ZB

Mike's Minute: When Reserve Bank Governors are openly disagreeing, you know there's a problem

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jul 2022, 9:53am

Mike's Minute: When Reserve Bank Governors are openly disagreeing, you know there's a problem

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jul 2022, 9:53am

The value of Graeme Wheeler writing the report he has on the Reserve Bank and the shambles it’s made of the economy, is it shows us and shines real light on one of life's simple but often forgotten truths.

Just because you are touted as an expert doesn’t mean you actually know what you are doing.

Wheeler was our Reserve Bank Governor from 2012 to 2017. He joins, by the way, Don Brash who also held the same job in calling out our current boss, Adrian Orr and his handling of the Covid era.

Our bank is not alone. Lots of central banks essentially did the same thing. Depending on how mad they went, depends now on how bad the fiscal fallout for the average person now is.

In our case it's pretty bad. We printed money with alacrity and the hangover has only just begun.

The value of Wheeler and Brash is they are your so-called experts. They have been where Orr is, they have the credentials, they have the experience, and they have the track record.

You and I can sit there and openly ask why this is such a dog's breakfast, but too often we are tut-tutted away because we don’t know what we are talking about.

Grant Robertson gets a freer run at espousing economic theory because he has a title of Minister of Finance. The fact he's never run a thing in his life seems to be forgotten.

What would we, the peasants, know about money matters?

Adrian Orr is full of defence for what he has done, and yet it is increasingly obvious and has been for some time that he blew it. And he was helped by a government that wanted him to do more and print more. His job was to resist, unless he didn’t know how to, or worse, agreed with what he was encouraged to do. Remembering, of course, he is supposed to be independent.

You might note the Crown, that's you and me, have started to re-capitalise the Reserve Bank to the tune of almost $9 billion. Why would they be doing that? Because they need to get the debt off the bank's books, so if this happens again, they have the capacity to print.

Basically, we are paying for the damage the Reserve Bank inflicted. It'll be about $150 million a month, every month for five years. If interest rates go up, which they will, it'll be more.

No, there was no miracle here. But there might well have been a better way with less damage.

We've now got two Governors versus one saying as much. If ever, there was a lesson in being aware of your surroundings and those who run them, this is it.