The Roundtable on Financial and Economic Affairs will focus on financial reforms under consideration in both Europe and the United States in wake of the global financial crisis and the implications within Europe, as well as on a concerted and effective transatlantic approach. The program will also consider the divergent responses to the economic crisis and the ramifications within the European Union and for the United States, the future of the euro-zone, and the relationship between the dollar and the euro. Issues related to CFIUS and protecting the integrity of the electronic banking systems will also be included in this program.

Recent Meetings:

Daniel Price, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs and Co-Chairman of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), offered his assessment of the progress made to date and the key challenges facing the TEC moving forward. This briefing followed the TEC’s second plenary meeting held in Brussels on May 13th where a variety of issues were discussed, including  information and communication technology products; import safety; poultry/pathogen reduction treatments; accounting standards; U.S. and EU regulatory capital requirements; REACH (the new European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use); and securities trading.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Antonio De Lecea, Director for International Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission, offered his assessment of the European Commission’s proposed common approach to sovereign wealth funds, and Nova Daly, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Investment Security at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, examined the role of CFIUS in regulating the flow of sovereign wealth funds into the United States. The Hon. Patrick Mulloy, Member, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission expressed his concern about sovereign wealth funds and their influence on the U.S. government and economy. Klaus Stein, IMF Executive Director for Germany; Jarle Bergo, Alternate IMF Director for the Nordic/Baltic States; and François Teissonnière, Managing Director, Telecoms, Rothschild Inc. presented perspectives from Germany, Norway, and the private sector on the issue. Thomas J. Karol, President and COO of the newly formed Sovereign Investment Council emphasized the positive aspects of these funds and advised against excessive regulation that would lead to perceptions of protectionism. The discussion was moderated by James Mendenhall, Partner, at Sidley Austin LLP.

H.E. Pierre Vimont, newly appointed Ambassador of France to the United States, discussed President Nicolas Sarkozy’s goals for the EU, as France assumes the presidency of the European Council in the latter part of 2008. The European Union should focus on four points: economic growth; internal security and the growing concerns about immigration; environmental protection and climate change; external relations and the EU’s role in the international community. Ambassador Vimont stressed that the EU needs to “put its house in order” and decide on the new constitution, a common defense policy, and enlargement. France has proposed the creation of a committee of “wisemen” to address these difficult issues.

The Honorable Lucas Papademos, Vice-President of the European Central Bank addressed the role of the Central Bank in dealing with the current turmoil in global financial markets, as well as the prospects for the European economy. This dinner discussion was hosted in New York City in cooperation with BlackRock, Inc.

The Hon. Pervenche Berès, Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), accompanied by a delegation of Committee members, offered her perspective on the need for greater transatlantic cooperation in response to the consolidation of financial markets and stock exchanges. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Commission on the Regulation of U.S. Capital Markets in the 21st Century, presented the Commission’s Report and Recommendations on U.S. competitiveness.

Get updates from EI@UMD