Banker kings move to control RBA and Treasury

Via the AFR:

Shayne Elliott, the chief executive of one of the country’s biggest banks, has called on federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to convene a summit to discuss the broader economic implications of zero per cent interest rates and quantitative easing.

Mr Elliott, who is the CEO of ANZ Banking Group and chairman of the Australian Bankers Association, said the summit would be an opportunity to gather in one room representatives from the Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the main regulators, the big four banks, the regional banks and others to discuss issues surrounding the move in Australia toward zero per cent interest rates.

“There are lots of positives in the Australian economy…But on the other hand, growth is slowing, business confidence is low, consumer confidence is falling. So the question is why?

“Is this just a point in the cycle? Or is there something bigger happening out there? Is it something to do with new technology? Is it something to do with the global economy?

And the bank-supporting opinion piece follows:

ANZ chief Shayne Elliott’s national leadership backing an economic summit to probe the implications of ultra-low interest rates will inevitably turn the spotlight on government policy levers.

That’s why Treasurer Josh Fryndenberg will baulk at Elliott’s suggestion.

…The government is under sustained pressure from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), market economists and some business leaders to consider loosening the fiscal purse strings and implement tough structural reforms to boost the sluggish economy.

That’s the last thing that we need. Why should “the Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the main regulators, the big four banks, the regional banks” have some privileged access to debate monetary and fiscal policy?

Their interests are not the national interest and the two should never be confused.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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