Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 largest economies agreed on Monday to develop an “action plan” to respond to a coronavirus pandemic that the IMF now expects to trigger a global recession, but they offered no specifics.

The G20 secretariat issued the statement after the finance officials met by video conference for nearly two hours, amid growing criticism that the world’s “fire station” has been slow to respond to the worsening crisis.

G20 leaders are due to gather for an extraordinary virtual summit in coming days as the world races to contain the virus, which has infected 370,000 globally and killed over 16,000.

Story continues below advertisement

The summit, called by this year’s chair, Saudi Arabia, will be complicated by an oil price war between two members, Saudi Arabia and Russia, and rising tensions between two others, the United States and China, over the origin of the virus.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News his counterparts agreed to act to support their own economies, and co-ordinate internationally as needed. But he gave no specifics.

Mnuchin will chair a conference of G7 finance ministers and central bankers early Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the plans.

He said the United States was working closely with G20 countries, the Group of Seven (G7), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in responding to the crisis.

“This is a team effort to kill this virus and provide economic relief,” said Mnuchin, who is simultaneously struggling to win congressional approval for a nearly $2 trillion U.S. rescue package.

G20 leaders need move beyond recent squabbles and “stop weaponizing the new coronavirus in the fight for global influence,” to help stabilize public confidence and markets, said Hung Tran, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Potential concrete actions could include sharing test results of new treatments and vaccines; rolling back tariffs that were dragging down global growth even before the crisis; and synchronized fiscal action, he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Simply repeating the mantra that ‘we’ll do whatever it takes’ is not adequate any more,” he added.

The IMF and the World Bank on Monday both forecast the pandemic would trigger a global recession in 2020.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva welcomed fiscal and monetary steps already taken by countries, but said more would be needed, especially in the fiscal arena.

The average size of fiscal measures announced by over 20 countries amounts to around 1.8% domestic gross domestic product (GDP), below the 2% packages offered by G20 countries in 2009 during the financial crisis, Tran said.

G7 finance ministers and central bankers will hold a conference call of their own early Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Japan, a member of the G7, expressed concern about the impact of the coronavirus, and urged G20 members to act “without hesitation in a timely manner.”

Story continues below advertisement

Argentina, whose debt has been deemed unsustainable by the IMF, warned fellow G20 member they must act decisively to “avoid a social meltdown” as the pandemic spreads.

Argentina’s Finance Minister Martin Guzman told fellow ministers on the G20 call that countries should use the “entire tool kit” of economic policies, including the extension of bilateral swaps to aid those nations most in need.

Monday’s G20 meeting was far from smooth, although no open disputes broke out, said one senior official from a G7 country, adding that Tuesday’s G7 statement would focus heavily on co-operation but also offered little in the way of new ideas.

“There aren’t very exciting things in there,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “But I have the impression that we’re on the same page now.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies