On Nov. 4-6, Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems (PIFS) co-hosted the 14th annual “Symposium on Building the Financial System of the 21st Century: An Agenda for Japan and the United States,” with the International House of Japan. The event, held this year in Cambridge, Mass., brought together more than 100 senior executives and government officials from the financial industry, policymaking, law and academic arenas.

PIFS Director and HLS Professor Hal Scott said of the event:  “Given the ongoing policy responses to the financial crisis in the U.S. and Japan, we had a dynamic and important dialogue at the Symposium, which broadened our understanding on key issues relating to capital markets, financial regulation and international finance.  The symposium provided a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and views across the Pacific.”

Symposium topics included “Public Debt Overhang and the Financial Sector,” “Micro-Prudential Measures for Systemic Stability – Basel III and GSIFI Regulations,” and “Inflation or Deflation – Geological Risk, Geopolitical Risk and Macro-Policies.” To read conference papers and view symposium material, go to the symposium’s webpage.

Richard Neiman, vice chairman of Global Financial Services Regulatory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers and former superintendent of banks for the state of New York, opened the proceedings with a keynote address on Friday. Teisuke Kitayama, board chairman at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, also delivered remarks on Friday.

Several other prominent executives and governments officials gave talks throughout the three-day symposium. Ronald P. O’Hanley, president of Asset Management and Corporate Services at Fidelity Investments, delivered the keynote address at lunch on Saturday afternoon. Public sector keynote speeches were delivered by Marisa Lago, assistant secretary for International Markets and Development at the U.S. Department of Treasury, and Masatsugu Asakawa, deputy vice-minister for International Affairs at the Japan Ministry of Finance.

Founded in 1986, PIFS fosters the exchange of ideas on capital markets, financial regulation and international financial systems through the program’s research, symposia and other special events.