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Panel: Perspectives on the Global Economy

A discussion on the global economy brought together three of Goldman Sachs’ international advisors: Charles de Croisset, Goldman Sachs’ advisor on France; Ian Macfarlane, former governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia; and Bob Zoellick, former president of the World Bank Group and chairman of the firm’s international advisors.

de Croisset, on the fate of the euro in light of France’s current economic status: “The euro was always a political project. It was never made to facilitate economic development. It was always about politics and geopolitics. The euro is very consolidated by the present political situation, but more importantly, by the crisis we’ve lived through in the famous peripheral countries.”

Macfarlane, on the recovery in the financial markets: “Since 2010, the global financial markets have been affected by a number of mini crises such as the debt ceiling impasse in the US, concerns about an abrupt slowdown in China and the possible breakup of the euro area. On each occasion there was a bout of fear in the financial markets and a period of cycle risk where share prices fell, margins for risk rose and foreign exchange volatility increased. But despite all of these incidents, if we look at the underlying world economy as measured by world GDP growth, it has actually been a remarkably stable period over the last four years.”

Zoellick, on the balance that CEOs look to achieve between medium- and long-term interests in emerging markets: “For CEOs looking ahead, emerging markets are a key part of their strategy, and being able to understand some of the differentiation is very important. What you’ll start to see, as tapering goes forward, is a greater differentiation based on whether countries are pursuing structural reforms.”