World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009

  • Regulating Complex Industries

    Saturday 31st January 2009 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

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  • Regulating Complex Industries

    • Stuart E. Eizenstat • Christoph Franz • Yasuchika Hasegawa • Shirley Ann Jackson • Lord Levene • Joost Martens • Yossi Sheffi

    Facilitated by

    • Subramanian Rangan

    Saturday 31 January


    Subramanian Rangan

    described regulation as a guard rail of human or economic progress. He said that 10-20 years ago we would have been talking about deregulation. He asked three questions: Why regulate? How should we regulate? And, “so what?" Among the responses and observations:

    • Why regulate? To level the playing field.

    • Because of pressure from the food industry, it took five years just to pass simple legislation for clear, understandable labels on food in the US and there is still a battle to get clear labels on sunscreens.

    • Business people have their feet on the gas; regulators have their feet on the brake. The same person cannot act both as judge and jury.

    • It is human nature to try to beat the system. Regulation is needed to prevent information asymmetries.

    • The government responds when industry fails to take responsibility.

    • Feedback failures exist. For example, there is a disinclination to report negative drug effects; pilots don’t like to file near-miss reports; and banks do not file reports with the police when their computer systems are attacked.

    • The quality of regulatory output is good; the quality of regulatory efficiency is not.
    • No regulatory system works well if it relies on enforcement. Voluntary compliance comes when the regulatory system is readily understood. The more regulation, the more people think unregulated things are not so bad.

    • Global standards are needed in a globalized world. Regulatory efficiency comes from public engagement, clarity and commonality of regulations and cross-border harmonization.

    • The operational system and the way it works should be reviewed by consumers and regulators.

    • The EU operates through “mutual recognition.” When Member States do not have common standards, they mutually accept each other’s standards. Negotiated sectoral mutual-recognition agreements are different from standardization.

    • Participants criticized the International Monetary Fund for doing a relatively poor job in developing regulatory capacity in developed and developing nations.

    • There should be global scrutiny for those doing business internationally. Aside from persuasiveness and diplomacy, a “name and shame” list and international opprobrium could be imposed.

    Winding up, Rangan said, “What I am hearing is that the guard rails are being built, and progress requires citizenship.”



  • Christoph Franz Christoph Franz
    Chairman, Roche, Switzerland

    1983, graduate, General Management and Engineering, Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Ecole Centrale de...

  • Joost Martens Joost Martens

  • Shirley Ann Jackson Shirley Ann Jackson
    President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), USA

    SB in Physics, PhD in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics, MIT. Senior leadership positions in a...

  • Yossi Sheffi Yossi Sheffi
    Professor of Engineering Systems and Director, Transportation and Logistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

    1975, BSc, Israel; 1977, Master of Science, MIT; 1978, PhD. Founder of five companies in logistics a...

  • Yasuchika Hasegawa Yasuchika Hasegawa
    Chairman of the Board, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Japan

    1970, degree, Waseda University, Tokyo. Since 1970, with Takeda: 1993, President, TAP Pharmaceutical...

  • Lord Peter Levene Lord Peter Levene
    Chairman, NBNK Investments, United Kingdom

    1991-94, Chairman, DLR; 1991-95, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Wasserstein Perella & Co.; 1...

  • Stuart E. Eizenstat Stuart E. Eizenstat
    Partner and Head, International Trade and Finance, Covington & Burling, USA

    1964, degree (Hons) in Political Science, Univ. of N. Carolina; 1967, degree in Law, Harvard. 1977-8...

Facilitated by

  • Subramanian Rangan Subramanian Rangan
    The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court Endowed Chair in Societal Progress, INSEAD, France

    MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management; PhD, Harvard University. Member of the Board: Funda+ºa+Á Dom ...