Signature Keynote: Lawrence H. Summers

Signature keynote address by Lawrence H. Summers, Former US Treasury Secretary, at LendIt USA 2015.

View and download the slides here.

The modern-day godfather of American economics gave his full endorsement to the future of the online marketplace in the Lendit keynote address. Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, filled the Broadway Ballroom with his big hope about the future of finance, based on the size of the LendIt USA 2015 conference.

After playing a key role in every financial crisis in the last two decades (at least) it's safe to say Summers knows what he's talking about when he declares it's high time for the renewal of the financial system.

He lamented the failure of mainstream banking to stimulate growth by encouraging investment, not saving, thereby putting itself at risk, counter to its fundamental purpose.

And Summers has been a key player in encouraging the online marketplace, not least by sitting on the boards of industry mavens Lending Club and Square.

It is inspiring to see a man with this pedigree evangelising the power of new technology, especially to "do new things rather than to do old things better". He recalled that it was President Clinton who sowed the seed of internet innovation with his ‘presumption of permission’ paradigm in the mid-90s (when the web was but an acorn).

He told the Lendit delegates that everybody is a stakeholder in the success of the financial system and emphasised the need for transparency and disclosure, so that consumers decide with informed choice.

In addition Summers called for a level playing field for the new world of finance, with the newcomers on the same footing as incumbents; and he acknowledged the need for workable regulatory frameworks.