The OCR leak: some disclosures

Will I come to regret this post?  Probably not, but only time will tell.  It also may not be of wide general interest, but that is fine.

Regular readers will recall that I got caught up in the Reserve Bank’s OCR leak.  More specifically, gaping breaches in the Bank’s systems (a near-total reliance on trust) and an actual leak of the March OCR decision would not have come to their attention, and been addressed, if I had not passed on to them information that arrived unwanted in my email in-box on the morning of the release, which suggested the possibility of a leak.  Frankly, if anyone was the innocent party in the whole episode it was me.  I wasn’t the leaker, I wasn’t the major media organisation that failed to disclose the leak by its employees for several weeks, I didn’t even receive what information I had from the person who was the leaker, and I wasn’t the central bank that ran security systems that made such a leak astonishingly easy.

And so I was more than a little miffed to have the Governor of the Reserve Bank describe me and my conduct as irresponsible in his press release announcing the results of the inquiry –  an inquiry that would never have taken place if it had not been for my initiative in alerting the Bank to the issue.  What particularly irked me was that in the same statement the Governor (a) took no responsibility for the laxness of the Bank’s own systems, and (b) seemed to go out of his way to stress how helpful the media organisation, MediaWorks, had been.   It also puzzled me a little that there seemed to be no sanctions imposed by the Bank on the leakers – MediaWorks and its staff.

That prompted me to lodge a series of requests for information –  from the Bank itself, and from its Board (which is paid to operate at arms-length from the Bank to scrutinise the performance of the Governor and hold him to account).    The Bank has actually responded to one other OIA request in this area: the Taxpayers’ Union asked about the cost of the Deloitte inquiry, and was told a few weeks ago that the cost was $58952.28 (plus GST).  My OIA requests have been treated in a more typical Bank way –  not just extended for one month, but all the way out to 1 July, with talk of the possibility of charging.

However, I also sought from the Bank under the Privacy Act material relating to me that was held by the Bank and generated or obtained between the morning of the MPS release on 10 March and the day I lodged the request.  They didn’t respond in 20 working days, but it wasn’t that much after the initial deadline when I was sent a fairly large collection of material yesterday.  I had kept the request quite focused –  I wasn’t after copies of media reports, or out to embarrass junior people who were not involved in the leak investigation and might have been exchanging speculative emails.  All the material I obtained was comments from people directly involved, mostly people from the senior management group including the Governor.

I have tossed up about whether to release this material, and am doing so for two reasons.

The first is that I think it does shed useful light on how the Bank went about dealing with the information I provided to them, and the priors and presuppositions of key people involved.  It is only a partial view of course, and I hope in time the Official Information Act requests will provide some more clarity.  Unfortunately, the Bank has deliberately stalled the release of that information (which it can be onerous neither to collect/collate nor to review).

The second is more personal.  Various people wisely suggested that I separate my irritation at having been personally attacked by the Governor from the wider issues of how the Bank has dealt with the issues of the leak, MediaWorks involvement, lock-ups etc.   Some experienced former colleagues had even got in touch to suggest I must be misinterpreting things, and the Governor’s statement about irresponsibility couldn’t have been meant to include me.  And so I decided to write a private letter to the Governor, outlining my perspective on my involvement in the whole issue and, in light of those points, inviting him to explain, or reconsider, his public assertion that my conduct had been irresponsible.  If possible, dealing with such issues privately is generally likely to be more constructive.

It wasn’t long before I got a very terse response from the Governor confirming that he did indeed regard me as having behaved irresponsibly.  I didn’t do anything with that, other than to pass the message on to those optimistic former colleagues.

But then I received yesterday’s collection of documents.  Publishing them, together with my letter to the Governor and his reply, will enable people to form their own views.  I’m sure many will see what they want to see, and some of those inclined to support Graeme Wheeler more generally may agree with the views he, and his senior colleagues, expressed.   Anyone is entitled to his or her own view.

