Former Prime Minister’s Primary School GFC Lesson

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivers a lesson on how his government tackled the global financial crisis in this video of his appearance at Wellers Hill State School in Brisbane.

The relevant section begins around the two-minute mark.


What Caused The Financial Crisis?

The global financial crisis is “a crisis of credit markets”, says Malcolm Edey, Assistant Governor (Economic) of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

In an address to the Foundation for Aged Care Business Breakfast in Sydney, Edey traced the origins of the financial crisis, discussed its effects and looked at responses to the crisis.

Text of Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Malcolm Edey’s speech:

I’ve been asked to talk this morning about the current financial crisis: where it came from, and the effects that it’s having on the economy.

What we refer to as the global financial crisis is, at its core, a crisis of credit markets, centred particularly in the United States, the UK and Europe, but with significant spill-over effects to the rest of the world.

Over the last year or so, financial institutions in the major economies have reported losses on a large scale. Some of these institutions have become insolvent, or have had to be taken over or rescued by their governments. Associated with all of that has been a massive swing in the appetite of world financial markets for risk, and in their capacity to accept risk. The result has been a shift from easily available credit to tight credit. [Read more...]


Economic Growth Declines 0.5% In December Quarter

Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 0.5% in the December quarter, according to the latest National Accounts figures.

The 0.5% contraction was lower than most commentators had predicted. Two consecutive quarters of contraction (illogicially known as “negative growth”) is defined as a recession.

Speaking in Canberra today, Treasurer Wayne Swan said the decline was to be expected but that Australia was cushioned to some extent from the global financial crisis by its stronger financial system.

Swan also argued that an increase in household savings in the quarter was a result of the 3% reduction in interest rates which had led to consumers paying down debt and restructuring their finances.

Swan said the effects of the government’s stimulus packages was yet to be fully reflected in the National Accounts.

  • Listen to Wayne Swan’s press conference:

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[Read more...]


Rudd Announces $42 Billion Stimulus Package

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has announced a new package of measures worth $42 billion to stimulate the economy.

At a press conference in Canberra, Rudd announced a series of direct payments to individuals and families, coupled with a program of infrastructure funding for housing and schools.

  • Listen to Rudd’s press conference:

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Kevin Rudd Comments On The G20 Summit


Full Text Of G20 Declaration

The meeting of G20 nations in Washington DC has issued a declaration of economic aims and objectives.

  • Download the G20 Declaration (PDF)

  • Obama’s First Weekly Address Posted On YouTube

    A weekly radio address has been a presidential tradition for decades in the United States.

    Today, President-elect Barack Obama delivered his first address and posted it on YouTube.

    This is the text of President-elect Obama’s first weekly address:

    Today, the leaders of the G-20 countries — a group that includes the world’s largest economies — are gathering in Washington to seek solutions to the ongoing turmoil in our financial markets. I’m glad President Bush has initiated this process — because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response.

    And yet, as we act in concert with other nations, we must also act immediately here at home to address America’s own economic crisis. This week, amid continued volatility in our markets, we learned that unemployment insurance claims rose to their highest levels since September 11, 2001. We’ve lost jobs for ten straight months — nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, many of them in our struggling auto industry. And millions of our fellow citizens lie awake each night wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, stay in their homes, and save for retirement.

    Make no mistake: this is the greatest economic challenge of our time. And while the road ahead will be long, and the work will be hard, I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis — because here in America we always rise to the moment, no matter how hard. And I am more hopeful than ever before that America will rise once again.

    But we must act right now. Next week, Congress will meet to address the spreading impact of the economic crisis. I urge them to pass at least a down-payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families, and help get the economy growing again. In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year. If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as President.

    Even as we dig ourselves out of this recession, we must also recognize that out of this economic crisis comes an opportunity to create new jobs, strengthen our middle class, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century.

    That starts with the kinds of long-term investments that we’ve neglected for too long. That means putting two million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools. It means investing $150 billion to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing our nation from the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children. It means making health care affordable for anyone who has it, accessible for anyone who wants it, and reducing costs for small businesses. And it also means giving every child the world-class education they need to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.

    Doing all this will require not just new policies, but a new spirit of service and sacrifice, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. If this financial crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers — in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. And that is how we will meet the challenges of our time — together. Thank you.