On 7 March Griffith Asia Institute’s APEC Study Centre co-hosted, with the Economic Society of Australia, a symposium at Ship Inn on Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the international and Australian macroeconomic policy response to the crisis.

The 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis is seen as the most cataclysmic financial event since The Great Depression and prompted central banks and governments via the G20 to deploy a range of coordinated monetary and fiscal measures to counter the macroeconomic impact of the crisis.

Although it buffeted economies worldwide, it most harmed developed economies which have subsequently endured sub-optimal economic growth, record low interest rates, weak private investment, poor productivity, reduced working hours, low wages growth and high public debt.

Although numerous conferences on this theme have recently been convened abroad, including at The Brookings Institute, and The Hoover Institution in the United States, this has to date been the only Australian event of this kind to focus on this important public policy issue.

Several prominent economists, including Andrew Charlton from Alphabeta (and former economic advisor to Prime Minister Rudd at the time of the crisis), John Simon, Head of the Economic Research Department, Reserve Bank of Australia, Creina Day, Associate Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Janine Dixon, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Studies, Victoria University, Andrew Hughes Hallett, Professor of Economics, George Mason University and University of St Andrews, and Gene Tunny from Adept Economics, addressed key GFC related issues and provided important insights on the implications and policy lessons to be learned from this unforgettable crisis episode.

Proceedings from the symposium are expected to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Economic Analysis and Policy.

Tony Makin

Professor of Economics