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More than 1,000 finance, business and economic experts gathered in the heart of London’s financial district for the FT Festival of Finance at the HAC.
After a rainy start — “We invited Peter Praet, and he brought the liquidity,” joked Alphaville US editor Cardiff Garcia — the weather cleared and guests enjoyed a full day of global insight from some of the world’s most influential and informed economic minds.
Hosted by FT Alphaville, the third iteration of this event hosted over 100 speakers on five stages, tackling the debate on Brexit, tax havens, peak globalisation, the economic impact of shifting global demographics, China’s search for a new business model, Abenomics and much more.
Among the highlights, Peter Praet, chief economist of the European Central Bank, said: “Derisking and profitability needs to be tackled urgently. Whatever the outcome will be, there must be an orderly process. As long as you don’t have that, uncertainty will remain high.”
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of Open Russia Movement, discussed modern Russia and his former life in prison with FT editor Lionel Barber.
The Festival of Finance, formerly Camp Alphaville, also included many of the FT’s iconic finance-centered brands, including Lex, fastFT, The Banker, FT Trading Room, and FTfm.
FT Alphaville editor and Camp Alphaville founder Paul Murphy said: “Whereas last year this event brought you the hottest day of the year, the FT’s Festival of Finance brought us rain, political chaos and potential financial crisis in London. We’ve had a fantastic turnout, the Festival of Finance is almost twice as large as last year, and we continue to create an avenue for high-quality discussion amongst some of the leading global experts in their field.”