21 Feb York Finance Conference’s Report
LFC Finance Club at the York Finance,
Making up-to-date global finance closer and more comprehensible for our members
What is the unique factor connecting the Racecourse of an old but extremely lively Roman town, top executives from the financial industry, and 20 LUISS students in management and finance? The York Finance Conference, the largest student-run finance conference in Europe. For the second year in a row, several members of LFC Finance Club exploited the unique chance of creating stronger bonds one with each other.
What is the unique factor connecting the Racecourse of an old but extremely lively Roman town, top executives from the financial industry, and 20 LUISS students in management and finance? The York Finance Conference, the largest student-run finance conference in Europe. For the second year in a row, several members of LFC Finance Club exploited the unique chance of creating stronger bonds one with each other, networking with students from different continents, and listening to 13 speakers with diverse financial backgrounds. We are proud to say that we represented the main Italian partners and the second largest group, behind the organizing York Committee.
To gain access to an under pressure financial industry, in which universal and European banks are reducing the overall workforce (in 2015 the announced job cuts amounted to almost 100.000 positions) and the global competition for a few jobs is becoming fiercer, it is essential to create a stronger personal brand and CV. LUISS students have proven their active approach, by being curious towards the state of art of finance, being passionate enough to invest money and time to learn from the current leaders, to become more employable and hopefully the leaders of tomorrow.
The next generation of top executives needs to fully master the traditional academic models, to be prepared to understand their weaknesses and to deal with peculiar situations in an innovative way. There are new winds shaping the global economic scenario, and many professionals are losing the path leading to their goals. The firms with the most adaptive and entrepreneurial spirit will find their route and will beat the performance of their industry. For the others, hard times are ahead. But most important, learning how to master different winds is essential, instead of only being able to follow the next announced “financial bubble”. Community leaders innovate and achieve sustainable results by transforming real and potential crises into solid long-term opportunities for growth.
The global GDP growth rate for 2015 is more or less 3% and it is a structural, not temporary, condition. Two main factors are driving the outcome. The first: the demographic boom has definitely stopped in the rich western countries, which usually exhibit a birth rate < 2 after reaching a stable outcome of at least 20.000€ per capita. It means immigration and a younger workforce is needed to make the future of countries (and of citizens’ pensions) less bleak. The second: debt / GDP rate, which around 100% is not a driver of growth anymore. With the recent collapse of the cost of funding, and the consequent possibility of cheap borrowing, some emerging countries such as China and Brazil have reached debt levels even heavier of those of many western countries (such as USA and the PIIGS).
A “brave new world” is emerging today. The ECB deposit rate proves costly for banks. Huge amounts of liquidity are tarnishing the financial markets. Similar monetary policies from different central banks mutually undermine their effects. World debt is steadily growing and fiscal policy seems to be the elephant in the room. Decreasing productivity is the new status quo. Dramatically low oil prices make most of the global producers unprofitable. There are real wars in Middle East and FX wars worldwide. So, global GDP growth is alarmingly slowing down. And #volatility is the new trending topic.
The above lines are a short synthesis of what the speakers’ made clear to the participants, in order to better reflect on the conference topic: “Are we on the brink of another financial crisis?”. So now, what is the answer provided by the speakers? Well, this is the right time to apply the famous Chatham House Rule, which was set for the event. However, one thing is sure: this is no 2007/08. Then, if anybody wants to share views about the main topic and the new hot issues related to finance, I am pleased to invite you to directly meet the LFC Finance Club group at one of our meetings and to participate in the 2017 York Finance Conference.
Di Erminio Sergio