"Setting Agenda for America's Financial Future" Is Daylong Summit Topic as Wall Street Faces Loss of Investor Confidence and Economic Downturn
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Participate in MONEY Summit
(New York, New York, June 18, 2002) --Today in New York City, MONEY magazine convened the MONEY Summit with 100 of Wall Street's most influential leaders to discuss challenges facing the financial services industry and ways to restore investor confidence in the face of an economic downturn and recent accounting controversies. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, AOL Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, National Economic Council Director Lawrence Lindsey, and New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer joined CEOs from America's largest financial services firms at the one-day Summit to discuss this year's theme of "Setting the Agenda for America's Financial Future." In total, the group convened at the MONEY Summit manages total assets and custodial accounts in excess of 9.6 trillion dollars.
"We convened the Summit to create a forum where America's financial leaders can meet to discuss the challenges facing the industry and the issues that most affect consumers and investors," said MONEY's Managing Editor Robert Safian. "Certainly since we began planning the Summit nearly a year ago, it has become even more clear that this industry needs a forum like this Summit to discuss everything from long term trends like globalization to current issues such as how Wall Street can win back the trust of disillusioned investors whose confidence has been undermined by the dot-com implosion, financial collapses, and new accounting controversies."
The MONEY Summit opened with an address by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, followed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who, when discussing Enron, said that there is no legislative "silver bullet" that will prevent corporate heads from hiding information from shareholders, but that CEOs "should get on the tabletop and scream out against the abuses that have been done and make it clear this is not how we view life, this is not what we think is responsible behavior, and we don't like it any better than anyone else." After his address, Secretary O'Neill was interviewed before the group by CNN Moneyline anchor Lou Dobbs.
Later in the day, the discussion of corporate governance was continued by White House Economic Advisor Lawrence Lindsey, who previewed the Securities and Exchange Commission's announcement of a board to regulate accounting firms that will be given wide ranging enforcement power including the ability to impose a broad range of disciplinary sanctions against accounting firms and individual accountants that breach its regulations. Corporate governance was a persistent topic throughout the Summit and in separate onsite polling, a great majority of all Summit participants polledó93%-- agreed that institutional shareholders should be more aggressive about forcing accountability and transparency on corporate management.
Other panels at the Summit included a discussion on the state of the U.S. economy led by MONEY editor and author Walter Updegrave with panelists Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs, and Alan "Ace" Greenberg, CEO of Bear Stearns. Interactive polling revealed that the largest block of Summit participants--35%óexpect an overall stock market return of 0-5% over the next twelve months. However a close secondó33% of those polledówere more bullish, predicting overall market growth of 5-10% over the next year. Opinion among the group was more united however when it came to predicting long term growth in the market; fully 70% of the Wall Street leaders at the Summit said they expect the stock market to grow between 6 and 10% over the next decade.
Long-term trends in financial services were also addressed at the Summit. Safian moderated a panel entitled, "Financial Services at a Crossroads" where MONEY Editor-at-large Jean Chatzky, Christopher Davis, CEO of Davis Advisors, and Robert Stein, Chairman of Ernst & Young's Global Financial Services Practice focused on how long-term trends including globalization, convergence, technological innovation, demographic shifts and new customer priorities are impacting the industry.
In one of the most anticipated sessions of the Summit, "The Firing Line," MONEY Executive Editor Eric Gelman interviewed New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on his recent investigations into Wall Street analysts' conflicts of interest. Before the session, when the group was polled on their view of how Spitzer's investigations of Wall Street firms would be viewed by investors, there was great diversity of opinion: 49% felt the investigations would improve investor confidence, but 51% felt that the Attorney General's recent actions would serve to further inflame investors' distrust.
ABOUT THE MONEY SUMMIT
MONEY magazine celebrates its 30th anniversary year as the American economy faces exceptional challenges, including a threatened loss of confidence in the ability of our system to allow ordinary Americans to secure their financial futures. In response to these exceptional times, MONEY magazine convened the MONEY Summit for the purpose of "Setting the Agenda for America's Financial Future" on June 18, 2002. The Summit brought together 100 of the world's most influential leaders in the financial services industry including Fortune 500 CEOs, elected officials with finance and banking oversight, and public policy makers. In total, the group convened at the MONEY Summit manages total assets and custodial accounts in excess of 9.6 trillion dollars. For more information on the MONEY Summit panels and participants, visit www.moneysummit2002.com.
ABOUT MONEY MAGAZINE
MONEY, Time Inc.'s monthly personal finance magazine, was launched in October 1971 with an initial circulation of 225,000. Today, MONEY is the largest business and personal financial management publication in the world with a paid circulation of 1.9 million and a total monthly readership of nearly 8 million.