Factbox: Policymakers’ comments at G20 meeting in South Korea

BUSAN, South Korea (BestGrowthStock) – Following are comments from policymakers attending a Group of 20 finance ministers’ and central bank chiefs’ meeting in South Korea.

*** HEALTH OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY ***

U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER:

“The G20’s strong policy response to the crisis has played a pivotal role in restoring economic growth, but concerns about growth as Europe makes needed policy adjustments threaten to undercut the momentum of the recovery,” Geithner wrote in a letter to his G20 peers.

“The necessary shift toward higher savings in the United States needs to be complimented by stronger domestic demand growth in Japan and the European surplus countries and sustained growth in private demand, together with a more flexible exchange rate policy, in China.”

SOUTH KOREAN FINANCE MINISTER YOON JEUNG-HYUN:

“We can’t afford to be complacent…Without further and ongoing action from us, the recovery may not remain on track and we may not be able to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”

FRENCH ECONOMY MINISTER CHRISTINE LAGARDE:

“Clearly, there is growth, sometimes too strong with the risk of overheating in some areas, especially in emerging markets like Latin America and some Asian countries.”

SOUTH AFRICAN PLANNING MINISTER TREVOR MANUEL:

“It’s important that we all understand just how fragile the recovery is.”

*** EUROPE’S DEBT CRISIS AND SCOPE FOR DEFICIT CUTS ***

CANADIAN FINANCE MINISTER JIM FLAHERTY:

“The economic recovery globally is fragile. The events in Europe are of concern.

“It is essential to ensure continued recovery that Europe fix its banks. It is essential that certain vulnerable European nations follow through with major fiscal consolidation, and get the job done.”

FRENCH ECONOMY MINISTER CHRISTINE LAGARDE:

“There is a majority who put budgetary consolidation as the top priority. We spoke a lot about growth and the compatibility of this growth with necessary budgetary consolidation, especially in developed countries and not only in Europe.”

“The ECB has had the courage and the lucidity on occasions like 18 months ago and a few weeks ago to take the appropriate steps under exceptional circumstances and I would regard that as very responsible.”

“The euro is a common good and a credible currency.”

BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER GEORGE OSBORNE:

“Countries with high budget deficits must show that they can deal with them. Equally, surplus countries such as China must show that they too can support economic growth.”

BRAZIL CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR HENRIQUE MEIRELLES:

Asked whether the euro zone can succeed in cutting deficits and preserving growth at the same time: “One possible solution would be very clear commitment on a fiscal program which provides the confidence that it would work well, and the global and European IMF package would provide that kind of confidence in a way that the markets come back to normal.”

RUSSIAN DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTER DMITRY PANKIN:

“We’re seeing huge instability. It affects Russia a lot, because we have a drop in our stock markets, our bond prices, and many companies cannot go to the markets. They need to postpone their bond issuing.”

*** FINANCIAL REGULATION AND REFORM ***

CANADIAN FINANCE MINISTER JIM FLAHERTY:

When asked about a media report that momentum was growing in favor of imposing a levy on banks, he said: “I don’t see any evidence of that. In fact, the evidence I see is to the contrary … On bank levies, there is no consensus.”

FRENCH ECONOMY MINISTER CHRISTINE LAGARDE:

“There’s much more convergence than there is difference between France and Germany, I can assure you.”

“There have been issues concerning the timing of certain measures which were started a little bit earlier in Germany. That applies clearly to the ban on short selling, but we are basically in line and on the same page as far as principles are concerned.”

“There is a clear consensus between us that market authorities should have the ability to interfere and to ban under specified circumstances to avoid excess, abuse and excessive volatility.”

“I am not suggesting that France will be following the path of Germany. I believe concerted action is necessary at the European level and I am certain our German colleagues will be supportive of that view as well.”

BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER GEORGE OSBORNE:

“One of the things I’ll be pressing for is that the agreements that were reached last year on capital leverage and liquidity are now concluded. We want to end the uncertainty.”

IMF INTERNATIONAL MONETARY AND FINANCIAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

YOUSSEF BOUTROS-GHALI:

“The bank levy is one of many measures and certainly not the most important one. Having good regulatory infrastructure that watches over leverage, that watches over risk management, that watches over banks across the world, is a lot more important.”

INDONESIAN FINANCE MINISTER AGUS MARTOWARDOJO:

“I think the bank tax is going to far. For the moment, we don’t recommend that type of initiative.”

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Factbox: Policymakers’ comments at G20 meeting in South Korea