Daiwa Capital Markets Conference (DCMC) is organized by Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd.. This landmark conference took place at the prestigious Imperial Hotel on December 6th and 7th, 2012. The conference continues its role as a must-attend meeting for institutional investors and investment funds managers from across the globe to gather and discuss issues critical to global financial markets.
Session SummaryIn the rapidly changing world, foreseeing the futures is more difficult than ever. Making prompt and adequate decision is inevitable when Black Swan suddenly appears out of thin air, but the "Unknowns", despite the deliberate preparations, still takes the world by surprise and challenges its ability to correspond to the unprecedented situation.
Ideally, for the sake of adequate decision, an organization should not be afraid to change itself flexibly as the world evolves itself. But in reality, organization is typically not able to do so. Due to decision makers who rigidly holds onto its old consents and refuses to make new and drastic decisions, the situation typically ends up becoming aggravated. Here lies the reason why the Fukushima disaster is called "manmade" catastrophe by The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. From here on, I would like to retrace the world's past evolutions while arguing the necessary reform in our mindset in order to fight unprecedented problem.
The world has dramatically changed since the early '90s. 1991 is a revolutionary year where the Soviet Union collapsed and the World Wide Web site was publicly introduced. It is the year that the door opened to the globalization after the long Cold War has finally come to its end. In the late '90s, two graduate students at Stanford University founded Google, whose services have changed our everyday life. It goes without saying that Steve Jobs, who made his famous speech at the very University a few years later, left his mark on people's lifestyles all over the world. Those "crazy" ones, who are enthusiastic and always think outside the box, have called for the common sense revolution and unveiled a new chapter of human history.
We have seen far more changes for past two decades. Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997, for instance, but it seems to have failed to mitigate environmental problems. The September 11 terrorism utterly reversed our view over national security. In 2008, Barack Obama, backed by peoplefs enthusiasm for "change", was elected as first African-American president. It is a well-known story that his beloved Blackberry helped him raise a huge amount of money on grass-roots basis. Unfortunately, it seems as though the gadget failed to adjust itself to the rapidly changing circumstances, and is now almost swiped out from the market by iPhone, an even more innovative device that is replacing Blackberry. Smartphone has made it easier for people to connect with each other over the web platform called SNS which is what has made the Arab Spring possible. People in Africa and India can now transfer their money between banks using smartphones, instead of walking to the banks tens of miles away. No one could have foreseen all of these changes even years ago.
It is time to change our way of thinking because preconditions surrounding us have entirely changed. One of the factors behind the change is the population explosion. Thanks to the development of science technology, our quality of public health, nutrition and medicine have been enhanced, people can now live much longer than before. Our society is not designed under presumption that people would live as long as they do now, and it failed to catch up with the speed of population development. We believe that the deformation created by this is what has elicited todayfs problems, such as European debt crisis and the Lost Decades in Japan.
The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami hit Tohoku region on March 11th 2011. Since then, many people have been wondering why the catastrophic nuclear disaster happened in Japan, a country known to be the third biggest in world economy and where science and technology flourished. They have wondered how the nationfs leaders have handled the situation. In order to determine causes and results of the accidents and to propose measures to prevent nuclear accidents from happening in the future, the Secretariat of the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission was found in December 8th 2011 and I was named the chairman of the commission.
Surprisingly, it is the first independent commission chartered by the Diet in the history of Japanfs constitutional government. Under the fundamental principle that the commission is "of the people, by the people, for the people", the 10 commissioners and I held 19 committee meetings open to public observation and broadcast on the internet (except for the first one) to a total of 800,000 viewers. In addition, we made more than 900 hours of interviews with 1,167 people, nine nuclear plant site visits and three town hall meetings. We disclosed our report and data in Japanese and English so that we could share our lessons learnt in order to operate nuclear plants safely.
After the elaborate investigation, the committee concluded that the accident was clearly a manmade disaster - that could and should have been foreseen and prevented. It was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties. The Commission believes the root causes of this accident cannot be resolved and that the peoplefs confidence cannot be recovered as long as this "manmade disaster" is seen as the result of error by a specific individual. The underlying issue is the social structure that results in "regulatory capture," and the organizational, institutional, and legal framework that allows individuals to justify their own actions, hide them when inconvenient, and leave no records in order to avoid responsibility. In sum, nobody could make an appropriate decision when the Black Swan was suddenly in sight.
Why not change our mindset - the mental attitude based on knowledge gained from past experiences? How can learn new things and become wiser? If we rely only on past experiences, we are going to be left behind the development of the world. We, especially young persons, need our own compass which navigates our future direction.
In the business world, it is said that the "push" model, under which supply-side tries to market products/services based on its own assumption, cannot survive anymore. Rather, demand-side driven approach is effective to capture the rapidly changing customer needs. The "pull" model places more value on practice than on theory as it is critical to know what end users really want. Entrepreneurs called lean-startups regularly post questions and get feedback on real world. While risks are relatively small, they should attempt to define customer needs through the trial and error process.
It is immensely essential to try to absorb different points of view from diverse people. I would like to emphasize the importance of womenfs perspective, opinion and value because I believe they help organization in its decision making process. It is useful to know how they differ from men in vision and judgment.
No one can accurately predict the future or take responsibility for it. In order to make appropriate decisions under uncertain circumstances, we need to flexibly change our way of thinking and correspond to the changes that surrounds us.
Session SummaryMr. Rostagno gave a presentation on "The ECB's Strategy in Good and Bad Times", providing a comprehensive overview of the current situation in the euro area and the ECB's monetary policy prior to, and after, the outbreak of the global financial crisis that started in 2007. Mr. Rostagno explained in depth the ECB's "Standard" and "Non-Standard" monetary policy measures, highlighting the conditions of the ECB's most recent OMT programme. Mr. Rostagno's session ended with an overview of the ECB's role in a more closely integrated banking union, where the ECB will soon take up its responsibilities as the euro area's sole banking supervisor.