NEW YORK — Despite considerable efforts from business and governments around the globe to stem the crisis, there still a long way to go before trust in the financial system is restored, top industry executives said Friday.
At a panel discussion sponsored by the Partnership for New York City, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Stock Exchange, five chief executives from major financial services firms discussed the financial crisis and its potential outcome with little immediate optimism.
Steven Schwarzman, chief executive officer of Blackstone Group said that the public is waking up to the problem, but that the world's governments are still some way off finding and implementing a coordinated resolution to the crisis.
The panelists agreed that the basis of the problem is liquidity, adding that the financial system needs a better regulatory framework dominated by the Federal Reserve.
"The ultimate resolution to this will involve guaranteeing the liabilities of financial institutions," Schwarzman said.
"It's a matter of time before the system gets there," he said. James Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said he is confident that the government will eventually get the crisis under control.
"We are talking about trillions of dollars of (government) support countering the hysteria," Dimon said.
But for now the turning point hasn't been reached.
Glen Hutchins, co-CEO of Silver Lake said what is needed is a systemic shock that would turn the crisis around. He didn't elaborate on what form this systemic shock could take.
Hutchins also said that part of the solution must be to allow people to refinance their home loans at low interest rates.
Dimon also called for an overhaul of the mortgage business worldwide.
"Mortgages need to be regulated," Dimon said.
"Real estate is at the center of crisis after crisis," he added.
The panelists, which also included Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink, agreed that the inflow of government money into the financial system poses no immediate danger of inflation, but instead is necessary to ward off deflation. But they failed to find a middle ground as to what extent fair value accounting contributed to the crisis.