, as well as how it came to be in a position of relative strength going into the crisis. Earlier challenges to its banking – and pension systems, described in some detail by Mark Wiseman of the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board – were contributors.

Michael Horgan, Deputy Minister of Finance of Canada discussed a number of contributing factors – not only the bank and pension issues that had resulted in changes that positioned them well but that despite pressure over what were perceived as excessively tight or conservative policies at the time, a lag that likely protected them to a degree from some of what happened elsewhere. But, he said, “In Canada it was a very difficult time. We hope not to go through it again.”

Sarah Dahlgren of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pointed to three differences:  complexity, interconnectedness and quality of management, before stating that we were “still learning, perhaps re-learning with situations like MF Global.”  Clay Lowery, former Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury went a step further, saying we haven’t learned much – or enough – yet.

Katharine Ramsden is managing editor, Thomson Reuters.