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."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The inequity of the RBA's monetary policy bias: savers take a hit

From the leading industry publication, Banking Day:
Savers take a hit
22 December 2011 6:47am

Savers will have to start lobbying the Treasurer to do for them what he did for home buyers. While most lenders moved their standard variable rates down in line with the cash rate moves of the past two months a number of deposit-takers took a bit extra off their rates.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate by 25 basis points in November and by another 25 points earlier this month.

In response, RaboDirect, previously a pace-setter in the deposit market, took 86 basis points off its Savings Account rate (down to 6.26 per cent at the beginning of November) to the current rate of 5.4 per cent.

Bankmecu has cut the rate on its Incentive Saver Account by 75 basis points over the past two months – down 25 basis points in November and down a further 50 basis points on December 9.

SGE Credit Union cut the rate on its Bonus Saver Account by 75 basis points over two months.

Virgin Money cut its Virgin Saver introductory rate by 39 basis points in November and by 27 points on December 12 – a total of 66 basis points.

Virgin’s four-month introductory rate of 5.85 per cent is one of the best rates currently on offer. However, Virgin made a deeper cut to its base rate – down 70 basis points to 4.65 per cent.

ME Bank cut the rate on its Online Savings Account by 30 basis points in November and by another 30 basis points on December 13. It made the same rate changes to its First Home Saver Account.

Greater Building Society cut the rate on its Bonus Saver Account by 60 basis points over the same period.

Victoria Teachers Credit Union dropped the rate on its First Saver Account by 55 basis points over two months.

UBank cut its rates by 40 basis points in November but has not made a rate change so far this month. Its USaver account is currently offering the highest at-call savings rate on the market, with a bonus rate of 6.11 per cent (subject to meeting monthly deposit requirements) and a base rate of 5.61 per cent.(All data sourced from Infochoice.)