The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fmr RBA Director Warwick McKibbin has "concerns" about RBA independence

In the first public statement of its kind that I have ever seen (although I have repeatedly raised this issue myself), former RBA director, professor Warwick McKibbin, who spent a decade on the Board, has told that he has "concerns" about the political independence of the RBA. He further comments that he has no idea why he was not reappointed by the Government for a third term on the RBA Board, having offered his services. In contrast, his colleague, Jillian Broadbent, was appointed for a third term. As I argued here before, this was a real blow to both the RBA and ultimately taxpayers---McKibbin is indisputably our best academic macroeconomist. He was also one of the RBA executive's key independent supporters in the face of a majority of conflicted business executives (today they number 5-6) that clearly don't have the appetite to fight inflation, and are day-by-day undermining the hard-won credibility of Australia's central bank. This explains McKibbin's calls for the RBA Board to be redesigned with fewer independent business members and a greater number of academic experts.