As for me, I have to live with my own conscience.  There would be nothing shameful in concluding that, with the benefit of hindsight, one might have done some things differently.  After all, the Governor himself –  who had much more time – has changed tack twice since the inquiry was released (from no penalties for MediaWorks to indefinite exclusion from press conferences, and from immediately discontinuing lock-ups to investigating the possibility of reinstating them).   I have asked myself some of the questions others have posed, but reading the material I received yesterday led me to conclude more strongly than previously that I had done the right thing –  not necessarily the things the Bank would have preferred, but those which best balanced the public interest and the protection of my own interests.

Here is the link to the material the Reserve Bank released.

OCR leak inquiry Privacy Act response from RB

My earlier posts on the leak and related issues are all here

And here is what I took from the newly-released material.

The first point I noted is that, with the exception of a brief email from John McDermott on the morning of the MPS release, in which he wrote to me “Thank you for letting me know”, no one (management or Board) seems to have considered, at any point in the subsequent six weeks, expressing appreciation to me for coming forward and passing on the information that I had.  One doesn’t try to do the right thing in the hope of being thanked for it, but it is a telling omission nonetheless.

The second point is that I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Bank seemed to take the information seriously from the start.  By 11:30am on 10 March, Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand had asked the senior manager responsible for risk and audit to undertake an inquiry, noting (page 2) “we cannot be sure it is a leak as opposed to speculation but need to enquire into it with diligence and urgency on the assumption it is”.

That was fine, and he even noted that “in the first instance, he [Michael] is the messenger”.   But in the same email Bascand had already moved on to treating the information I had passed on as an “allegation”, and two of the three questions he expects answers to are about my conduct.

Somewhat surprisingly, in a world in which a “no surprises” policy is generally supposed to prevail between government agencies and the Minister’s office, it appears (page 4) that the Bank only decided to tell the Minister of Finance’s office about the possibility of a leak after I had made a brief mention of the information I received on my blog on the afternoon of the release (having advised the Bank some hours earlier that I was likely to mention it).  That looks like poor political management, but also tends to confirm the unease I felt at the time, that the issue might be hushed up if at all possible.

Geoff Bascand’s biases become increasingly apparent in one of the unguarded emails that requests like this throw up.  After they advised Bank staff of the situation late on 10 March, the head of HR emails Bascand with a brief expression of sympathy.  Bascand’s response is nothing at all about the possible vulnerability in the Bank’s own systems (he being the senior manager responsible for the Communications functions), the possibility of an actual leak, or anything of the sort, but is all about the messenger.

By this time, and perhaps reflecting his biases, it is becoming clear that Bascand has trouble with the meaning of the word “allegation”.  I have commented on this previously, but it is more stark in the light of the information in this release.  In his message to all Bank staff (page 5) late on the afternoon of 10 March the heading is “Allegation of leak information”, and in a five line email the word “allegation” is used twice.  Nowhere, by contrast, does he note something like “we have received information suggesting that information may have been leaked”.      To repeat, allegations are claims are that are made, something that (at least according to my Oxford dictionary) involves “to assert without proof”.

To repeat, at no time between 10 March and 14 April (the release of the short-form inquiry report) did I make any “allegations”.  All I did –  and the emails are in this batch, on page 1 –  was to pass on hard information that I had (an email) while stressing repeatedly that I had no idea whether it was the fruit of a leak, or something else.  At the time, as I’ve said before, I struggled to believe a leak was possible.

It took a while for the leak inquiry to get going.  I’ve covered previously the Bank’s approach to me to assist the inquiry –  an approach which was extremely professional and which carefully referred only to the “possibility of a leak”.  I talked to the Deloitte investigators a few days later.  I gave them a copy of the text of the email I had received, and we had an amicable conversation in which, inter alia, they indicated that the Bank was very grateful to me for having come forward.  At the time I took that at face value, and commented openly on my support for the process the Bank had put in place.  It is worth noting –  because it comes up later –  that the Deloitte investigators did not ask me who sent the email to me, and indicated that they would not expect that I would tell them.  I wrote a post following that meeting with the investigators, mentioning briefly the discussion we had had, but focusing mostly on structural changes that I thought were warranted (abandonment of lock-ups etc) regardless of whether or not there had been a leak on this occasion.

