awards

Hon. Christine Lagarde
September 18, 2017

Thank you very much to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and to you, Rabbi Schneier, for inviting me on the occasion of this celebration tonight. I have many doubts as to whether you’ve decided to invite me. But I have one certainty. I will not be one of those many priests that you advocated should change their carrier plan and become those priests, because that would certainly not work in my particular case.

But I realize tonight there is a little bit of variety and diversity at the table and if I can contribute to that as you all contribute in the room, that’s brilliant, because clearly one of the goals that you’re pursuing through appeal of conscience is inclusion, is diversity, is tolerance, is respect, is dignity, is the ability to reach out, to close the gaps, to establish bridges, to remove walls, and to make sure that people actually form that community, which is not only sustained by good economics, solid finance, but also a common belief that there is something just

bigger than all of us together, and bigger than our economies together, which has to do with hope and with love.

Now, clearly, the managing director of the IMF is not tonight here to talk to you about hope and love, because this is not the mission of the IMF. As you rightly said, Stephen, as you know better than so many, we have to deal with finance, we have to deal with balance of payment issues, and we have to rescue countries that are in great difficulties occasionally, and sometimes, we are called the firefighters, sometimes we are called the architects, sometimes, I fancy myself being a Jewish mother, and encouraging countries to do the best they can do for posterity and to make sure that their talents flourish as much as they can. But we have a very special power that we share with you, Rabbi, and that is the ability to convene people.

And when, about two weeks from now, we will be convening 189 finance ministers and governors of central banks, we can certainly encourage them to cooperate, to work better together and to make sure that they don’t act only in the interest of their domestic market, of their respective economies, but also with a higher purpose because it is by working together and by taking action together that they can get the best leverage out of their respective action.

So, I would like to not spend too much time annoying you with what we do and how much we need to continue doing it and continue to affirm the multilateral principles that presided over our setting up a little more 52 years, 70

years ago in Bretton Woods, because I would like to also congratulate the three men who were honored tonight. I have huge respect for them and great admiration and friendship for them. And I would like to say that of course, states, government, policy makers can do a lot. But fiscal space somehow is constrained, as we all know, and the partnership goes also beyond our respective faith. It also extends between public actors and private sectors.

And Paul and Brian and you, head of SoftBank, you can certainly contribute to that a great deal and you’ve demonstrated it over the course of your carrier, whether by the way of charities taking your message loud and clear to the rest of the world and sometimes ignoring shareholders, just a little bit, just enough so they don’t really turn their back to you, by really being loyal to also that faith that you have in the world being of humanity.

So with that, I’m extremely optimistic. I have confidence in what we all are doing, and I think we can all inspire each other very much. I’m certainly inspired by you Rabbi, and by the Appeal to Conscience Foundation that brings us together tonight, and has brought us together many years before and will continue to bring us together many years to go. Thank you very much.

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