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  • Robert MacCulloch

The National Party Spokesperson, Andrew Bayly was interviewed by the Herald today during which he outlined the party's economic strategy. The reporter asked "So what is National's answer?". Not through tax increases, [Bayly] says. He would cut wasteful spending and focus on policies that improved growth. "Where we need to go over the next couple of years is invest where we need to invest", he says. "That means vulnerable people and supporting businesses because the only way out of this quagmire is an economic growth story".

Most economists would agree that supporting vulnerable people is important, but since when is supporting businesses through public investment also important, unless he's referring to infrastructure? Is he also suggesting that corporate welfare and transfers of public money to private industry is an objective of his party? As for infrastructure, National so woefully underinvested in it when they were in power that it has practically precipitated a crisis.

He describes the qualities of a good Finance Minister, as well. "You have to be miserable and tough if you have to be because everyone wants to spend money .. It's the same in business", he says alluding to his banking career [and] his startup companies ....

That being said, there's a big difference between being a CEO and leading a country. A CEO is essentially a "central planner" for their organization. But the job of a public leader, at least as finance is concerned, is to establish a set of rules that govern behavior and then let individual business leaders make the decisions that are best for their company.


  • Robert MacCulloch

The qualifications of the leadership of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) compared to the Reserve Bank of NZ (RBNZ) are as follows - note that MIT is regarded by most in the profession as the top economics department in the world:


Governor: PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Deputy Governor: PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Assistant Governor (Financial Markets): PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Assistant Governor (Economics): PhD, University of New South Wales


Governor: Masters in Development Economics, Leicester University

Deputy Governor: Masters, Australian National University

Assistant Governor (Economics, Financial Markets): Master of Commerce, Canterbury, NZ.

Head of Economics: Bachelor of Commerce, Auckland, NZ.

A PhD from a top university is no luxury for running a Central Bank - it's regarded in most serious countries as a vital professional qualification - a requirement for such an occupation. And a similar thing is happening across many Wellington government departments. Where did it all go wrong?



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Robert MacCulloch