Governing Finance for Sustainability

High-level seminar co-hosted by CEP and the Institute for International Economic Policy at George Washington University
Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 9.30-11.30 am, followed by a lunch reception
Elliott School of International Affairs, City View Room, 7th Floor, 1957 E Street NW


    9.00 Arrival of Panelists and Participants

    9.30 Welcome and Introductory Remarks

    James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and Director, Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP), Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University (GWU).

    Sunil Sharma, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, IIEP, Elliott School, GWU, and former Assistant Director, Research Department, IMF.

    9.45 Panel

    Patrick Honohan, Honorary Professor of Economics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; former Governor, Central Bank of Ireland.

    Signe Krogstrup, Assistant Governor, Head of Economics and Monetary Policy, Danmarks Nationalbank; former Adviser, Research Department, IMF.

    Gillian Tett, Chair, Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US, Financial Times.

    William White, Senior Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute, Canada; and former Economic Adviser and Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, Bank for International Settlements.

    Moderator: Alexander Barkawi, Director, Council on Economic Policies, Switzerland.

    11.30 Lunch Reception

    12.30 End


    The nexus between financial governance, macroeconomic and financial stability, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability has become the subject of a growing debate among policymakers and market participants. Current beliefs on central banking and financial regulation are being questioned in the face of systemic challenges such as rising income inequality, growing market concentration, political polarization, accelerating climate change, and disruptions from new financial technologies.

    Do the mandates and instruments of financial authorities remain fit for purpose? Do the objectives and operations of central banks and financial regulators, along with their independence and accountability, need revision to deal with the rapidly changing conditions of the 21st century? How do financial authorities ensure alignment with longer term policy goals? To what extent should social and environmental sustainability feature on their agendas?

    The panel discussion will examine this important debate, including the following questions:

    • What objectives should central banks and financial regulators pursue?
    • What reforms, if any, are required to reflect these objectives in mandates, instruments, and institutions?
    • What could be the pathways to reform?