Ongoing volatility key issue as G20 Sydney meeting starts

Friday, 21 February 2014  Features

The Sydney G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting will be held over the weekend of 22-23 February 2014. Senior academics from UNSW’s Australian School of Business are available to give their analysis of the talks, as ministers from the G20 discuss the need to ensure stability in the financial system, and concern about the recent winding back of fiscal stimulus in the U.S.

Honorary Professor Raja Junankar from the Industrial Relations Research Centre at UNSW said “most of the countries of the OECD are still suffering from the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis - or as the Americans call it the Great Recession - and this is likely to be the focus of much of the talks at the G20.”

Top finance officials from the Group of 20 industrialised and developing nations are expected to look at investment in infrastructure and innovation, global trade, and the impact of the World Trade Organisation. However the talks are expected to centre on what will happen now the United States Federal Reserve has begun scaling back its bond-buying program.

Raja Junankar added these are issues which are directly impacting all Australian. “There appears to be an unfolding credit crunch in China, and that is directly impacting the Australian economy, which is already undergoing a process of change with the Australian Dollar falling as interest rates have come down to historically low levels. Falling commodity prices have led to a fall in the mining sector and the recent collapse of the automotive industry is part of the global challenge that we face right now in Australia.”

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey yesterday joined the IMF in calling on the G20 to use the Sydney meeting to develop fresh strategies to help the global economy recover from the financial crisis that began in 2008, and it is worried about ongoing volatility in emerging economies such as Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

Other academics also available to comment on the G20 include Tim Harcourt, the JW Neville Fellow in Economics at UNSW’s Australian School of Business, said “we need a globally focused multilateral push for trade talks to kick start the global economy. If we don’t, we risk trade blocs and a spaghetti bowl of over lapping discriminatory agreements. The start of taper is also an issue - emerging economies don’t want to be caught by surprise by the U.S Federal Reserve’s actions in the future, and it is these emerging economies which are most susceptible to risk.”

Plus the Director of the Institute of Global Finance, Professor Fariborz Moshirian from UNSW, said “Australia should also ensure difficult issues such as trade imbalances between China and the US will be raised in the G20. We’re not out of the woods of the GFC yet.”

For further details contact
Raja Ju​nankar on 0416 511 694, or
Fariborz Moshirian on 02 9385 5859 or
Tim Harcourt on 02 9385 3816, 0408 485 479, or

Media contact:
Julian Lorkin: 02 9385 9887