(Repeat for additioinal subscribers)
June 20 (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
In its first London event, Fitch's The Why? Forum brought together a distinguished panel of
experts yesterday evening to discuss why there are signs of a return to growth in Europe.
Fitch's CEO, Paul Taylor, was joined by Lord Mervyn King, Former Governor, Bank
of England; Stephanie Flanders, Chief Market Strategist, UK and Europe, J.P.
Morgan Asset Management; Nouriel Roubini, Chairman, Roubini Global Economics and
Steven Swartz, President and CEO, Hearst Corporation. The panel session was
moderated by James McCormack, Fitch's Global Head of Sovereign Ratings.
Lord King's keynote address set the tone for an engaging panel session which
covered topics such as Europe's economic outlook, its political backdrop and
business environment, as well as the risks ahead for the global economy.
Despite a diverse range of views, panellists agreed that the recovery ahead for
Europe would be slow and anaemic.
Below follows highlight quotes from the event, which was held at The Tower of
Paul Taylor, CEO, Fitch Ratings:
"Credits markets have grown more complex and investors are looking for more of
the why, rather than just the what. The why forum is our platform to help
strengthen understanding in capital markets and our credit ratings are an
important source of information for the market when assessing credit risk."
Stephanie Flanders, Chief Market Strategist, UK and Europe, J.P. Morgan Asset
"The biggest risk is the political economy of the Eurozone and will the economic
recovery now come through fast enough for people in Europe. Whilst the currency
is now secure the question is whether the recovery will be too."
"Political risk in the UK is now much bigger than the economic risk, and it is
not just the question of Scottish independence. The prospects for a hung
parliament next year that isn't as strong a coalition as that we saw five years
ago is not something that people are pricing in. Plus you have the Euro and EU
referendums on top of that."
Nouriel Roubini, Chairman, Roubini Global Economics:
"On the surface things have improved and the mood is positive about the
Eurozone. However potential growth is slow, the actual recovery is anaemic and
debt ratios are rising, and the region still faces long term competitiveness
"People are willing to tighten their belts if they can see light at the end of
the tunnel from austerity with the creation of jobs, incomes and investment."
Dr Roubini also said he expects to see the ECB introduce quantitative easing
later this year.
Steven Swartz, President and CEO, Hearst Corporation:
"US companies are sitting on a massive amount of cash. Things are getting
better, the acquisition market is heating up and despite all the difficulties
facing the world economy it is very difficult to buy assets at attractive prices
Conceived as part of Fitch's 100th anniversary in 2013, The Why? Forum is an
interactive web and event platform, where leading thinkers from Fitch and beyond
share insights about important themes at play in global markets and the economy.
It examines 'why we think what we think' about global economic, demographic and
geopolitical trends, increasing understanding of our world. Find out more at:
Yesterday's event follows the inaugural The Why? Forum launch in New York last
October, which featured a keynote address from Niall Ferguson, author and
Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard; as well as guest panellists
Henry A. Kissinger, Former U.S. Secretary of State; and Former U.S. Secretaries
of Defense William S. Cohen and Robert Gates.