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tv   Treasury Secretary Yellen Discusses COVID-19 Economic Recovery  CSPAN  April 7, 2021 9:11am-9:46am EDT

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when i think about, this is the kind of-- you know, they are so pervasive we can't let them become just a device-- >> unfortunately still some issues with this with senator coons on climate change, we'll fix the problem and if we can get you there, we'll take you back to the discussion, while we wait to get to these issues, we'll take you back to the remarks from janet yellen on the covid-19 pandemic. >> it's a pleasure to be here with u.s. treasury secretary janet yellen to kick off our spring meetings. the world faces major
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challenges, including covid, climate change, rising poverty and inequality and growing fragility in many countries. the detect effects of covid, the informal workers and vulnerable the most. the inequality extends well beyond that to vaccinations, the concentration in wealth, the unequal impact of the fiscal stimulus and asset purchases and the imbalance in debtor-creditor relationships, particularly for people in the poorest countries. the wobank group is leaning forward as much as possible to face these challenges. in response to covid-19 we took broad action and quickly acleechd over 100 operations for developings company. commitments raise 65% from 2020
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and 2019. and we've conducted over 100 capacity assessments, many even before vaccines were available. we are now passing several specific country vaccine financing operations each week through our board with already 10 approved. 10 more scheduled in april and around 30 more expected in may and june for a total around $4 billion in 50 countries. there are major challenges for the countries in securing deliveries from covax and manufacturers and we're working to support their efforts. many developing countries entered the pandemic with unsustainable debt levels. we've worked to achieve a debt service suspension initiative and increase transparency and debt contracts. both steps are helping. we've dramatically increased our grants and loans to the dssi countries. our goal is to maximize
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resources available to people. and we're working in close collaboration with the imf to support the g20's implementation of the common framework. we're pushing forward together on chad and the wobank hopes to be able to put in fast dispersing resources. chad has collateralized debt owed to a narrow group of creditors presenting specific challenges and finally, we're finalizing a new climate change action plan which includes a big step up in financing, building on our record, climate financing over the past two years. it includes new analytical support to countries as part of integrated climate and development programs. we want to achieve as much impact as possible with the increased financing. our plan identifies key priorities for action with a focus on both adaptation and
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mitigation. it includes a strong focus on a just transition from coal and we're working to aligning our financial flows with the objectives of the paris agreement. to conclude i've noted big challenges and we're working to bring altogether to achieve what we call grid, green resilient and inclusive development. we'll have separate events on debt tomorrow. climate transitions on thursday and vaccines on friday and now, let me turn to secretary yellen. i'm so pleased you're here and thank you very much for that. dr. yellen, it's been a year since i-- since we were on a presentation together. the world had a very hard year and i'm-- and the united states under your leadership is having a big impact. what -- could you go through, what's the u.s. doing to help the world recover economically from the crisis?
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>> well, thanks so much. it's a pleasure to be with you. well, first of all, domestically, we're focusing on the pandemic and trying to promote vaccinations as to contact tracing to get it under control because we recognize that the united states and the world as a whole, the pandemic really is what's going to call the shots in terms of how the economy does. so that's first and foremost at home and i think it's equally important for the entire globe. we are trying to support the most vulnerable people who typically are low income people and minorities in the united states and the same is true globally, i think, by those who work in the sector and
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minorities, vulnerable people have been most impacted by health-wise and in terms of their economic impact. so we have many programs that are supporting them. unemployment insurance programs, we leff for rental assistance, support for families that are burdened with women who are out of the work force because children can't go to school, trying to reopen schools as promptly as we can, and support state and local governments. we've decided to go big because we think that the risks are of severe scarring. if we allow there to be long-term unemployment. and we're projecting a pretty rapid-- we deal with the pandemic, we're expecting a rapid
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recovery. i'm hoping we'll be back to full employment next year and once we are, we're going to turn to a longer term agenda of investments. investment in infrastructure, in r & d, in people and i think that what we're doing domestically is helpful to the entire global community. stronger growth in the u.s. is going to spill over positively to the entire global outlook and we are going to be careful to learn the lessons of financial crisis, which is don't withdraw support too quickly and we would encourage all of those developed countries to have the capacity using fiscal policy and monetary policy to continue the support of global recovery for
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the sake of the growth of the entire global economy. >> you have been in the forefront of the inequality in the system and i wonder if you could give us something on there and ease the inequality. >> thank you so much for having me here. and to be here with secretary yellen and i am so grateful that you are focusing on this question of inequality. what do we see today. the word economy is on a sound footing. the recovery is progressing and actually actions taken by the united states to boost prospects for recovery in the u.s. are helping the whole world. we are upgrading our projections for the year. but economic fortunate across
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countries are diverging dangerously. this is why in these meetings, we are focusing on giving everyone a fair shot, a fair shot in the arm everywhere, so we can bring the pandemic to a durable end, to underpin sustainable recovery, but also, a fair shot to a chance to a better life for vulnerable people and for vulnerable countries. and it is so important for the reasons both of you outline that it is a focus because if we don't do it, then we risk inequalities to deepen and to hold society and growth back. what that is meant, first and
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foremost. we have sped up significantly the provision of financial life lines to vulnerable countries. emerging markets with weak fundamentals, low income countries. and joining the world bank in making sure that those with limited fiscal space, no access to markets are not left out from the recovery. we have done dramatically more just to give you one number h13 times more to a country than we would do in an average year and we're continuing to support them through the recovery. more importantly, we have included in virtually almost all of our programs quantitative targets for social spending to make sure that,
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especially spending for education and health, and social protection is in place, but also that attention is being given to the women, they're getting now the short end of the stick in this crisis and we target support to the most vulnerable parts of the economy and the most vulnerable people. going forward and working with you, working with our shareholders. we want to see a comprehensive support. we talk about that, we cannot ignore that sustainability. provision of more resources and also, seeking ways in which we can boost reserves for countries. and ultimately this third shot would bring the world together because in this crisis we have no way to get through without pulling together.
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>> yeah, this is huge, a fair shot. dr. yellen, madam secretary. you interact with the advanced economies a lot. what can everyone do working together to achieve an inclusive recovery? how do we make progress on those tough issues? >> i think it's the responsibility of the developed countries to make sure that decades of progress and fighting poverty globally and trying to close income gaps between rich and poor countries, we need to see the debt progress is not reversed because of the pandemic and i hope, as we gather together for the spring meetings, that that's going to be our focus. we need to provide a package of
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resources where organizations can use to help developing countries, low income countries. i hope that we'll make progress on approving an fdr allocation, which i think would be very important way to support the reserve needs globally, especially if low income countries, you mentioned tackling debt. i think that an extremely important initiative, to the poorest countries, you know, i hope that this will be the focus and that the developed countries will band together to make sure that we provide that support. >> absolutely. and i'd like very much the way you said that as the u.s. expands, that has benefits for everyone and we can extend that
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as europe expands. that has benefit in the developing world, i think, really welcomes that growth coming out of the advanced economies, as it can be achieved. so i was very happy to hearsay an upgrade in the imf forecast to that. and to climate change, these are immense issues for the whole world and so each of us in our various ways are interacting. i went through our climate change action plan that we're just, just releasing, but i wonder for the imf how do you think about the context of the macroeconomic challenges that you work on and how can the imf help? >> climate risks are a growing threat to economic and financial stability. and with the same talk, climate action offers for green growth
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and green jobs. critical for what we do at the imf in supporting growth employment. what we have embraced as a late comer to this, is zero in on our comparative strength. what we are uniquely conditioned to help the world accelerate the trends. and it is microeconomic data and research, fiscal and monetary policies, crisis prevention, crisis response. so what we're doing at the imf, working very closely with the world bank and other organizations are four areas of stepping up our work. so it is at the heart of what we do. first, policy advice. reengage with all countries as to consultations and when we do
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so, we look at the criticality of mitigation and adaptation policies. literally, we do more on mitigation in countries that are high emitters. we do more on countries that are more vulnerable. for example, countries like china, u.k., they will look primarily at carbon intensity, what can be done with good policies when we go to caribbean we focus on adaptational or subsaharan africa. we're zeroing on risks. and we have a big role, looking at-- supervisory. we have the financial
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assessments, we're integrating climate within these assessments, third, data. data tells the story to finance ministers like nothing else. integrated carbon intenintensit and we're working with other organizations and so we're going to have this to help policy makers to see in one place their growth numbers, and carbon intensity numbers. companies need to speed up their ability to integrate climate policies in their macroeconomic policies and we're there for them. >> fabulous. janet, president biden has talked about the whole of economy approach and you have noted that poor countries are not the ones emitting the
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greenhouse gases or not in such quantities so we have this challenge that is talked diagnostics being applied. what are the areas we can have most effects. how does the world better invest in this problem in solving it? >> so obviously climate change is a global problem and we're not going to really be able to deal with greenhouse gas emissions successfully unless countries like the united states act domestically and then foster the transfer of resources and the financing that's necessary for developing countries to be able to do so successfully. president biden is very focused on the u.s. climate agenda,
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he's going to be proposing a package of structure and climate change investments to make sure that we make our own domestic contribution to meeting the paris objectives and we look to you and in working with you in order to make sure that the necessary resources for green development and finance are transferred to the developing countries that really need those resources and i think both of your organizations have very important roles to play. they'd be distinct roles to play as selena was mentioning, but we need to make sure that we help developing countries reach their climate goals along with the development objectives and the availability of green
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finance is critical to that. >> as we're putting out our climate change action plan, one of the key things we're trying to do this month is work with countries on their national determined contributions so it's their participation in the paris agreement and one of the challenges in that, how do you maximize the results for the country within their resources, within the world's resources, and that goes right back to the diagnostics area. what do we have measurement on. how do we bring in adaptation for the poorest countries? it turns out the biggest thing that they need is the adaptation side. and this brings us all to-- let's all discuss the importance of, in the end the private sector has to be fully engaged in this effort as well, and so that involves the
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financial side, the financial intermediaies and the risks and i think also just the big dollar investments that are needed in cleaner sources of energy. one. things we're trying to do, world bank, is on the electricity side, more access for people in a way that's greener and that's a big challenge from a dollars and cents standpoint. thoughts on private sector and investment flows? >> the way that we think about these, there has to be a framework that credibly directs private sector over medium, long-term and the way that can be done is first to provide forward guidance on carbon price. at the front, we concluded that what is today $2 a ton is multiple, multiple times lower
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where a carbon price should be. at least $75 a ton. but we can't go from here to here in one jump. so, given that predictable forward guidance, and telling the private sector to then integrate reduction of carbon intensity in their own investment decisions. secondly, there is a big role for the public sector to make it easier for the private sector to take the green terms and it is green infrastructure push. i am thrilled that the united states is attempting to pursue it. we calculated that over 15 years a green investment push in a modern amount can generate 2.7% boost of growth can create many, many, many green jobs, but also, what it does, it makes it possible for the private sector to find its way.
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just imagine, if we had electric charging stations easily accessible everywhere, the shift to green mobility is going to be much faster. and this is hugely important, private sector would step up when green finances well underpin exactly what i was talking about, reporting on climate-related financial stability, risks, creating conditions for boosting green because the private sector can see good accounting for impact. and this is where the bank is so fantastic by providing that ability to capture the meaning of greening. you said something very important, david, before any of these transitions.
