23 Mar 2009

Open University Business School hosts academic debate for London G20 Summit

World leaders from the G20 countries are meeting on 02 April amidst an international banking crisis, recession and rising unemployment. Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will convene to coordinate efforts to help restore global economic growth, and The Open University Business School has been asked to host the academic debate of the summit.

The summit will focus on four key areas: Global economic challenges; financial stability; growth and jobs; and reform of international financial institutions.

Dr Devendra Kodwani, Lecturer in Finance, said: “We have already started feeding the debate by asking the politicians some pertinent questions. We enquired whether we’ve been caught out by the global banking crisis because no-one has been taking a view on the overall level of debt and the vulnerability of assets it is secured against, especially in the private sector in the UK. Are there limits to sustainable private-sector debt, as well as public debt, in relation to GDP? Implications of the current economic crises in an integrated global economy include ability of many developing countries to reduce absolute poverty. These too need to be discussed.”

Alan Shipman, Lecturer in Economics added: “The crisis has forced economists to recognise that their mainstream approach neglected the way political, social and psychological factors can send financial liberalisation in the wrong direction, and may have falsely led governments to believe they had conquered boom-and-bust. Some long neglected ideas about financial instability, risks in ‘universal banking’ and the role of big businesses and governments in the economy are being usefully rediscovered now there is a genuine need to look widely for solutions.”

The virtual summit is already happening. In his introduction to the academic debate, Foreign Secretary David Miliband, said: “The London Summit is a chance to engage on the big issues of macroeconomic coordination, trade and development. I hope the debate on this website will contribute to a new kind of global conversation.”

View and join the academic debate by visiting

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