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Michel Camdessus: "Finance for good is more than a wish - it is a necessity"

"In 15 or 20 years, you will be in charge of a world that could be better than this one”. The former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Michel Camdessus started his introductory speech for the Finance4Good conference (September 29) by delivering a message of trust and optimism to the HEC students.

Michel Camdessus did certainly not overlook the deep crisis of confidence that finance is going through – as a result of decades of frenetic consumerism and ethical blunders with “almost no prudential control”. But he saw a sign of hope in the remarkable reaction of the global community in 2008. “G20 stated that no single part of the financial industry should escape surveillance or regulation; all taboo issues like offshore centres were raised”, he recalls. “It is still a work in progress,but sane bases have been laid”.

Finance for good is more than a wish – it is a necessity. The financial system will have a major role to play in aworld faced with mega-trends like ageing population, growing inequalities, climate change and increased pressureon natural resources. States will have to double their contribution to development aid, but that won’t be enough. Private funding will be required. “Our savings will have to go from ’casino finance’ to long-term development investment”, Camdessus explained. Above all, the key for reenchanting finance will be ethical. “Finance should be managed by responsible people with a heart. Dear students: please invent the finance that will serve the economy and make the world better. Educate your consciousness, not only your intelligence…”, he added. The tone was set for the rest of the conference.

Finance4Good - Camdessus with Students