というプラハで開かれたユーロフィ主催の金融フォーラムでのクラース・クノット・オランダ銀行総裁の講演(原題は「From thaler to tackle. On how to lift us out of the current crises」)を、Mostly Economicsが紹介している。以下はその冒頭。

Hello everyone.
As a central banker, to be in the Czech republic is a special feeling for me. Do you know why? Because if it were not for Czech ingenuity the world would likely have looked quite different. And no, I’m not talking about essential Czech inventions such as mechanical pencils, sugar cubes or pilsner. I am talking about something the financial industry is much more fond of– In a way, the seeds of our shared monetary history lay in the tiny town of Jachymov.
For it was there, at the dawn of the Renaissance, that the rulers of Bohemia started minting coins that would later serve as the prototype for all major Western currencies. With an image of saint Joachim on the front and the Bohemian lion on the back, the new currency was labelled as “Joachimsthalers” – which soon was shortened to “thalers”. With the helping hand of the Holy Roman Empire, the thaler spread across Europe. From here it was just a matter of time before the Dutch brought the Leeuwendaler to New Amsterdam. And after New Amsterdam turned into New York, the Leeuwendaler turned into the dollar.
By passing through the Joachimsthalers from neighbor to stranger, our ancestors breathed life into our financial system. They relied on each other to spread their currencies across the globe. They relied on their currencies to improve their welfare and wellbeing. That interdependence still persists in our financial system today: we need strong, stable and sustainable finances to ensure and support welfare and wellbeing. This is a balancing act that requires all of us to weigh in. For there are many challenges that can disturb the balance.
When we now think of the most pressing financial challenges our societies face, the rapid revival of inflation stands out. The strong price increase for energy and commodities in particular has hit societies all over the world with force. Pushed past its point of inflection, inflation eats away at consumption and investment capacity and frustrates financial planning. In response, the ECB rallied to raise policy rates to calm down the business cycle and keep inflation expectations anchored. We will continue doing so until the inflation outlook has stabilized around our 2% target in the medium term.
中央銀行家として、チェコ共和国にいることには特別な感慨を覚えます。なぜだか分かりますか? 理由は、チェコの発明が無かったならば、世界は全く違ったものになっていたであろうからです。いいえ、ここで私が言っているのは、シャープペンシル、角砂糖、ピルスナーといった基本的なチェコの発明品のことではありません。私は言っているのは、それらよりも金融業界が大いに好きなものです。ある意味で、我々が共有する金融の歴史はヤーヒモフという小さな町に端を発しているのです。


As Václav Havel put it: "Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs."
The implementation of sustainable finance is our venture, our decisive step up the stairs. We must implement serious climate policies which take into account the negative externalities of carbon emissions. That means encouraging sustainable initiatives rather than subsidizing fossil fuels. That means incorporating ESG risks into our policies and business strategies. That means providing a wide array of sustainable and transparent financial products for our clients and partners. At the end of the day, renewables also remain our best bet to establish energy security.
Fortunately, the financial sector overwhelmingly supports the Paris Agreement and pledged en masse that they – that we – will do our part to establish a net-zero economy. While more is still needed, available capital should be put to maximum use. For financial institutions, this means implementing proper risk management policies to price in ESG risks. But for risks to be understood by the broader public, we also need common reporting regimes.
In this regard, I applaud the ambitious EU initiatives regarding climate disclosures. At the same time, financial institutions have voiced concerns regarding the different metrics that are currently being drafted between the Eurozone and standard setters such as the ISSB. Therefore, I would like to echo my previous message regarding the harmonization of regulatory policy. By designing internationally comparable climate disclosures from the start, we maximize their impact. This puts the industry in the best possible position to put their capital to work.
Just as our ancestors joined hands to create a strong financial sector by means of the Joachimsthaler, we now have to honor their legacy by keeping it that way. Today, a strong financial sector requires resilience and a transition to a balanced, sustainable economy. We do so together, but all in our own way, relying on our own strengths. As Madeleine Albright, daughter of a Czech diplomat, once said:
"The main thing is to remain oneself, under any circumstances; that was and is our common purpose."
In times of growing challenges to price and financial stability, there is great value in our combined effort. It is our European identity to come together and serve as a positive example for others. Once again, we have to transform our interdependence into collective action. We all have our role to play.
Thank you.