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IIF chairman Josef Ackermann offers remedies for worldwide financial crisis [National Press Club]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The National Press Club
June 28, 2008

What can be done by the to address the turmoil the financial industry finds itself in today? That was the question that banking industry leader Dr. Josef Ackermann tried to answer before a room packed with journalists, bankers, business leaders, and politicians at the National Press Club on July 17.

“What became a sub prime mortgage crisis has since turned into a much deeper problem and spread across a wide array of global markets,” said Ackermann, who in addition to being chairman of the board of Deutsche Bank heads up the Institute for International Finance (IIF)—a Washington, DC-based association of 380 financial firms worldwide. He spoke to the NPC in that capacity.

“All financial market participants, both in the private and official sectors, have a responsibility to work for a resolution of these difficulties as quickly as possible,” he insisted. “My focus today, however, is not on policy challenges the financial turmoil has posed. It is rather on what can be done by the financial industry worldwide to address the problem.”

Ackermann went on to outline a series of solutions devised by 65 leading financial firms of the IIF: risk management, compensation policies, valuation of assets, liquidity management, underwriting and the rating of structured products, and a boosting of transparency and disclosure. He outlined these ideas in his talk, but they were further fleshed out in a 200-page report that was passed out after the luncheon speech.

Before adjourning, a reporter asked if Ackermann foresees a bottoming out of the crisis. “I believe we’re starting to see the beginning of end,” he replied, adding that the picture should be much clearer in three to six months. — Hope Katz Gibbs


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