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G20 Studies Centre

From 2012 to 2016, the G20 Studies Centre at the Lowy Institute for International Policy produced independent research on global economic governance and the role of the G20, and supported research networks in Australia and overseas. The Australian Government provided funding to establish the Centre.

The archives of the Centre’s quarterly G20 Monitors (as well as other publications from the G20 Studies Centre) are available below. The Monitor brought together opinions from Australia and around the world to discuss developments in the G20 and suggest policy ideas.

The Lowy Institute will continue to comment and publish on economic governance issues.

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Latest Publications

G20 Monitor: Towards Hangzhou and Hamburg

The 21st edition of the G20 Monitor highlights considerations for the G20 ahead of the 4–5 September 2016 G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou, China. It also canvasses three topics that are possibly of interest to the 2017 German G20 Presidency: cyber rule-setting, global migration governance, and

Making the most of the G20

In this Lowy Institute Analysis, G20 Studies Centre Research Fellow and Project Director Tristram Sainsbury and Research Associate Hannah Wurf argue that the G20 should be at the centre of Australia’s approach to international economic engagement in the years ahead. Photo: Getty Images/VCG

Yes, monetary policy does still work

Did you know that Australia once had a double dissolution election where the trigger was the conduct of monetary policy? It was our second double dissolution election, in 1951  (we are currently looking at our seventh), and the question at hand was the management of the Commonwealth Bank, which

The Big Short: A reminder of the danger of groupthink

Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling at The Big Short premiere.             Photo: Barcroft Media via Getty Images I’m looking forward to seeing The Big Short, which traces the stories of some who dared to doubt the US housing market before the global financial crisis. Friends and

IMF: the hard yards on reform are still to come

It finally happened. The US delivered on its long-standing promise to deliver the 2010 IMF quota and governance reforms, spreading a cascade of pre-Christmas cheer across the economic policymaking world. My colleague Mike Callaghan has neatly summarised the implications on US leadership. I want to

Decoding China's GOOD approach to the G20

With this year's summit season coming to an end, Turkey will officially hand over the G20 hosting baton to China on 1 December 2015. The Hangzhou Leaders' Summit has already been announced for 4 and 5 September 2016, slightly earlier than previous years to avoid clashing with the US presidential

Paris attacks cast a shadow over 2015 G20 Summit

By the Lowy Institute's G20 Fellow Tristram Sainsbury and Research Associate Hannah Wurf The 2015 G20 Leaders' Summit will be remembered for taking place in the aftermath of the brutal attacks in Paris, as leaders scrabbled to show unity and collective action. In coverage of the summit, every

Meeting fatigue? G20 needs to guard its brand

The Turkish presidency of the G20 is scheduled to host an astounding 86 meetings in 2015. That's an average of more than one and a half per week and it's a lot more than the then-record 60-odd meetings held in 2014. This year's official tally also underestimates the total number

The G20 and the Future of International Economic Governance

The G20 has become a key international forum since it was set up in 1999. When Australia began its presidency of the 2014 summit in Brisbane, many commentators suggested that Australia’s chairing of the G20 would reinvigorate it. This timely book looks at what that meeting achieved and what has

Turkey's G20 Summit approaches

By Tristram Sainsbury, a Research Fellow in the Lowy Institute G20 Studies Centre, and Hannah Wurf, a Research Associate in the G20 Studies Centre. Next week, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors will gather for their third meeting during Turkey's presidency. With just two and half

Is the Fed acting as the world's central bank?

'The Federal Reserve enters its second century as the closest the world has to a global central bank.' So says Ted Truman, who speaks with some authority as he played a key advisory role for many years with the Fed (the US central bank) and the US Treasury.  However, Truman's detailed account of

What next for multilateral trade negotiations?

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization is sounding despondent after the latest setback to the December 2013 Bali Agreement. Meanwhile, a survey of exporters has given some endorsement for the alternative path of free trade agreements (FTAs). Is there any hope for furthering the

G20 must save the WTO, among other things...

As John Lennon wrote, 'life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.' How true for Australia's plans for the G20. Life is not being kind in the lead-up to the Brisbane G20 Summit. The head winds for the summit so far include: International organisations (the IMF and World Bank)

Credit rating agencies must do better

Standard and Poors' credit ratings. (Wikipedia.) Foreign investors learn about the Australian economy from a variety of sources, but the credit rating agencies (CRAs) have a special place, as many investment managers are committed to following the rating agencies' assessments. As well, the CRA

G20: The case for an inclusive growth target

Earlier this year Treasurer Joe Hockey negotiated a significant commitment among G20 Finance Ministers to aim for an additional 2% of global growth over the next five years. As countries develop their action plans for achieving this goal in the lead-up to the next G20 Finance Ministers' meeting in

Time to put security issues on G20 agenda

Given developments in the Ukraine and tensions elsewhere in the world, the time has come to put security and geo-political issues directly on the agenda for the meeting of G20 leaders, and for those leaders to bring their foreign ministers to the Brisbane Summit. Soon after President Bush announced

Will Putin go to the Brisbane G20 Summit?

One consequence of the tragedy over MH17, apparently at the hands of Russian-backed separatists, is that it raises the question of whether President Putin should attend the Brisbane G20 Summit in November. Some newspapers are reporting that Australia is threatening to ban Putin. The predominant

Infrastructure: An opportunity for emerging economies

Low global interest rates since the 2008 global financial crisis seem to provide an ideal opportunity for boosting infrastructure investment. Bond rates have been historically low, so many governments can borrow at less than the rate of inflation. There is spare productive capacity in most advanced

When should the IMF apologise?

If you make a mistake, common courtesy says you should apologise. The IMF made a mistake in its forecasts for the UK economy — a high profile mistake. It admitted it got it wrong. But should the IMF have apologised? In 2013, IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard publicly said that UK

G7 in Brussels: Mood matches sombre setting

The G7 leaders' meeting in Brussels concluded yesterday, the first such summit for fifteen years. It was to have been a G8 summit hosted by President Putin at an idyllic golf resort in Sochi, the home of the last Winter Olympics. But G7 members boycotted the G8 summit following Russia's

Infrastructure, tax, energy

This issue of the Monitor focuses on the role of the G20 in infrastructure, tax and energy governance. The Monitor opens with a reflection on a conference jointly hosted by the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Productivity Commission and the Lowy Institute, titled ‘Financial Flows and Infrastructure

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