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we are not going to win if they are losers unattended. if people in high carbon intensity sectors or regions do not get the helping hand and we should not expect the private sector to sort this out entirely on its own. and so, very exciting to see a country with so much stating common leadership. >> and that's fabulous. we have the benefit here in the world bank of having two economists, labor and climate and environment, which is fabulous and it puts together, as we think about the just transition, that it's -- a lot of countries have coal miners that are dependent on coal and yet, the world knows that that-- that there needs to be a way to
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better future on that. and so, one of the things the world bank can bring into that is the-- in the nature of labor economics, incentives to help people move to new things. are there others? your thoughts on how does the world make this transition and what are the investments and what are the labor force implications of this? >> so let me again echo my agreement with many of the points made. to really move progress on climate we need both public investments and private investments and things like charging stations and the electrical grid and the handling multiple energy sources, these core investments are critical in order to provide the infrastructure, the
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public infrastructure to support private investments. incentives, we're also looking at tax incentives to stimulate private r & d. i think technological change will be important and we want to ina green direction. we see the potential for tax incentives for electric vehicles and the like. these are some ways in which we hope to stimulus private sector investments and still with the opportunities. we think of this as something that's costly, but it's important to address this climate change that's going to bring opportunities to the private sector for investment and for our society as a whole, and this going to bring good jobs and i think that some work
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by the imf with this green investment tend to stimulus more jobs, more labor incense seives than other forms of the investments. so there are students here. and when let me also echo my agreement about information. it's very important. there's a huge and growing interest in sustainable investment among financial institutions and investors around the world for that to be possible, if they need information about companies and their exposure to climate risk. there's a global movement to try to provide consistent information that can be the basis for investment decisions. we're going to look carefully at that in the united states to try to promote that and of course, examination of risks,
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the type of scenario analysis, making sure that financial institutions understand the risks of climate change. due both to fiscal, environmental changes that will be caused by climate change and also the potential in asset prices. so this is some planks of the work we'd like to see domestically and globally. >> one of the interesting questions in this area are core economic questions which are how do you incentivize. how do you price? how do you surprise some of the issues? how do do that efficiently on a global basis when people have different policies? and so, i think one of the things we're trying to do in our own work is think about the
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core economic challenges of what's the most effective way to stretch the resources that are available to deal with the problem. one of the challenges has been some chunk of greenhouse gas emission comes to agriculture and yet, it's for production for food and labor. how do we put those together. i know we're running toward the end of our conversation. are there other topics that you want to raise? i'll turn to you. >> the importance of us working together. we are in the spring meetings and if brings the world to concentrate on what we can achieve faster and more efficiently by working together. and i want to say two things.
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we're not giving enough credit to collaboration that has already taken place. in this crisis, central banks and financial authorities have stepped up swiftly in a coordinated manner. we just calculated that the imf, that if that didn't happen on this scale and in that degree of coordination, the recession would have been three times deeper. in other words, we would have been lingering into a depression. and that value of bringing everybody together cannot be overstated. and my second point is, to take at least one fear for our scientists that have delivered vaccine in a record short time, we owe it to them to make sure
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that everybody gets an access to vaccine. there is no more important economic policies today than doing exactly that. so, let's use our coming together for building up the foundation of strong international cooperation for what you started from, green, smart, inclusive future for all of us. >> yeah, that's huge, both to cooperation side and the technology side and the careful use of technology to make the advances and we could have spent the whole conversation on vaccines, i'm sure. janet, closing? >> i would simply say, i think resilience is important and to me, one of the lessons of the crisis is the global system. you know, should have learned
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that we need to be better prepared for crises than we were for this one. this may not be our very last health crisis ever and i hope we will learn that we need to work together to be better prepared for future crises. certainly we in the united states have seen that our safety net is not all it should be to protect the most vulnerable citizens and we've had to shore it up in a series of ad hoc actions and i think making sure that our safety nets work here and throughout the world for future crises. global supply chains, we saw weaknesses and problems in global supply chains.
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i think thinking about, we had sufficient supply chains, but not very resilient supply chains and i think we should be trying to shore up. and finally, i'd say, we did a lot after the financial crisis in 2008 and 9 to shore up the resilience of our core banking system and we should appreciate that we did not have a banking crisis. our banking systems were able to support growth and some areas outside of the core banking system of nonbank financial intermediation, i think we have more work to ensure we have a financial system and globally we need to work together to climate change to process.
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>> let's leave it there with resilience and the preparation for being stronger on the recovery end in the next global expansion. well, fingers crossed. there's lots of work to be done, but that's a great conclusion, thank you. thanks to you both. >> the trial for derek chauvin, the former minneapolis police officer charged in the death of george floyd continues wednesday at 10 a.m. eastern. watch live coverage of the trial on c-span2, on-line at or listen live on the c-span radio app or if you missed watch at 8 p.m. eastern c-span2 or anytime on demand ott now back to day seven of derek chauvin's trial in the death of george floyd. the prosecution brought in los angeles


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