Today, I consider the latest development in the entrenchment of neoliberalism in the Australian policy sector, specifically, the latest decision by the Treasurer to excise his powers under Section 11 of the Reserve Bank Act 1959, which allowed the Treasurer to overrule RBA policy decisions if they considered them not to be in the national interest. This power was considered an essential aspect of a working democracy, where the elected member of parliament had responsibility for economic policy decisions that impacted on millions of people. The latest evolution will further see macroeconomic policy depoliticised and placed in the hands of a small cabal of mainstream economists who regularly advocate policies that serve special corporate interests and leave millions unemployed. I also provide a video from a TV show I appeared on in Tokyo the other day. Then some lovely guitar music. It’s Wednesday after all!
This is my last Report from Kyoto for 2023. I will be returning to my work there in 2024 and there are still lots of things to report on. I seem to discover more as I learn more, which is always a good thing. Anyway, our bikes are back in storage, our cases packed and by the time this comes out I will be back down South with mixed feelings about that. Life goes on though. Stay tuned for the Kyoto Report 2024 series – starting sometime next year.
Given yesterday’s detailed monetary policy analysis, I am using today to present an array of news items and some brief analytical thoughts on central bank monetary policy. The latter is based on a very interesting speech that the governor of the Bank of Japan gave in Nagoya earlier this week. The juxtaposition with the way the Western central banks are behaving at present is stunning. There is also some self promotion and some announcements. Then we get to listen to Ron Carter. A good day really.
It’s Wednesday and I use this space to write about any number of issues or items that have attracted my interest and which I consider do not require a detailed analysis. The issues discussed may be totally unrelated. Today, I provide my response to yesterday’s decision by the Bank of Japan to vary its Yield Curve Control (YCC) policy, which some commentators are frothing about. The change was very minor and is not a sign that the expansionary position of the Bank is shifting significantly. I also discuss the culture of denial in the US State Department and then rock out to come classic swamp.