That post seemed to spark some media interest.  The documents contain an email to Mike Hannah (RB Head of Communications) from Hamish Rutherford of Fairfax (someone else who appears to have had trouble with the meaning of the word “allegations”) and over the next couple of days there was a flurry of media coverage, here and abroad, and some clarificatory posts from me (partly annoyed at the continued public use of the term “allegations” by media and Bank representatives).  That in turn sparked various emails among senior managers at the Bank.

Mike Hannah is the first (page 13).  Interestingly, he claims that he would have picked up and responded quickly to any email I had sent before 9am on 10 March.  If so, that is good to know now, although it wasn’t the impression I was under at the time.  But he also notes that the Bank would not necessarily have done anything differently: “we’d have watched the markets very carefully , and might have had to consider going early if we saw action”.  But as everyone recognises, there was nothing visible happening in markets.

Hannah also responds to my point that one reason I hadn’t contacted the Bank in the brief window before 9am was my unease about the Bank’s reaction if in fact it had not been cutting that morning.  He considers it a “flimsy” story, but in fact the tone of the senior management comments –  from him, Bascand and Wheeler – throughout these documents only confirms that was an entirely reasonable fear on my part.  One thing that is striking in these documents is the apparent total inability of such senior people to imagine themselves in someone else’s position with someone else’s (lack of) information. They knew there was a cut coming. I didn’t.

The Governor responded to Hannah (at 1:48 am –  perhaps he was travelling).  From the tone of his email he seems to regard the whole exercise as a “quest for publicity” by me, adding that “my sense is that he is digging himself into a hole” – I’m still not sure, from context, how.    He seems aggrieved (on which more later) that a former employee of the Bank would blog about the enquiry.  It is really quite a weird reaction: one might hope that the Governor would have been most concerned about getting to the bottom of the substantive issue, and would expect considerable public scrutiny at even the possibility that an OCR decision had been leaked.  Recall that by this point –  objections to the misuse of “allegations” apart –  I had been supportive –  in public and in private –  of the whole inquiry process the Bank had put in place.

The Governor forwarded that email to the chair of the Bank’s Board, Rod Carr.  Instead of keeping an appropriate distance from management, Carr weighs in suggesting that perhaps I was now feeling guilty, that my actions were not a “sign of good citizenship”, and that somehow advising them a few minutes earlier  –  see Hannah’s comments above –  might have protected “NZ’s reputation”.    To his credit, Carr does flag the possible need to abolish lock-ups.

A few days later, Mike Hannah reports to the Governor on his approaches to the attendees at the media lock-up.  Hannah remains reluctant to believe that any media person/body can be responsible –  even though I had told him by inference (on the first day) and told the Deloitte team directly a week earlier that the email I received had come from a person in a media organisation.    More generally, at this point, Hannah still seems reluctant to believe that there had been a leak at all –  perhaps understandably given that he ran the lock-ups –  noting of his conversations with journalists “it may all be humour, bluff, etc, but it may also reflect scepticism about Reddell’s credibility”.    Given Hannah’s reluctance to accept the possibilities, the Bank’s in-house counsel (one of the few to emerge creditably from these documents) had to go back to Deloitte (page 16/17) to confirm that I had in fact said the email came from a person in a media organisation.

The Deloitte report indicated that, finally, on 5 April, MediaWorks owned up to the fact that there had been a leak, and that their staff had been responsible.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is no email in the system from senior RB managers saying “gee, Michael’s information turned out to be about something real; just as well as he came forward”.

Instead, the documents skip forward to Sunday 10 April.  By then, the Bank had the draft Deloitte report and was providing comments on it, and drafting press releases.

