This just up in the National Times:
The Reserve Bank has come close to thanking Westpac, along with the other banks that imposed outsized mortgage rate increases.
Its statement this afternoon says "with the risk of serious economic contraction in Australia having passed, the Board had moved at recent meetings to lessen the degree of monetary stimulus that was put in place when the outlook appeared to be much weaker".
In other words now the crisis has passed, its pushing rates back up into normal territory.
But it's had help...
"Lenders have generally raised rates a little more than the cash rate over recent months and most loan rates have risen by close to a percentage point."
Were it not for Westpac and its brethren outpacing the Reserve, the Reserve would have had to do more.
There's good news for the Coalition as well as (coded) thanks for Westpac in the statement.
Tony Abbott's claim that "each and every interest rate rise over the next 12 months is due to the irresponsible spending spree of the Rudd government" is becoming more true.
If rates have left emergency settings and returned to normal then from here on "each and every interest rate rise over the next 12 months will be due to the irresponsible spending spree of the Rudd government" or at least to current circumstances rather than getting rates to normal settings.
But we may not be quite back to normal.
Referring to the series of hikes that have moved rates back towards normal the Bank says "since information about the early impact of those changes is still limited, the Board judged it appropriate to hold a steady setting of monetary policy for the time being."
In other words, although Westpac has helped, it's not quite sure whether we are there.
. Rates steady! Westpac helped!
. Green light - Reserve gives banks the all-clear to nudge up rates
. Westpac's gutsy, greedy, ineptly-handled cash grab