Past President of the Canadian International Council (CIC).
If you haven’t already watched or read Christine Lagarde’s keynote speech from the CIC’s Globalist of the Year gala dinner last week, I encourage you to click here. The CIC named Mme. Lagarde the 2012 Globalist of the Year for her leadership in international finance, including her relentless work as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bring the eurozone back from the brink of catastrophe and her work as finance minister of France when the “Great Recession” began in 2008 and through France’s presidency of Europe and hosting of the G7 and G20 meetings.
In her first speech in Canada since she assumed the role of IMF managing director in July 2011, Mme. Lagarde emphasized the importance of international collaboration in addressing economic weaknesses that, needless to say, have global ramifications. On that point and others, Mme. Lagarde praised Canada, commending Canada’s cooperative spirit, solid regulatory system, and reliable supervisors, particularly Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, whom Mme. Lagarde called a “a fantastic governor of [the] central bank,” and thanked Canada for sharing him with the world for his work heading the Financial Stability Board.
Mme. Lagard’s speech contained more than praise and optimism. She reminded us that the theory of emerging economies’ resistance to the downward pull of faltering advanced economies has been disproven. The IMF continues to lower its global growth projections for 2012 and 2013. On the global financial system, Mme. Lagarde stated that “the basic structures that we found problematic before the crisis are still with us,” citing overly complex banking systems, highly concentrated assets, and institutions’ excessive reliance on wholesale funding. Counter-productive vested interests must be combated and national strategies must have global outlooks, reflecting the fact that the global economy is more deeply integrated than ever.
We are very grateful to Mme. Lagarde for taking valuable time to speak to our audience on the global economic and financial outlook and the road to financial sector reform. Once again, I encourage you to hear what Christine Lagarde has to say.