Geoff Bascand had sent out an email expressing surprise that no (MediaWorks) names were named in the Deloitte report –  in particularly that the report did not name the person who had sent the email to me.  Hannah responds identifying his suppositions about who it was, and he indicated that his draft press releases included the name of the person he suspected.  He also noted that he  had “not yet included Reddell’s name” –  the operative word apparently being “yet”.  Reflecting the Bank’s cast of mind, he noted that this was “not to save him” but simply because he still wanted more information.  The next morning, Hannah emails senior colleagues indicating that the draft press release had been done by him and the Governor jointly.  He urges that the Bank needs to get Deloitte to ask MediaWorks for the name of the person who emailed me (even if just to confirm that they would not provide the information).

In response, Nick McBride points out that he would not expect MediaWorks would provide anything more, and urged that the Bank should avoid focusing on individuals, stressing “it is MediaWorks that is responsible”. He goes on to note that “there is also a strong basis for speculating that a journalist emailing from the lock-up was normal behaviour, for Mediaworks at least”.   Interesting, he notes that MediaWorks will be particularly reluctant “if it senses the Bank’s ‘no mercy’ approach and the lack of credit it is likely to get for its admission”.    Given that there were no sanctions imposed on MediaWorks in the 14 April announcement, and the statement went out of its way to praise the cooperation of MediaWorks, something must have changed between then and 14 April.

That same day  – Monday 11 April –  also saw an odd email exchange between the Bank and Deloitte.  The Bank asks for copies of all emails from MediaWorks, and in response is told that “the only other email correspondence that we had with MediaWorks was the email exchange about Mr Reddell’s phone number –  now attached for your reference” [although for some reason not included in the material the Bank released].  My phone number isn’t exactly a secret –  it is in the White Pages.  But that same exchange also confirms that what the Bank released on 14 April is not, despite the impression given in the Bank’s statement, the full Deloitte report at all.  Instead, it appears to be a “short form” “public version”.  Someone should probably request the full report.

The Governor himself was engaged in providing comments on the draft report.  His attitude is evident in the following exchange.  A manager in the audit area of the Bank advises senior management that he has asked that Deloitte delete the word “all” from a description of how I had “cooperated with all our inquiries”, since I had declined to name my source (despite never being asked to, either by the Bank or Deloitte).  Not content with that excision (which wouldn’t have bothered me) the Governor insists that they must delete “Mr Reddell cooperated with our enquiries”, noting “as he didn’t disclose everything that was necessary this therefore gives a misleading impression”.  The fact that the inquiry would never have occurred at all without my original initiative clearly escaped him.

The remaining emails relate to the period after the release of the (public version) of the inquiry report on 14 April.  There is the gratuitously nasty one from someone outside the Bank (page 25) but my interest is mostly in the stance of the Bank’s senior management and Board.

According to Mike Hannah, in an email to the Governor and Board chair, by now I am “obviously smarting from a well-aimed and deserved reprimand”, and am “irresponsible again” for suggesting that the lock-ups had had lax security.  Reading that did prompt me to wonder which senior manager oversaw the procedures for and administration of the lock-ups which had just been revealed to have been breached.

And then the ante starts getting raised further.  According to Geoff Bascand,

“nothing will satisfy Michael. He is a deeply aggrieved person.  Everything will be interpreted through his victim filter”.

I’m not sure where Bascand gets any of this from.  And a simple apology from the Governor for publically tarring me as “irresponsible” would satisfy me.  Bascand continues to seem to think I somehow regret leaving the Reserve Bank, when I had been quite clear for several years prior to doing so that I was keen to get out, and do as my mother had done for me, and be around for my growing children.    That had only become financially feasible by late 2014, and by then the (personally) optimal thing was to stick around long enough to collect a looming redundancy cheque, which is currently helping pay for house alterations.  As I said to John McDermott at the time, my only concern had been that the Bank might change its mind.

The Governor also weighs in (page 27) and we get here the fullest explanation of his view of my irresponsibility

I firmly believe Michaels behaviour was irresponsible in failing to inform the Bank immediately, in not informing Deloitte as to who contacted him and blogging continuously on the matter even when the investigation was underway. I believe the reasons he trotted out for his actions to Deloittes were extremely weak to say the least.

