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."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

RBA Board machinations

Well, well, well. No Ross Garnaut. No Warwick McKibbin. No academic experts to thoroughly engage with the RBA, as many have previously proposed. According to the AFR, a resources industry specialist, which is something I had heard on the grapevine and perhaps an improvement over her predecessor, McGauchie. And a market economist, John Edwards, who was a former high-profile advisor to Paul Keating, and, amazingly, one of his biographers. Politicisation of the RBA Board? Maybe. My guess is that Warwick McKibbin would be none too impressed. The key governance question one needs to ask is this: has the balance of power and control shifted away from taxpayers and the Board and towards the executive insiders as a result of these changes? I would say, Absolutely. In terms of technical expertise and an ability to critique and interrogate RBA decision-making, McKibbin is in a different league to his replacements. Ironically, Warwick is liable to make life even more difficult for non-performing governments outside of the RBA...From Banking Day today:

Two picked for RBA board
29 March 2011 6:58am

The Australian government may announce the appointment of two new members of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia today, the Financial Review reports.

The two are Catherine Tanna and John Edwards.

Catherine Tanna is managing director of the Australian arm of BG Group (formerly British Gas) in Brisbane and was a long term employee of Shell prior to that.

John Edwards is at present the executive director for economic planning with the Kingdom of Bahrain. He worked as chief economist of HSBC in Australia for many years.

Edwards is also well known as a political adviser (and one of two in-house historians) in the office of the former Labor prime minister Paul Keating. Her also worked a reporter with Fairfax in the 1970s.