"What financial system for the 21st century?" - opening remarks by Guillermo Ortiz for the 2011 Per Jacobsson Lecture

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen it is a great pleasure for me to come back to Basel and to be able to welcome you to this 2011 Per Jacobsson Lecture.

As most of you know, although some of you may not, Per Jacobsson devoted most of his life to international public service. He served as Chief Economic Advisor at the Bank for International Settlements for almost 25 years before becoming Managing Director of the IMF. Under his leadership, the Fund greatly rose to prominence in international affairs, increasing both its financing activities and its authority and influence. So Per Jacobsson has played a great role in the development of this institution.

Before proceeding with the presentation of today's Lecturer, I would like to recall that last year Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa gave the Per Jacobsson Lecture here in Basel. As you all know, he passed away suddenly last December. When Andrew introduced Tommaso, last year in this forum, in addition to a summary of his brilliant career, Andrew mentioned that he never failed to come away from a talk or a meeting with Tommaso without thinking of at least something in a new light than when he went into the meeting. His intellect, insights and friendship made a deep mark in all of us who knew him well.

Let me ask the audience for a minute of silence in honor of Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa.

Thank you. It is now a great pleasure for me to present Andrew Crockett. It is almost a cliché to say that Andrew doesn't need an introduction. But in this case, and with this audience this is absolutely true.

As you all know, he served as Chairman of the Per Jacobsson Board of Trustees for seven years. And after relinquishing his function as Chairman last year, he accepted to give this lecture, giving us an excellent opportunity to hear his views on one of the most relevant and controversial topics nowadays.

I am sure, all of you are well aware of Andrew's exceptional career, but allow me to recall some of the positions he has occupied. Andrew Crockett has been General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements for more than 9 years. In this capacity, his leadership was decisive in making the BIS a truly international organization. During his term, 17 Central Banks joined the BIS. He was Chairman of the Financial Stability Forum, Executive Director to the Bank of England (in the latter capacity he was a member of the Monetary Committee of the European Union), Alternate Governor of the International Monetary Fund for the United Kingdom, member (subsequently Chairman) of Working Party 3 of the OECD, a high ranking official of the International Monetary Fund, and a member of the Group of Thirty. And he is currently Special Advisor to the Chairman in JPMorgan Chase.

I have known Andrew for about 25 years. Margie and I count him and Marjorie as very good friends. I have also had the pleasure of working with him both at the IMF and the BIS. Andrew is an outstanding economist with a vibrant intelligence, a huge experience in the financial sector and one of the finest persons I have ever come across.

But well, I believe you must be as eager as me to listen to what Andrew is going to have to say about his topic today, "What financial system for the 21st century?" So without further ado, let me ask him to come to the podium.