"Society, economic policies and the financial sector" - opening remarks by Guillermo Ortiz for the 2012 Per Jacobsson Lecture

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure for me to be back in Basel for the 2012 Per Jacobsson Lecture. Please receive my warm welcome to the event.

Today I have the distinguished honour of presenting Yaga Venugopal Reddy as the speaker for this occasion with a lecture entitled "Society, economic policies and the financial sector". He is without doubt an authority on the subject and I am sure his talk will be as inspiring and thought-provoking as his professional trajectory has been. Indeed, as most of you know, he has led an exemplary career dedicated to public service.

Mr Reddy served five years, from September 2003 to September 2008, as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. In his position he played a key role in directing India's financial development and regulating the financial sector in a prudential manner which doubtless contributed to the country's strengthening of the macroeconomic policy framework and the weathering of the financial crisis of 2007-2009. It is not an overstatement to say Mr Reddy's contribution to his country's economic development has been vital in the strong performance India has exhibited over the last two decades.

He has also been Chairman of the Bank for International Settlements Asian Consultative Council; Executive Director for India at the International Monetary Fund; Chairperson of SAARCFINANCE (a Group of Governors of the central bank of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation member countries); and Adviser to the World Bank. Mr Reddy has also held key positions in the Indian Government both at State and Central levels. He has served as Secretary (Banking) in the Ministry of Finance; Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce; Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in the Government of India; and Principal Secretary in the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

In academia, Mr Reddy's contribution has also been noteworthy. Beyond his publications in the area of finance, he has taught in important universities and research centres. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science; a Visiting Professor in the Department of Business Management, Osmania University; and the Administrative Staff College of India; and he is an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies at Hyderabad and a member of the Distinguished Faculty in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

As Governor of Banco de México, I had the pleasure to interact frequently with Dr Reddy, including occasions in Mexico City and in Mumbai. I have always regarded him as an exemplary central banker and, personally, as a very good friend.

Now, without further ado, let me ask Mr Reddy to come to the podium so that we may listen to his lecture.