Bernanke, El-Erian, Powell Headline 2014 GFLC


The seventh Global Financial Leadership Conference begins next week in Naples, Florida. As in the past, we’ll be covering the  event with blog, video and photo updates.  You can also follow along on social media with #GFLC14.

This year’s lineup of presenters represents a first-person review of several of the key economic and political events that have shaped the last decade, including the financial crisis, surveillance programs, and new market risks and regulation.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will share the stage with Lord Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England until 2013, where they will discuss their outlook for the global economy. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak will discuss the challenges facing the Middle East, and former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander will give his thoughts on the privacy/safety balance in fighting terrorism.  A few other presenters have made headlines lately:


Ben Bernanke

Since he left his position as Federal Reserve Chair last year, Bernanke has stayed mostly quiet, save for a few speeches and a cordial exchange with India Central Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan (a GFLC alum) at a central bank policy event in April. That should make his discussion with Lord Mervyn King one of the premier events at this year’s conference. He’ll be discussing his outlook for the global economy, but also potentially his first-person view of the financial crisis as it happened in 2008.

Bernanke is also the Melamed-Arditti Innovation Award winner, which will be awarded at this year’s event.

Bernanke says ECB faces challenges with monetary easing (Bloomberg)


Nicolas Sarkozy

The French President from 2007 to 2012 announced his return to politics in September. He’s currently running for the Presidency of his UMP party, which could set him up for another Presidential run in 2017. He headlines several key international figures at this year’s conference, and is one of several speakers who had a close-up view to the financial crisis of 2008, which continues to leave an imprint on Eurozone today.  He’s spent most of the last two years travelling France, and talking about his pro-growth message. About his electoral loss in 2012, he now tells Reuters:

“I saw the rise, like an unstoppable tide, of disarray, rejection and anger … Among many French people, I saw the temptation to no longer believe in anyone or anything,” he said. “This absence of all hope, so peculiar to France of today, now forces us to completely reinvent ourselves.”

Sarkozy will give the opening keynote at this year’s conference.

Sarkozy returns to politics, offers France new start (Reuters)


Mohamed El-Erian

El-Erian, one of the more influential voices in the financial world, will give the conference’s closing keynote. He made news when he left his position as PIMCO CEO earlier this year to become the chief economic adviser at Allianz. That didn’t slow down his prolific output of ideas in places like Bloomberg View, Project Syndicate and Financial Times where he writes regularly on economic and financial issues. He’s also chair of President Obama’s Global Development Council, and is likely this conference’s most active tweeter.


FYI, #Yen above 115 again. Here’s some background on #fx moves… #dollaryen#Euros & others

— Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm) November 11, 2014

Mohamed El -Erian says the U.S. economy will continue to heal while the Eurozone and Japan continue to struggle (BusinessWeek)


Colin Powell

It’s been nine years since Powell served as Secretary of State, and in that time he’s remained one of the world’s most recognized authorities on leadership.  He is the Chair of the Board of Visitors of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater, the City College of New York (CCNY); and serves on several boards, including Bloom Energy, Salesforce, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the education center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Smithsonian Institute’s African American Museum of History and Culture.

Despite all of that, he’s had time to write two books — My American Journey and It Worked For Me — that were New York Times bestsellers. He’ll be the fourth U.S. Secretary of State to appear at GFLC after Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Madeline Albright.


Colin Powell discusses the ISIS threat (CBS News)



Lord Mervyn King

Ben Bernanke’s British counterpart at the Bank of England retired in 2013 after 10 years as its Governor. He’s since moved from being a Knight to one of only 24 British citizens outside the Royal family to join The Order of the Garter, the most prestigious honor a British citizen can receive from the Queen. But he still has plenty to say about economic policy and his role in preventing a financial collapse in 2008.

As he told the Telegraph, he’s dedicated himself to  “Ratwat”  — reading and thinking, writing and talking.  He’ll have the chance to do that with Bernanke when they share the stage Monday to give their respective outlooks for global economics and monetary policy.

Mervyn King’s post-central bank life is “liberating” (Telegraph)


Ehud Barak

Israel’s former Prime Minister and Minister of Defense will discuss the future for the Middle East and the impact of geopolitical events there on global markets and the economy. Barak has established himself as a distinguished voice on the issue. Last year, Foreign Policy magazine named him 13th among its 100 Global Thinkers. He was also recently awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

Barak says two-state solution the ‘guiding light’ to Israeli policy (i24News)


Steve Forbes

As the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes media, Steve Forbes continues to be an influential voice beyond the financial world. He writes regularly on geopolitical issues that impact the global economy, and continues to promote the agenda he ran on during the 1996 and 2000 Presidential campaigns. His presentation at GFLC, Free Markets vs. Big Government, will be a timely one given the recent midterm elections in the United States.

He’s also the author of Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy and What We Can Do About It

What should Republicans do after winning the midterms? (Forbes)


See the full agenda and list of speakers for this year’s Global Financial Leadership Conference.




Evan Peterson is director of corporate marketing at CME Group and managing editor of OpenMarkets.

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