Reserve Bank chief Philip Lowe has conceded to a Senate Estimates hearing that Australia’s central bank does use the services of disgraced consulting firm PwC, but only for minor administrative tasks such as setting Australia’s monetary policy.
“Look, I’m not going to lie, we do have a few PwC grads doing odd jobs around the place. One of those is to set the monthly cash rate. I think another is to issue currency. But we certainly don’t use consultants for anything critical,” he said.
Asked how the consultants determine the interest rate, Lowe said it wasn’t his area. “I’m not across every single detail of the process. What I can tell you is that on the first Tuesday of each month they run us through a 300-slide PowerPoint presentation and then, at the end, they roll a dice and whatever number comes up, that’s the cash rate. But I couldn’t tell you where they get the dice from,” he said.
Lowe said he would have to take on notice a question regarding how much PwC were paid by the RBA. “I think it might be $281 billion. Or that could be the amount we spent on buying government bonds over the past five years. But it’ll be in that ballpark. I’ll have to get back to you on that”