 

I also find all this rich from someone who worked in the Bank for a long time and I believe should have used much better judgement- also Michael has repeated denigrated the work of colleagues that he worked alongside for many years and I believe also he has been reckless in his criticism . I believe many of the points he makes are misplaced and can readily be countered by a competent economist.

Some of this was familiar ground (see his brief letter below), but much was not.  The suggestion that I  –  or presumably others  –  should not have written about the matter while his investigation was underway almost beggars belief.  His internal inquiry about a possible failure of internal process is not exactly on a par with a matter that might be sub judice because it is being dealt with in a court of law. This is a (potential and actual) systems breach in high profile powerful public agency.

Unfortunately, the Governor seems to have allowed his judgement on the specifics of the (possible) leak issue to have become clouded by his irritation at the scrutiny and challenges that I have posed to the Bank, and him in particular, over the previous year or so.   And the substance of his point seems wrong  – I have tried to be very careful, when being critical, to focus responsibility on the Governor (as the law does) and his senior managers, and not on the many able staff who work in the organisation.  I’m quite relaxed about the idea that the Governor will often disagree with my points of view   –  that is hardly surprising, and not really that different than it was when I was inside the organisation –  and, yes, reasonable people (including some other “competent economists”) will differ on many of these issues.  But none of that is, or should be, germane to the specific issue of the leak that (a) occurred on his watch, and (b) would not have come to light without my help.

Since I was interested in lowering the temperature on the personal aspects of this, I approached a friend of mine who is on the Board seeking some sense from him as to why the Governor’s stance towards me on this issue was reasonable.  Perhaps he was in an awkward position, but I was largely fobbed off with a “circle the wagons in defence of the Governor” attitude.  And so I wrote to the Governor, copied to the Board.

That letter is here.

Letter to Graeme Wheeler OCR leak press release

The Governor’s very brief response is here.

Graeme Wheeler Ltr to M Reddell April 2016

The final email in the set of documents that the Bank released is an email from the Governor to his senior colleagues and the Board chair, forwarding them a copy of the letter, with the terse observation “I find this letter quite extraordinary”.

Some readers will get to the end of all this and perhaps still think the issue at stake is that I should have got in touch with the Bank a little earlier than I did on 10 March.  A few commenters on earlier posts have argued that.

Contrary to the sense that pervades many of these emails among Reserve Bank senior managers and Board members, I owed the Reserve Bank nothing.   But I do feel some sense of residual loyalty to the organisation and so I did what I reasonably could, in a way that directly helped them uncover a serious leak (and subsequently amend their own procedures).    If anyone reading these emails thinks that, in my shoes, they’d have rushed to tell the Bank earlier, at risk of being scoffed at and ridiculed had the Bank not in fact been cutting that morning, well all I can say is that they have a thicker skin than I do.  Bascand and Wheeler would no doubt have been poised with some barbed turn of phrase about “there goes Michael again”, ready to tell others the story the next time I ran a post they disliked.

At one level, the attitudes in these emails don’t surprise me greatly –  although perhaps I’m a little  surprised that despite the OIA and the Privacy Act they wrote these things down.  And I’m a little relieved that none of them are from my own two previous bosses.  I don’t think they reflect well on the Bank, or its Board, but that is also something for others to judge.

21 thoughts on “The OCR leak: some disclosures

  1. Hi Michael My only surprise it that it has taken you so long to respond to Wheeler calling your actions irresponsible?  Good on you! Cheers Rodney

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  2. Kiaora Mr. Reddell Reading those emails one can clearly see how antagonistic, immature and damn right rude to a man who an hour later after receiving a media person’s email and I am sure after much careful thought (is this a leak or mere speculation?), you voluntarily alerted the central bank of buffoons to this premature OCR 25bps disclosure.

    As a NZ citizen I do not get the right to elect the central bank governor or those other immature, who think they’re important financial buffoons.

    Geoff Bascand said…
    “nothing will satisfy Michael. He is a deeply aggrieved person. Everything will be interpreted through his victim filter”.

    Graeme Wheeler Geoff Bascand and Mike Hannah are 3 RATS!

