Welcome to readers who have visited this blog since my Q&A interview yesterday. Although the most recent post was on Australian monetary policy, my focus here is on New Zealand issues. The range of topics I touch on reflects some, slightly random, mix of my fairly wide-ranging interests, my experience, my reading, and what pops up in newspapers, speeches, or other blogs here and abroad.
The single economic issue that I care about most is reversing the decline in New Zealand’s relative economic performance that has been going on, in fits and starts, since at least the middle of the twentieth century, if not longer. We’ve done badly. I want New Zealand to be a place my kids want to stay in, rather than joining the diaspora – the more than 900000 New Zealanders (net) who’ve left since 1970.
But much of the content of the blog so far has been on issues relating to housing, financial stability and banking regulation, and the Reserve Bank. That mostly reflects what has been going on in New Zealand this year, and choices that the Reserve Bank in particular has made. When I gained my freedom earlier in the year I didn’t set out to focus on the Bank. I think they’ve been making some poor calls – both on monetary policy, and around banking regulation – but even in respect of the Reserve Bank I’m more interested in advancing the cause of institutional reform than in this year’s specific decisions.
For the last couple of months, I have been categorising my posts so anyone new to the site can find a way in to the various topics I’ve covered. But for anyone interested in some more substantial pieces of my argumentation, you could try these links:
• A speech I gave in May on the “blunders of our governments”, that are primarily responsible for high house prices.
• A speech given at a LEANZ seminar in June on “Housing, financial stresses, and the regulatory role of the Reserve Bank”.
• A paper issued in May making the case for reforming the governance of the Reserve Bank
• My recent submission on the Reserve Bank’s proposal to restrict access to mortgage finance for residential rental businesses in Auckland.
In terms of the longer-term economic performance issues:
• This paper, written in 2013 for a Reserve Bank/Treasury forum on exchange rate issues sets out how I’ve been thinking about the issues.
• And these more-speculative speech notes also from 2013 take a longer-term perspective on New Zealand’s relative economic decline.
I welcome comments, and have been pleased (not to say relieved) at the tone that commenters have maintained. Thoughtful discussion and debate matter, and I hope that in some small ways this site can contribute.