Digital Disruptions to the Financial System: Opportunities and Threats

IMF Seminar

imf seminars event

DATE: April 17, 2016

DAY: Sunday

10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

LOCATION: George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium

Sunday, April 17 AT 10 00 AM

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This seminar will focus on the macro-financial challenges and opportunities created by two emerging disruptions: rapid growth of FinTech and increasing cyber security risks:

FinTech. The tech revolution is fundamentally changing the global economy. The financial system is facing novel disruptions, such as those relating to virtual currencies and the underlying distributed ledgers, peer-to-peer lending, and high-frequency trading. How can policymakers get ready for these trends, and the potentially systemic risks that they pose (for financial and macroeconomic stability), while harnessing the opportunities that they create (for example, financial efficiency and financial inclusion)?

Cyber security. The rapid rise of cyber risks and their potential to disrupt global financial stability have elevated cybersecurity to a top policy priority. Cyber risks are now regarded as a leading threat to the global financial system by policymakers. The key cyber security vulnerability from a systemic risk perspective is related to the heavy reliance of financial institutions on information technology and communications, and in particular the highly interconnected nature of these systems. How well can the financial sector deal with potential disruptions, particularly given the limited incentives to share information and reveal security breaches?

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Digital Disruptions to the Financial System: Opportunities and Threats


Moderator: Greg Ip


Greg Ip is chief economics commentator of The Wall Street Journal. He writes about U.S. and global economic developments and policy in the Capital Account column and on Real Time Economics, the Wall Street Journal’s economics blog. From 2008 to January, 2015, he was U.S. Economics Editor of The Economist magazine. He is the author of Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe, published by Little, Brown in October, 2015. 

(As of April 2016)

Carolyn Wilkins


Carolyn Wilkins, was appointed Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada for a term of seven years beginning May 2, 2014. As a member of the Bank’s Governing Council she shares responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy and is also a member of the Bank’s Board of Directors. Ms. Wilkins represents the Bank of Canada on the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Plenary and is a member of the FSB’s Standing Committee on Assessment of Vulnerabilities. She was elected Chair of the FSB’s Regional Consultative Group for the Americas for a two-year term, effective July 1, 2015. She previously represented Canada on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and chaired the BCBS Working Group on Liquidity. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Wilkins was Advisor to the Governor, with a focus on the Canadian economy, its interaction with the financial system, and monetary policy. She also served as Secretary to Governing Council. From 2011 until 2013, Ms. Wilkins was Chief of the Bank’s Financial Stability Department. Ms. Wilkins has held a broad range of senior analytical roles at the Department of Finance Canada and the Privy Council Office. She has held senior positions including Deputy Chief of the Financial Markets Department, Special Director on the OTC Derivatives Market Task Force, and chaired the inter-agency working group coordinating implementation of the G-20’s commitments related to over-the-counter derivatives. Ms. Wilkins holds an Honours BA in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.

(As of April 2016)

Charley Cooper


Charley Cooper leads business development and marketing as Managing Director of R3CEV, the premier financial technology innovation firm driving the development of distributed ledger and blockchain solutions for use across the financial services industry. Previously, he worked as the COO of State Street Global Market’s division of Trading & Clearing; the Global Head of Legal Operations in the risk management division of Deutsche Bank AG in London; the Chief of Staff /COO for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon. He has spoken as a panelist and guest lecturer at a variety of venues including The Institute of Politics at Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, Cardozo School of Law, and Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.  He earned both a B.A. (Government) and a J.D. from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

(As of April 2016)

José Fernandez da Ponte


José Fernandez da Ponte is Head of Global Business Development for New Digital Businesses at BBVA, where he leads digital strategy, business development and new venture design for BBVA’ s portfolio of new independent business models. Prior to that, he had different leadership roles at PayPal, including Head of Strategy for Emerging Markets, and was a consultant in payments and wholesale banking with McKinsey & Company. He has a B.Sc. in Economics and management from ICADE in Madrid, a MSc. in Finance from the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the Senior Managers in Government program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

(As of April 2016)

José Viñals


José Viñals is the Financial Counsellor and Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the International Monetary Fund. He is a member of the Financial Stability Board, representing the IMF. Before this, he served as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Spain after holding successive positions. He has also been Chairman of the ECB’s International Relations Committee; and Chairman of Spain’s Deposit Guarantee Funds.

Sarah Bloom Raskin


Sarah Bloom Raskin is the United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Previously, she served as a Governor of the Federal Reserve System as a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, regulated banking institutions, monitored financial stability threats, oversaw compliance and community development, and engaged in oversight of the nation’s payment systems. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and B.A. in economics from Amherst College

(As of April 2016)

Greg Medcraft


Greg Medcraft has been Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) since May 2011 and Chairman of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) since March 2013. He joined ASIC as a Commissioner in February 2009. Prior to ASIC, he was Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at the Australian Securitisation Forum (ASF).He spent nearly 30 years in investment banking at Société Générale in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. More recently, he was the Managing Director and Global Head of Securitisation, based in New York. He holds a Degree from Melbourne University.

(As of April 2016)

Fabrizio Saccomanni


Fabrizio Saccomanni is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Previously, he was Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy (April 2013-February 14), member of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and Alternate to the Governor in the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (2006-2013). He holds an MA in Economics from Bocconi University.

(As of April 2016)

Bradley J. Wiskirchen

Bradley J.

Bradley J. Wiskirchen is the CEO of Keynetics and Kount and the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Clickbank. Under his guidance Kount has become the premier fraud prevention solution for card-not-present merchants. Among his many industry and community involvements, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Salt Lake City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.A. from Brigham Young University.

David Yermack


David Yermack, is Chairman of the Department of Finance at New York University's Stern School of Business, where he has been on the faculty since 1994.  In 2014 he taught the first course on digital currency offered by a major research university, and he has published several academic papers on the topic while leading NYU's efforts to develop a new curriculum focused on blockchains and the financial services industry.  His other research areas include corporate finance, corporate governance, and executive compensation.  Professor Yermack was awarded AB (1995), MBA (1991), JD (1991), AM (1993) and PhD (1994) degrees, all from Harvard University.  He has been appointed as a visiting professor at 12 international universities, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Philadelphia, and has given invited research seminars at more than 100 universities and institutes worldwide.

(As of April 2016)

Susan Swart


Ms. Susan Swart is the Chief Information Officer and Director of the Information Technology Department of the IMF. She joined the IMF in 2012 as the Chief Information Officer (CIO). As CIO she is responsible for the provision of ICT services and leadership in the application of technology to the mission of the Fund. Prior to joining the IMF, Ms. Swart served as the CIO of the U.S. Department of State, where she was a senior member of the Foreign Service.  She has 26 years of experience in the information management and technology field encompassing responsibility for knowledge management, IT customer service, IT infrastructure, corporate systems support, and applied information management training.  Her career also included stints managing budget, human resources and general services, as well as assignments in Egypt, Venezuela, and Peru.

(As of April 2016)