Webinar After FTX collapse: can cryptoassets be ethical?

24 March 2023, 2 pm (CET)

The increasing use of cryptoassets is expected to bring many opportunities and benefits through greater competition and efficiency in financial services. At the same time, the volatility of crypto markets has fueled significant concerns for investors and consumers. In particular, the recent collapse of leading digital asset exchange FTX has spurred questions about ethical risks, including comingling of customer assets, lack of transparency, and conflicts of interest, while reigniting the debate around the regulation of crypto-assets globally. Our roundtable aims to identify and evaluate the ethical challenges and opportunities that crypto-assets pose to business and society.

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Webinar Will Sustainable Finance Deliver? What? How? When?

7 March 2023

Sustainable Finance is rooted in the pledge that “doing well” and “doing good” can go hand in hand; that financial returns and positive social and environmental externalities can easily become complements; that finance is a positive-sum game. More than 30 years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992) where the concept of sustainability has been defined, expectations as to the potential achievements of Sustainable Finance are higher than ever. But, at the same time, critical voices become louder: greenwashing, lack of tangible effects, the general lagging behind on climate targets, not to mention social ones. Our Round-Table will assess realistically what can be expected from Sustainable Finance as of today, and what changes are necessary to increase its effectiveness.

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Webinar Insurance, Ethics and Sustainability

The insurance industry offers a powerful engine to implement the climate transition due to its (global) size, its know-how in managing long-term risks and the multiple roles it plays in the economy. Thanks to their expertise in risk pricing and their investment capacities, insurance companies are capable to structurally influence the behaviour of economic players while supporting their development.


Building Brigdes 2022

Wednesday October 5 2022 – Geneva or livestream

Prof. Adam Marszk and Prof. Ewa Lechman will present their forthcoming book (Academic Press) which covers various aspects of the European sustainable investing exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including the empirical study of their effects for the financial and socio-economic systems as well as their possible impact on the environment. Julie Segal will broaden the discussion, building off profs. Marszk and Lechman’s research with a focus on equity and justice as well as policy and regulation.


Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the nature of money and monetary creation have become topics of debate in several countries. In Switzerland, the debate over the creation of an “electronic franc” (ie. a central bank digital currency) will surely gain momentum in the coming years. The proposal gained the support of some elected officials and senior executives in the financial sector who saw in it a credible alternative to the “Full Money” initiative, allowing central banks to retain a sure footing in payments in the face of the rise of private cryptocurrencies, while leaving untouched the freedom of commercial banks to develop credit activities and attract deposits.

On 14 March 2018, the Wermuth Postulate (N° 18.3159) was submitted, asking the Federal Council to elaborate a report on the feasibility and stakes of the creation of a cryptofranc (“Etablir un rapport sur la faisabilité et les enjeux de la création d’un cryptofranc”). Simultaneously, on 15 March 2018, Guillaume Barazzone submitted an Interpellation entitled “Un cryptofranc pour la Suisse?”. The Postulate, accepted by the Parliament, forces the Federal Council to study this topic and provide a report on it.

The question is all the more important since companies like Facebook are now proposing their own private payment system combining big data and cryptocurrencies. The risks, however, are significant with private payment systems combining speculation and use of personal data.

Given the importance of this issue for our payment system and in anticipation of the public debate that will develop, the Observatoire de la Finance has deepened the study of this issue in a report analyzing the opportunities, risks and impacts of central bank digital currencies.

The report, which can be downloaded below in several languages, exists in 2 versions:

An « international version » concerning potentially any state

A « Swiss version » focused more specifically on the Swiss case