Wednesday, 27 February 2013

RBA fighting a phoney war

Well certainly not a currency war.  As twitter posts have been appearing with news that Malaysia has joined the currency war, RBA board members are now talking about the possibility of joining - following other nations to lower their interest rates....Roger Corbett got a mention (here) as did Guy Debelle...

...‘To date in Australia, we have been able to counter the effects of the higher Australian dollar with lower interest rates,’’ he said in a speech to the University of Adelaide Business School. ‘‘We still, obviously, retain scope to lower interest rates further, should the need arise, including to counterbalance the pressures of an elevated exchange rate.’’....But Mr Debelle warned that cutting interest rates too far could also create problems for the economy - forcing up the price of assets and causing people to borrow more than they could afford....(here).

This is for an economy where there is already a bursting property bubble and asset price trend.

Meanwhile even the RBA is admitting the Aussie dollar is overvalued, but not by much they say!

....THE Australian dollar was overvalued by as much as 15 per cent late last year according to modelling released by the country's central bank....The local currency was between 4 per cent and 15 per cent over valued in September and about 7 per cent above fair value in December, papers released by the Reserve Bank of Australia under the Freedom of Information Act showed....Even so, the central bank papers said the currency wasn't having a "highly contractionary" affect on the economy...(here)

(the Economist calculated the overvaluation at 60% recently).

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