Farewell sweet prince

Glenn Stevens ends a remarkable innings as RBA Governor

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On September 18th 2016, an era of Australian economic leadership came to an end. Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Glenn Stevens, ended his term, which coincides with one of the most prosperous eras of economic growth seen in Australia since the Post WWII Long Boom.

Charged with managing this nation’s monetary policy, in 2016 Stevens and his board guided Australia into a record 26th straight year of economic growth. While there have certainly been favourable circumstances that have aided this performance, such as a mining boom, robust Terms of Trade and a strong Aussie dollar, his record speaks for itself. During his tenure of 10 years he has dealt with the Global Financial Crisis and the European Debt Crisis, as well as consistent domestic political instability that has historically hampered economic growth and consumer confidence. Growth in Australia throughout this volatile period has never dropped below 1%, and is projected to reach 4% this year.

Not afraid to be both bold and unexpected, Stevens recently cut the benchmark cash rate to a low of 1.50% – the record lowest rate ever recorded for Australia. Overseeing a time of continual change in the Australian economy’s structure, Stevens has played a large role in managing the ongoing transition from a manufacturing and mining based economy, to one based on services. In addition to overseeing structural changes he has also been unafraid to raise concerns about a price bubble in the Sydney Housing Market, a realm few governors wouldn’t dare commenting on for fear of inciting instability. After a concerted effort to see off low inflation and stimulate wage growth in the country, the actions of the governor and his team appear, for now, to be producing signs of economic improvement.

Philip Lowe, long-serving deputy governor of the RBA, will succeed Stevens and endeavour to fill the big shoes of the departing legend of Australian economic leadership. In a period that has brought us 5 Prime Ministers, 5 Treasurers and 6 Opposition Leaders, Stevens has had guiding hand in our economic prosperity and has much to be proud of.

Photo credit: Herald Sun