    Kia kaha Mr. Reddell I support you.

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    • Michael, I support you 110%, too!
      IMHO, if the governor and his lieutenants can’t stand the heat that you have been putting on them through your blogs, they should get out of the kitchen.
      But really, it is the RBNZ’s Board that should have been putting the heat on the governor, starting from the time that the governor raised the OCR and then had to do a U-turn and lower it.
      IMHO, a Board that effectively functions as a cheerleader for the governor is not doing its job according to accepted practice.

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  3. Michael, it’s never nice when people are treated poorly. You’ve made your point. Best now to say nothing more and let the RBNZ’s behaviour speak for itself.

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  4. Hi Mike

    You are so clearly in the right on all important matters here there seems little point in discussing it. However, given the quality of thinking which enables the Reserve Bank staff to view their conduct of monetary policy in 2014 to be error-free, we should probably not be too surprised that the same staff exhibit the same quality of thinking on this issue.

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  5. Working my way through this. At first email link.

    Wheeler remarks are out of order.

    You did inform them immediately. 24 hours is the usual bureaucracy definition of immediately.

    You could have taken longer if you wished to take legal advice on receiving unsolicited information of questionable providence.

    You do not work for the bank. You have every right to blog on the matter.

    If the bank did not want that they could have asked you not to and given good reasons why as member of public you cannot highlight administrative errors.

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  6. Preciousness starts at the top of the bank.

    There is plenty of legitimate disagreement on how to administer monetary policy. The most obvious is a New Zealand anomaly where it is set by a governor rather than a committee.

    I think has been two external reviews of the conduct of monetary policy. I am sure many people are different opinions of where the future should go.

    Monetary economics is a battleground in economics with considerable disagreement over what a reserve bank should target and how it should be done. There is even a lively literature questioning whether formal central bank independence matters as much a simply governments accepting the inflation is a monetary phenomena.

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  7. Michael I continue to maintain that the real story here is your superior household management. At 8.15am on a school day, a lesser man would have been running the gauntlet of: ‘Dad where’s my PE shirt?; Can you sign my form? But we have shared lunch today’. But you had all your children out of the house and were checking the foreign exchange markets. Respect.

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  8. Oh Dear, More than a hint of arrogance from the Bank.
    Who picked this fellow. Oh that’s right mr clever dick Key.
    As for the Bank Board what could one say about their level of Governance?
    Carr ain’t no great shakes.Wouldn’t make the grade in a real commercial world.

    Question. Are Carr and the rest of his board subject to the same legislation relating to a company as the rest of us?
    Now RBNZ I think is a company so one would expect their governance to be right up there with the best of Company Practice.
    Don’t see that here, rather more like school teacher stuff.

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  9. No, the RB is a statutory body, with a quite distinctive governance structure. They don’t have the same role as a corporate board, having no decisionmaking functions other than recommendation of a candidate for Governor. Their role is to monitor the governor’s performance, and can recommend dismissal. In turn, they are appointed and can be dismissed by the Minister.

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    • So currently chaired by the same Rod Carr who, as Acting Governor, applied for and didn’t get the job of Governor?

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      • Yes. It is one of my criticisms of how the Board has worked. They get to choose their own chair (whereas most Board chairs are appointed by the relevant Minister), and the RB Board has now chosen twice in succession directors who had been former senior managers of the Bank, which tends to create an over-identification with management perspectives etc.

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  10. Michael

    In retrospect this could end up being just a footnote to history. However, inadvertently, you have found yourself fighting a good fight you never even set out to fight. And you are to be commended for continuing to fight that fight.

    Your interactions with the RB over official information release show that the Bank doesn’t know (or even care) what their obligations are under the Official Information Act. As I discovered during one of your last skirmishes the Bank did not even bother keeping the statutorily mandated entry in the Official Information Register up to date (they were out by about four years).

    Now we find an indifferent attitude to the status of internal communication about an individual. You are absolutely right to wonder about the judgement of the senior management in committing so much opinion about you to print. It’s not like the Privacy Act has just been passed, or the Electronic Transactions Act, or the Public Records Act. Or that the various legal cases establishing the legitimacy of electronic communications as evidence have only just been heard. All of this is well over a decade old (or 35 years in the case of the OIA).

    I hope the RB is the last of the old school who rely on their privilege. But even the elements of the public service that are more professional in dealing with the public still have a lot to learn. In the world of the Internet our public service do not sit above or outside society they are very much a part of it and they should get used to it.

    The public sector obtains its funding by force; you go to prison for not paying tax and your house is sold for not paying rates. In return for that privilege our public sector is supposed to swim naked in the goldfish bowl. They may not like it when we peer in but their job is to muster as much dignity as possible not to poke our eyes out.

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  11. I am in the Australian “bush” and may well not have seen everything on this. But I am dismayed. It seems a lot of ad hominem stuff has got in the way of the Bank facing up to the fact that it was the Bank and Mediaworks that leaked — and there has been no mea culpa from either. Shame. This is not the Bank that I worked for, that put integrity and responsibility at the top of the mast. And did not shoot the messenger.

    I hope that Dr Carr and the Board will actually do their job, and put all this mess properly under the blowtorch…

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  12. It’s not often you get to see the level of cognition and biases at work at the highest level of governance. It is clear to me now that there needs to be a spring clean at the Bank.

    Bill – if you’re listening – put the housing crisis to one side and sort the Bank out please. The world’s relatively calm now but I’m unconvinced that we’ve got the best team on board. Replace them now before the shit hits the fan please.

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  13. Senior Management whether Public or Private don’t like being called out in anyway.

    Most of them promote “openness”, “honesty”, “collaboration” yada yada as the behaviours they believe in and even go as far as getting them put up as organisational values.

    But its all just weasel words with most of them in my experience. The reality is hierarchy, taking credit for juniors work and blaming juniors for their mistakes is the method – questions in a rigid hierarchy are not welcome.

    On this issue Michael you are in the right unquestionably. Mr Wheeler and his senior team have had egg well and truly applied to their faces by Mediaworks and its employees. Their response to you is classic messenger attacking and diversion

    The facts are:
    RBNZ Management organised the lock ups, the security and protocols they were run under
    RBNZ Management accredited the Media organisations and individuals who attended
    RBNZ Management was responsible for ensuring no comm’s out of the lock up
    RBNZ Management allowed a situation, on my reading of the backstory, where breaches of release embargoes were regularly occurring

    So responsibility sits with RBNZ Management

    Personally I think Mr Wheeler needs to put his personal antipathy to one side, as do his senior managers, and look at the situation through empathic eyes. But they won’t they need a victim to blame and you fit the bill perfectly

    Croaking Cassandra indeed.

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  14. Read the emails with a lot of interest and I must say that the RBNZ come across in a very poor light. Professionally I have dealt with/interacted with senior Mgmt at Monetary Authority Singapore, ASIC from Oz, RBI from India and numerous senior Mgmt from organizations like Tokyo Stock Exchange – all over Market related matters e.g. clients of the firms I worked for creating mischief in the markets.

    In all the interactions with the above Mgmt from the respective organizations, they were extremely tough but very professional. From reviewing the emails RBNZ staff come across poorly and seem to make a matter that should be dealt with professionally into a personal matter – over what was an extremely serious breach.

    Further the idea that because you a former staffer, you somehow owe them a duty of care is crazy. You receive an email and respond appropriately – what else were you supposed to do – hit a panic button?

    Maybe now that you are a professional blogger – you should ask for access to Post OCR press meeting, so you can question Mr Wheeler directly on his OCR decisions and reasonings – that would be interesting to watch!

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  15. …”optimal thing was to stick around long enough to collect a looming redundancy cheque, which is currently helping pay for house alterations”.
    This rather sounds like an optimal recipe for ripping off the taxpayer.

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    • perhaps, just perhaps, that might have been an arguable point if there had been any secret about my desire to get out, but there wasn’t. without the cheque I’d probably have stuck round for a few more months, something that would clearly have been most unwelcome to the Governor.

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