A message from Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe — The Shovel

A message from Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe

Hi Australia,

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about some comments I made about interest rates back in 2021. It’s all very trivial and insignificant, but it’s probably worth clearing a few things up.

When I used an official update to the nation in October 2021 to advise that the Reserve Bank would not increase interest rates until 2024, obviously I wasn’t being serious. We have an inside joke at the office whereby ‘no interest rate rise’ actually means a 25-fold increase in under 6 months. It’s called humour. Look it up.

Even so, it now seems as though some people took a very precise statement about future interest rates from the head of the Reserve Bank at face value. You can’t say anything these days without it being taken out of context.   

I’m told some people took my words so seriously they thought that when I said, “Interest rates won’t rise until 2024”, I meant “Interest rates won’t rise until 2024”. You guys take everything so literally! Who do you think I am? The head of Australia’s central bank or something!? (That’s another RBA joke btw. I am the head of Australia’s central bank, which is why it’s funny).

Apparently, some people even went out and bought a house off the back of what I said! Seems like a pretty strange thing to do – factor in the future cost of borrowing money into a decision about whether or not to buy a house. Each to their own.

Yet now they want to blame for the fact interest rates went up! What makes you think I know what interest rates are going to be in the future?

Do you think I have some sort of crystal ball, or that I sit down in a meeting on the first Tuesday of every month at the Reserve Bank headquarters to decide what the interest rate will be? Lol.

Anyway, if you now ‘find yourself in a position you don’t want to be in’, then sorry. Looking back, I should’ve used different language.

Seems like you need to put up a bloody neon sign with the word ‘joke’ every time you want to misrepresent future interest rates by a two-and-a-half percentage points.

That said, after carefully considering my position, I think it’s in the best interests of the nation that I now resign as RBA Governor. Oh, and interest rates won’t be going up until 2035. Lol!  

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