NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Rate Cut Commentators

Gittins: YOU beauty! Interest rates have been cut and happy days are here again. For good measure, we've even got petrol prices coming down.

Sorry, don't be too sure about that. The Reserve Bank has cut its official interest rate only because times are getting tougher.

McCrann: YESTERDAY'S Reserve Bank interest rate cut might seem exactly like all the others that have started a 'rate-cutting cycle'. To think that though, would be to make a very dangerous mistake.

It is like no other. Certainly not like 2001, the last time rates were being cut. Even less like mid-1996, at the start of the Howard-Costello era.

Mitchell: INTEREST rate cuts rarely come in ones, and yesterday's monetary policy easing is likely to be the first of several over the coming months.

But with the economy buffeted by both a terms of trade boom and the global credit crunch, the timing of the easing cycle will be decided one month at a time.

Stutchbury: HAVING done it once for the first time in seven years, the Reserve Bank will do it again in the months ahead.

But just don't expect the central bank's seven-year itch to produce further quick and deep cuts to official interest rates.