Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Fed policy and recession may have stolen the show on day one of the annual meeting, but the credit crunch is very much on the minds of participants.

Here are some highlights from a panel on systemic financial risk.

James Dimon
James Dimon

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan, defined a financial crisis as something that happens every five or six years.

"This is the world we live in," said Dimon, who is a co-chair of the event. "I am always surprised by people who are surprised that we have cycles." While calling himself a "fanatic for conservative accounting" and saying that there needs to be better disclosure of what financial assets hold systemic risk, he added that some risk is needed.

"If you don't want any risk, buy Treasuries."


European Central Bank Governor Jean-Claude Trichet responded to a question from the floor about the recent ECB decision to keep rates on hold, saying "there is one needle in our compass, which is price stability."

"More than ever in a period of turbulences is to continue as a central bank that is responsible for price stability," Trichet said.

Financial markets rely on creativity and regulations must be "permanently upgraded" to deal with new risks, he said.