Over the past year, emerging markets have been a relative source of strength amid the fallout from the global economic meltdown. Thus, as the world looks for signs of recovery, Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Emerging Market Economies seemed a fitting topic for the fifth annual Jerome A. Chazen Lecture, held November 18, 2009, at the Columbia Club in Midtown Manhattan. The featured speaker was Alberto J. Verme, the co-CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Citi. A native of Peru, Verme attended Denison University in Ohio before joining the World Bank. After receiving an MBA from Columbia in 1984, he began his career on Wall Street. At Citi, he has led the Global Energy, Power and Chemicals group as well as the Latin American Investment Banking division.
In a wide-ranging and often humorous speech, Alberto Verme emphasized the global nature of financial markets and explained that emerging markets have been an engine of growth amid turbulent times. His address tackled three main themes. First, although there are positive signs for an economic recovery, his group does not think that the problems are over. Second, the crisis will accelerate a reshuffling of the global economic order--to wit, the recovery is being led by China. Finally, to avoid a return of the problems of the current crisis, banks must adopt a "back to basics" approach: "If we cannot measure risk, we cannot manage risk," Verme said.