State leaders take part in a group photo session for the G20 Summit in China
Image: © Ng Han Guan / AP/Press Association Images

The G20 gang got together in China to talk about how the economy’s doing. Here’s what they said

With the G20 now over, we've just read through their entire report, stripped out all the jargon, and translated each of the 48 points into, like, the way people actually talk

The G20 party is over. Yep, the leaders of 20 of world's major economies have just finished their annual get together, and have released a 48-point report to explain what they've agreed. They're saying some pretty important stuff, but making sense of it's another thing. We thought we'd go through it, point by point, to try and make it all a bit clearer.

The meeting what we had

1. We went to China for two days. It was fun.

2. Things are going alright, all things considered. Investors and bankers seem kind of nervous at the moment, and global politics is all a bit messy, so there’s a heck of a lot of people moving around the place, not to mention the wars that are going on. We could do with a bit more growth though.

3. Lots is changing in the global economy, so hard to work out when the ‘growth’ we mentioned will start happening faster. We’ll try and make some decisions here that’ll help sort that out.

4. As long as we don’t argue too much, we could really get shit done.

5. We really want to get shit done. But like, sustainably.

6. What we’re about to tell you is going to be totally visionary. It’s going to be smooth. It’s going to be big. And we’ll do it together.


Getting shit done, together

7. We’ll make sure that our countries create and manage money in a way that doesn’t let prices jump around too much. That’s what the monetary policy guys take care of. We’ve got to spend it well too. We want good investment in stuff that lasts. We don’t want to get into too much debt. That’s what the fiscal policy guys will sort out. Each country can work it out for themselves really, as long as they don’t mess about with the value of their own currencies, because that makes things hard for the rest of us. Play fair, people.

8. Okay, we know we keep mentioning it, but we’re really set on getting this growth thing going. Here’s how.

Growth, growth, growth. Did we mention growth?

9. Our growth is gonna be amazing. All that’s stopping us is people not wanting enough stuff, and other people not making enough stuff. We’ve got a plan for how to fix that though (sustainably, of course).

10. Basically, we need to figure out new ways to make more stuff faster (and more sustainably, of course). We’ve got a Blueprint for how to do that too.

11. We’re recruiting an ultra-skilled, ‘International Task Force’ to put our awesome Blueprint into action.

12. We’ve got an ‘Innovation Action Plan’ for the Task Force to work on. It’s awesome. We’re all about promoting innovation (inclusively, of course.) We’ve got to pool our knowledge, but it’s got to be fair. We’re so serious about this that we’ve created an acronym for it - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. Now that’s what we call FAIR.

13. Okay, call us sensationalist, but we think there’s a New Industrial Revolution coming. But don’t panic, we’ve got an ‘Action Plan’ for it. It’s really good. It’s really inclusive too. It’s all about opportunities for less developed countries, and women, and women in less developed countries.

14. We love wifi, and think everyone should have it. We’ve set up an Initiative for it. We’ve called it the ‘Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative’. That’s how keen we are.

15. We’re sure that between our Task Force and a good wifi connection, we’ll get ‘growth’ in no time - but everyone’s got to do their bit. We’ve got a ‘Structural Reform Agenda’ about the bigger clunkier things that countries have to sort out so that they’re ready for all this growth. We sure are.

Lisa Simpson

Let’s get ready for growth

16. We gotta be ready.

17. We want to make sure that people moving money around the world to invest in stuff do it responsibly. Big players like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are working on setting quotas. Other big players like the Paris Club are working on making sure that our systems for paying off our debts to each other are fair. Keep up the good work, guys.

18. We’ve got to make finance safe. We’re glad lots of people are working on regulatory standards to do this. We’ve got to make sure everyone knows the rules, and that everyone’s allowed to play, no matter how poor or rich they are.

19. We’ve got to pay our taxes (boy, was that Panama Papers thing awkward). Everyone who hasn’t yet signed our tax transparency agreements, get on with it. We’ll never be able to get all the growth we want if people don’t cough up their taxes.

20. Seriously. You in the back. Sign the agreement. Now!

21. Okay, back to growth. It’s got to be sustainable. We’re not very good at that yet. We’re not really sure what ‘green’ growth really means, and how to do it. Let’s work it out.

22. Oh, and before we forget. You in the back. Make sure you’re clamping down on corruption too. So many people store their corrupt assets abroad that we’ve really got to work together on this one.

23. Step one to sustainable growth is trading the energy itself sustainably. We may as well start by using the energy we already have more efficiently. Like remembering to turn off the lights before we leave the room, and not using so much coal.

24. We’ve got to put a stop to the fossil fuel bonanza once and for all. Natural gas seems like a better bet. Let’s work together on that one too.

Ready, set, trade

25. Ah, we’re so psyched about the growth. Let’s make it really good.

26. Let’s make sure trade is fair. We’ll ask the World Trade Organisation (WTO) folks if they could work on that.

27. We should have rules, but not too many. Let’s sign some agreements and stuff but keep things pretty open as a whole (sustainably, of course.)

28. Okay, keep things very open. We’re not fans of the whole protect-your-borders view on things. People need to understand that’s not a good idea.

29. Remember our Action Plans and Blueprints? We’ve got a Strategy too, for Global Trade Growth. This one’s about trade. The more the better, really.

30. But inclusively, of course.

31. The big clunky stuff gets in the way with our strategy a bit. And governments that subsidise their businesses unfairly can mess things up. Let’s communicate more to straighten that out.

Sort shit out meme

Sorting our shit out, together

32. Ah, the growth. Let’s make it really inclusive.

33. And sustainable.

34. And accountable (we’ve got a kickass report on how accountable we are already).

35. We’ve got an Initiative for the inclusive part. It’s called the ‘G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa and LDCs’. It’s really inclusive.

36. We’re serious about the anti-corruption thing though. Sort your cross-border invoices out, people.

37. Businesses have got to be inclusive too.

38. We’ll make an Association to make sure.

39. We want to help sort out the big clunky stuff we’ve mentioned. We’ll help promote investment into things like protecting ourselves from earthquakes and creating more jobs. We’ll make sure corporations follow all the rules and are as inclusive and sustainable as we are.

40. We want to create jobs, but we want them to be good ones. In safe workplaces. With decent wages. And enough of them to go around.

41. Everyone’s gotta have enough to eat too. Small farmers can help with that. They’re good at the sustainable production thing we’ve been harping on about.

More stuff we’re kinda worried about but we’re hoping will be okay

42. Brexit. ‘Nuff said.

43. Making sure all that stuff we talked about in Paris actually happens.

44. The refugee crisis. Can we please get better at sorting this out?

45. Terrorism. If anything was worth putting our bickering aside for, it’s probably this. The UN’s strategy to combat terrorist financing is a good start. Let’s put it into action.

46. Antimicrobial resistance. Less headline-friendly, but very worrying. Let’s work together on this too, and remind everyone to finish their full dose of antibiotics in the meantime.

We feel better now. It was good to get that off our chests

47. We’re all about the inclusiveness. Let’s not forget that.

48. Thanks China. It’s been real.

Oh, and for those of you who really want to read it, here's the full report.

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