Seeking Progress in a Time of Crisis

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    Speeches & Presentations

    by Robert Bunting, President, International Federation of Accountants

    Apr 16, 2009
    World Bank


    SMP Committee


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    Seeking Progress in a Time of Crisis

    1) The Financial Crisis and the Opportunities for Change

    A. Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's White House Chief of Staff, has stated, "Never let a serious crisis go to's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before." It is certainly too great a crisis for IFAC to sit out. There are opportunities that we and other public interest enterprises cannot afford to miss. In IFAC's case:

    1. Recognition of the importance of accounting and auditing is at a high point.
    2. The interconnectedness of the world's financial markets and economies has been demonstrated in a resounding way.
    3. The concern for a "level playing field" in the financial markets has created momentum for convergence of financial standards.

    B. The Financial Crisis is a game changer for IFAC, as well as for other international institutions like the World Bank. We must act now and do so decisively to counteract the crisis as much as possible. For IFAC, we are faced with two tranches of economic reform:

    • In one tranche are those working to stabilize banks and improve the flow of credit; this is an area in which IFAC's role is that of a minor player;
    • In the other tranche are those working on the re-regulation of financial markets; here, IFAC has a major role to play.

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