G20 Finance Ministers agree to keep applying stimulus measures

Following the G20 ministerial meeting in London, Russia’s Finance Minister Aleksey Kudrin held a press conference where he talked about bonuses for banks and other financial reforms.

Q: Now all these issues you’ve talked about – the bonuses, the quotas – it sounds from what you are saying that they haven’t actually hammered out the final decision. Is there any kind of feeling of disappointment that nothing was actually decided?

Aleksey Kudrin: I know there were high expectations about bonuses, but I think to have those expectations is not entirely fair to the meeting. 80% of the meeting was dedicated to absolutely different issues to bonuses.

They were expecting some sort of limitation of the bonuses, but I repeat that that was not the problem. The problem is to tackle a system where risk-taking is rewarded. But if we change that, the risk-taking is no longer rewarded.

So the collective decision at today’s meeting was to keep applying the stimulus measures and to keep working together – this is a very tangible achievement too.

And my second result that I’d like to talk about is that we have agreed that we need to think through, we need to determine and elaborate on our exit strategies, and that too is an achievement.

And the third point is that if today we now know that everybody’s position is very clear on the IMF quotas, that means that we can talk on the basis of that knowledge, which also is a tangible result.

And the fourth is the work on the rules and regulations for financial services. We must establish rules and regulations where bonuses are not the basis on which bankers are rewarded.

And again I repeat that the media have over-exaggerated the importance of bonuses in our discussions.

Bankers and analysts are already joking that crisis is already over, but there is still the issue of bonuses being unsolved. I think in all these areas we’ve worked out the basics, and now our specialists will take the results of our work and elaborate them further.

Q: About the environment and climate change. If we’ve understood it correctly, some of the developed countries wanted to discuss this, but the BRIC countries and the developing countries didn’t want to. Could you comment?

AK: There has been a serious discussion on this, and the fact that we had this discussion is a result on its own.

Some of the participants were of an opinion that we need to have a serious discussion on this matter, and that we should consider the possible increase of resources required to address the changes in the global climate.

Another group of participants thought that major discussion and any decision-making on this issue should be made within the framework of the UN Convention, and it all should take place in Copenhagen.

Therefore today we are not ready to make any decisions, as our meeting today did not have all the participants required for this. For example, there were no Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources present here.

That is why we have not arrived at a final decision on this. Our discussion is a preliminary stage to what is going to take place in Copenhagen.