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The ECB’s Christine Lagarde thinks the global economy is past the worst



Good morning. David Meyer here in Berlin, filling in for Alan one more time before I sink into my summer holiday (and yes, it will largely be a staycation.)

European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde doesn’t always get her assessments right—who could forget the abrupt u-turn she had to perform on the need for a monetary response to the pandemic?—but let’s hope she’s right this time, because the ECB president thinks the world’s economy might now be past its coronavirus trough.

“We probably have passed the lowest point and I say that with some trepidation because of course there could be a second wave,” Lagarde said at a summit this morning, before noting that the recovery “is going to be incomplete and might be transformational.”

Again, let’s hope she’s right about passing the lowest point. But a glance at the global statistics shows that daily case numbers continue to climb.

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Separately, Brian Stafford–the CEO of Diligent, a software platform for corporate governance–yesterday told a Fortune virtual gathering that his company today is launching a major new initiative to promote racial diversity on corporate boards.

The gathering, which was held in conjunction with McKinsey & Company, included John Rogers of Ariel Investment, a longtime advocate of boardroom diversity who said progress has been far too slow. “Business can’t be a bystander in economic justice,” said McKinsey’s Lareina Yee. “It needs to be a leader.” Rogers told the story of Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson in the 1970s telling his city’s top companies that they had to put black business people on their boards if they wanted to keep operating in the city. “That’s the kind of opportunity we need to see in the C-Suite.”

Stafford said the Diligent platform includes 700,000 board members, and he will be calling on that network to “nominate diverse, board-ready leadership” and to “create more visibility into the pipeline” for board members. He said 10 of the large private equity firms that use his platform have committed to creating “five incremental new board roles each” for diverse director candidates.

“I think we actually have the potential to move the numbers,” Stafford said. More detail here.

News below.

David Meyer

Alan Murray contributed to this essay.

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