MNI BRIEF: RBNZ "Dodged a Bullet", Would Do It Again - Harris
Reserve Bank of New Zealand monetary policy committee external member Peter Harris has hit back at critics of the bank's track record, saying that he would largely make the same decisions again. The RBNZ released Harris' personal replies to a series of media questions, with one asking whether he agreed with Governor Adrian Orr's implication that the only incorrect decisions over the past few years were ones that required hindsight to avoid.
"Apart from marginal adjustments -- 25 basis points one way or another -- with hindsight I would have done exactly what we did," he wrote. "We dodged a bullet. Every analyst was predicting economic apocalypse and we saw off the horsemen."
Quizzed on the outlook for monetary policy, Harris said monetary policy operated with a lag of 18-24 months. "This means that at any decision point there will be effects coming from past decisions still “in the pipeline”, which need to be taken into account, and that current decisions have to recognise that they will take time to be fully effective."
He dismissed a question about whether the Board considered external members should be "seen but not heard", saying "the question is rhetorical, which, by definition, does not require an answer."