Today I have met with senior financial market participants from major Wall Street institutions, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, the New York Stock Exchange, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, to hear firsthand their views on recent financial market turmoil and discuss possible responses.
I highlighted the strengths of the Australian financial sector and the broader economy in my meetings today.
The meetings were important in providing me with a real-time assessment of current financial market conditions and their implications for the US and global economy. I raised the importance of rebuilding confidence in the global financial system and Australia’s proposals to reform financial markets and regulatory systems to promote future financial stability.
Today’s meetings came at a critical time for the global economy and financial markets and precede my attendance at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Annual Meetings this weekend. I will also be attending the emergency meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to be held on Saturday.
These meetings will discuss recent developments in global financial markets and work toward solutions to the current crisis and longer term reforms to the international financial architecture.
While the Australian economy is not immune from the global difficulties which are slowing the world economy, we are better placed than most other countries to withstand the fallout.
Just yesterday, the IMF commended Australia's economic management in its World Economic Outlook, noting that our sound fiscal position will help provide a buffer against the slowdown in the global economy.
The IMF expects the Australian economy to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2008 and 2.2 per cent in 2009, considerably higher than the growth outlook for other advanced economies.
9 October 2008