Webinar Insurance, Ethics and Sustainability – 1 December 2022 – 6 pm


There are at least three key topics at the intersection of insurance and ethics in times of climate change transition. A first dimension is to address ethical dilemmas embedded in insurance related professions and in particular the ethical challenges facing groups such as actuaries, insurance lawyers and insurance marketers. Second, it is important to examine the specific ethical responsibilities of insurance companies in relation to risk and responsibility sharing to address big contemporary challenges such as sustainable development. Finally, one has to look at the ethical values at the core of the relationships between insurance companies and their clients, eg. trust or mistrust in insurance contracts, solidarity or fair distribution of rights and duties.


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.


Discussion Board n°29, 24/06/22

According to many observers, the world is now facing the prospect of a global food crisis, with the weakest potentially hit the hardest. Is the conjunction of war and poor harvest forecast the only cause of the crisis or do other underlying structural weaknesses in the world food system also play a role? What can/should be done about them?


Discussion Board n°27, 29/04/22

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has prompted western businesses and/or high-profile brands either to exit the country, to stay or to suspend operations. In reaction, Russia is threatening to nationalise tangible and intangible assets of exiting western companies. Should corporations be encouraged (why and by whom) to take decisions on non-economic grounds (for instance moral)? Is today the moment to re-open the debate of the 1990s on “do corporations have consciousness”?


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