It’s impor­tant for the finan­cial and banking indus­tries to learn from the Great Reces­sion and 2008’s global finan­cial crisis to ensure it doesn’t happen again, according to Alfredo Saenz, former CEO and vice-​​chairman of San­tander Bank.

Saenz was one of three keynote speakers at Northeastern’s inau­gural Global Summit on Friday. Orga­nized by a group of North­eastern stu­dents, the day­long event focused on the mis­takes that led to the finan­cial crisis, how today’s society was affected, and what industry leaders have learned to make the future better.

More than 140 people attended the summit, which was held in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ball­room. Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness and Wells Fargo spon­sored the summit.

The eco­nomic crisis we have expe­ri­enced has left a land­scape of destruc­tion in the busi­ness fabric, an increase in unem­ploy­ment, and a loss of wealth for fam­i­lies,” Saenz said. “How­ever, like all crises, this gives us an oppor­tu­nity to draw con­clu­sions, to learn lessons, and to make things better in the future.”

Saenz, who was CEO of San­tander from 2002–2013, attrib­uted the cause of the crisis to three fac­tors: finan­cial glob­al­iza­tion, a lack of adjust­ment through cur­rency move­ments, and a high degree of finan­cial complacency.

He added that this crisis has taught the banking industry that simply being pru­dent when mon­i­toring credit and market risks is not enough to sur­vive a finan­cial disaster.

Banks need to be man­aged in a dif­ferent way moving for­ward,” Saenz said. “Bankers need to better under­stand macro­eco­nomic dri­vers and better under­stand their local economy trends and global economy trends so they can decide where to posi­tion themselves.”

The Great Reces­sion began in December 2007 and became the longest and deepest since the Great Depres­sion of the 1930s. It occurred after losses on sub­prime mort­gages bat­tered the U.S housing market. During a panel dis­cus­sion fol­lowing Saenz’s remarks, Lee Fer­ridge, man­aging director and the North Amer­ican head of cross-​​asset strategy for State Street Global Mar­kets, was asked if there is a “tool” to pre­vent eco­nomic bubbles.

Bub­bles will always happen,” Fer­ridge replied. “The only real tool I guess you could use to stop a bubble is reg­u­la­tion.” He added that “bub­bles reflect human nature,” and people will con­tinue to make finan­cial deci­sions based on greed, even if it means dealing with future bubbles.

Boston Uni­ver­sity finance and eco­nomics lec­turer Mark Williams joined Fer­ridge on the panel, titled “The Eco­nomics of the Crisis.” Williams said that as the world con­tinues to recover from the crisis, cen­tral banks must improve their coor­di­na­tion efforts in the glob­al­ized finan­cial market.

When we look at cap­ital, it doesn’t know bound­aries or sov­er­eigns,” he explained. “Cap­ital will flow to its highest and best use. Cen­tral banks have to better coor­di­nate their mon­e­tary policy and the qual­i­ta­tive attrib­utes that make an economy strong. And that is not some­thing that is going to be solved overnight.”

The summit’s other keynote speakers were Sean Murphy, deputy chief exec­u­tive of Cham­bers Ire­land, and Dean Starkman, man­aging editor of the Columbia Jour­nalism Review’s The Audit and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigation.