2012 ECMI AC: Capital Markets for Growth

Published in 
National Bank of Belgium - Main Auditorium Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères 61 1000 Brussels - Belgium

With over 400 participants, the 2012 ECMI Annual Conference brought together international experts in capital markets from industry, policy making and academia for a full day of discussion in Brussels. This year’s conference was structured around four sessions focusing on the following topics: the outlook for the euro area, the role of capital markets after bank deleveraging, market structure reforms and investor protection. Each session featured a keynote speech and a panel discussion. The conference was organised in partnership with the Centre for European Policy Studies and the Belgian Financial Forum

  • Session 1. Macroeconomic outlook for the euro area: Which future without a «transfer» Europe?
  • Session 2. Capital markets and bank deleveraging: What are the implications and the role of capital markets in funding the European economy?
  • Session 3. Capital market structure reforms: Will MiFID II and EMIR change the landscape for the better?
  • Session 4. Comprehensive investor protection: The Achilles’ heel of the single market?

Key takeaways from each session

  • Despite the significant fiscal multipliers, the magnitude of the imbalances accumulated in the euro area over the past decade and its vulnerability to adverse market reactions should prevent any deviation from the agreed path to fiscal sustainability. There should be room however for member states with stable levels of debt to run small deficits, so as to ease adjustment and facilitate convergence.
  • Even though bank balance sheets remain stable (moderate bank deleveraging), the use of collateral has radically decreased since 2008 (significant deleveraging in capital markets). Lower use of collateral means less lubrication of markets and lower interconnection among financial institutions, which policy-makers have tried to mitigate through quantitative easing possibly at a higher cost. The overall implications of this process are not yet well understood.
  • The structure of European capital markets is undergoing profound changes due to comprehensive regulatory reform and innovation in markets. This process needs to balance the costs for investors of building up a more stable architecture with the need to realise a pan-European infrastructure to reap the benefits of the single market.
  • Investor protection merits more attention as the driving force of a (not yet fully realised) single market for retail investment products. Regulatory fragmentation at national level is a threat to the single market project. Regulatory and supervisory reform should be more ambitious and broader in scope. Increased transparency should be complemented with measures addressing directly the incentives of intermediaries.

Main documents

  • Conference Report
  • Conference Agenda
  • Related CEPS - ECMI Publications

Keynote presentations

  • Olli Rehn - Session 1 (euro-area)
  • Paul de Grauwe - Session 1 (euro-area)
  • Manmohan Singh - Session 2 (deleveraging)
  • Rodrigo Buenaventura - Session 3 (market structure)

Panel presentations

  • Julian Callow - Session 1 (euro-area)
  • Philipp Hartmann - Session 2 (deleveraging)
  • Margaret Doyle - Session 2 (deleveraging)
  • Stephen Dulake - Session 2 (deleveraging)

About the Conference

“We are not in a business as usual scenario, but one in which market panic could jeopardise the managed unwinding of the unsustainable policies of the past.” This was the cautionary note sounded by Commissioner Olli Rehn in his keynote address to the 400 participants at the ECMI Annual Conference on October 18th in Brussels. Rehn’s views were challenged by Paul de Grauwe (LSE and CEPS), who argued for asymmetric macro-economic policies, with creditor countries running moderate deficits to avoid a deflationary spiral. In a session on bank deleveraging and capital markets, Manmohan Singh (IMF) illustrated the risks of reducing collateral use (velocity) on the backbone of the financial system. Despite bank balance sheets remaining relatively stable under central bank intervention, the financial system is still shrinking under lower collateral velocity – which could, however, reduce interconnectedness and benefit financial stability; the issue thus is one of balance. In a session on reforming the structure of capital markets, Rodrigo Buenaventura of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) presented the key aspects of European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and its implications for the business of central counterparties and trade repositories. The last session was dedicated to investor protection, where Carlos Tavares (Portuguese Markets Authority and ESMA) put numbers to the growth of complex retail investment products, for which no harmonised protection exists.

Keynote Speakers

  • Olli Rehn, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and Vice-President, European Commission
  • Carlos Tavares, Chairman, CMVM and Vice-Chairman, European Securities and Markets Authority
  • Paul De Grauwe, John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy, London School of Economics
  • Manmohan Singh, Senior Economist, International Monetary Fund
  • Rodrigo Buenaventura, Head of Markets Division, European Securities and Markets Authority


  • Peter Vanden Houte, Chief Eurozone Economist, ING Group 
  • Mark Beeston, Chief Executive Officer - Post Trade Risk Business, ICAP
  • Julian Callow, Chief International Economist, Barclays
  • Sarah Carlson, Vice President - Sovereign Risk, Moody’s Investors Service
  • Jan Bart de Boer, Chief Commercial Officer, ABN AMRO Clearing
  • Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, Chairman, INCIPIT
  • Steven Dulake, Head of Credit Research, JP Morgan
  • Guido Ferrarini, Professor of Business Law and Capital Markets, University of Genoa
  • Daniel Gros, Director, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
  • Philipp Hartmann, Deputy Director General Research, European Central Bank
  • Eric Litvack, Managing Director, COO Global Equity Flow, Société Générale
  • John Plender, Senior Editorial Writer and Columnist, Financial Times
  • Guillaume Prache, Managing Director, EuroFinuse
  • Peter Randall, Chief Executive Officer, Equiduct
  • Lindsey Rogerson, Financial Services Consumer Panel, Financial Services Authority (FSA)
  • Theo Vermaelen, Schroders Chaired Professor of International Finance and Asset Management, INSEAD
  • Matthias Graulich, Executive Director Clearing Initiatives, Eurex - Deutsche Börse
  • Huw Jones, EU Correspondent, Thomson Reuters
  • Click here to download the speakers' biographies


  • Free of charge for ECMI members (unlimited number of delegates), CEPS and ECRI corporate members (first delegate).
  • EUR 250 for all other participants, excluding BFF members.
  • Cancellation policy: 100% refund for cancellations by 20 September, 50% refund by 7 October, no refund thereafter.

If interested in sponsoring this event please contact Mirzha de Manuel at mirzha.demanuel@ceps.eu or 00 32 2 229 39 17.