Video: Australia faces economic challenge ’45 times more severe’ than Labor during 2008 GFC: PM (Sky News Australia)

Australia faces economic challenge ’45 times more severe’ than Labor during 2008 GFC: PM



SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia has nominated outgoing Finance Minister Mathias Cormann as its candidate for the next secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.

Mathias Cormann wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos

FILE PHOTO: 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos

Cormann will be up against candidates that include U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee, deputy White House Chief of Staff Christopher Liddell.


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“We believe the OECD needs the sort of leadership that we think Australia and an Australian can provide,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

“I can think of no finer candidate that Australia can put forward – with his experience.”

The OECD is a organisation of countries that works to promote economic growth, prosperity, and sustainable development.

Belgium-born Cormann will retire from Australian politics this month after seven years as the country’s minister for finance.

Once he has left office, Australia will formally nominate him to lead the OECD, Morrison said. Cormann said he plans to travel to Europe in November to begin lobbying for support.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham will assume the finance portfolio when Cormann leaves parliament.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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As ESG investing has proliferated in recent years, so have the number of standards, definitions and strategies, resulting in a confusing morass that hamstrings sustainable investors.

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That’s according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which said in its annual business and finance outlook, published on Tuesday, that while consideration of environmental, social and governance issues is rapidly “becoming a part of mainstream finance,” there is “little common understanding” on “what the goals of ESG investing are or should be.” While most investors seek to incorporate ESG factors to better manage risks and improve returns, they lack the tools needed to do this efficiently, including consistent data, comparable metrics and transparent methodologies, the OECD said.

Sustainable investing has grown rapidly in recent years, with more than $30 trillion of assets worldwide now incorporating some level of ESG consideration. Investors have piled into ESG because they’re under pressure from clients, employees and the public to contribute to a fairer and greener society, and because there’s a growing recognition that “non-financial ESG risks can have a material impact on risk-adjusted returns,” the OECD said, singling out the coronavirus as a case in point.

“The Covid‐19 pandemic has highlighted an urgent need to consider resilience in finance, both in the financial system itself and in the role played by capital and investors in making economic and social systems more dynamic and able to withstand external shocks,” the OECD said. The report “is a call to action for governments and market participants to make ESG investing fairer, more transparent and more efficient.”

ESG data, which tracks companies’ performance on everything from carbon emissions to the diversity of their

(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government officially nominated former finance minister Bill Morneau to be secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Canadian seeks to replace Angel Gurria, who announced in July that he would not seek a fourth term as chief of the Paris-based OECD. The OECD’s 37 member states have already begun a process aimed at selecting a new secretary general for a five-year term that starts June 1.

Bill Morneau wearing a suit and tie: Morneau portrait

© Bloomberg
Morneau portrait

Bill Morneau.


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Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg

Canada is pitching Morneau, 57, as the candidate with the most experience on key global issues given his five-year run as a Group of Seven and G-20 finance minister, as well as being best positioned to broker consensus within the group on divisive issues such as digital taxation.

“There’s an opportunity for me, not just based on my nationality but also based on having sat at the table at the G-20 and the G-7 and other forums, as well as the IMF and World Bank, to actually bridge some differences,” Morneau said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.

One of the biggest areas of contention has been disputes between the U.S. and various European nations on taxing American digital companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

The OECD has been trying to forge an agreement among almost 140 countries on a global tax overhaul to address how multinationals — particularly big technology companies — are taxed.

In addition to digitization, Morneau listed three other key issues the OECD will be tackling within the next five years: helping economies deal with the pandemic, inclusive growth and climate change.

“In each one of these issues, I’ve been directly focused on them over the course of my time as minister of finance,” said Morneau, who