Issues related to central counterparty clearing: Opening remarks
First of all, I would like to say that I am extremely delighted to welcome you to this conference and to Frankfurt—a city that offers a huge variety of facets based on almost 2,000 years of history. Frankfurt was not only the home of important writers and philosophers, such as Goethe, Schopenhauer, and Adorno, it has also over the centuries prospered as a marketplace and magnet for business. Key to this success was its central location at the crossroads of large trading routes between the North and South and the East and West. Finance followed trade, and early on, Frankfurt became not only the home of large trade fairs but also an important financial center. It was one of the birth places of our modern stock exchanges, bringing about early financial innovations, such as trade with derivatives or bonds. When I look at the history of Chicago, I see a lot of similarities to Frankfurt: Chicago developed from a trading hub of agricultural products into a financial metropolis with a very potent stock exchange.