The subtle dig at Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe’s academic qualification from MPs


Reserve Bank boss cops a subtle dig at his academic credentials – as his misleading advice that interest rates would not rise until 2024 is slammed

  • Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe’s PhD credentials downplayed by MPs
  • Hansard and parliamentary report refer to him as a ‘Mr’ even though he has PhD
  • Labor MPs with doctorates Daniel Mulino, Andrew Charlton referred to as a ‘Dr’ 
  • Parliamentary report slammed Lowe’s vow that rates would stay still until 2024  

The Reserve Bank chief’s academic qualifications have been downplayed as MPs slam Philip Lowe’s wildly inaccurate promise last year to keep interest rates on hold until 2024.

The House of Representatives Economics Committee has referred to the Governor as ‘Mr’ instead of the ‘Dr’ honorific, even though he has a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.

Members of Parliament on the committee, however, who have doctorates in economics are referred to by the more esteemed Dr title in a Hansard transcript, and a new parliamentary report.

Dr Daniel Mulino, who has a PhD in Economics from Yale University in the United States, is accorded a doctor honorific as is Dr Andrew Charlton, the Labor MP for Parramatta who has a PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford in the UK.

AMP Capital chief economist Dr Shane Oliver, who has a PhD in Philosophy from Macquarie University, is also referred to as a doctor in a new parliamentary report.

‘The committee extends its thanks to Dr Oliver for his assistance,’ it said.

Scroll down for video 

The Reserve Bank chief's academic credentials have been downplayed as MPs slam Philip Lowe's inaccurate promise last year to keep interest rates on hold until 2024 (he is pictured in November with a name tag referring to a 'Mr' honorific)

The Reserve Bank chief’s academic credentials have been downplayed as MPs slam Philip Lowe’s inaccurate promise last year to keep interest rates on hold until 2024 (he is pictured in November with a name tag referring to a ‘Mr’ honorific)

The House of Representatives committee on Thursday delivered a scathing assessment of the Reserve Bank’s suggestion in 2021 that interest rates would stay on hold until 2024 ‘at the earliest’. 

‘The committee expects the RBA to continue to closely examine lessons learnt from its approach to forecasting, its use of modelling, and its approach to communication— and to consider how these can be improved,’ it said.

‘Australian households, workers and industries – facing intensifying cost-of-living pressures and challenging work and business conditions – deserve no less.’

Dr Lowe appeared before this House of Representatives committee in September. 

His suggestion the cash rate would stay on hold at a record-low of 0.1 per cent until 2024 was made before Russia’s Ukraine invasion in February pushed up crude oil prices.

In another bit of confusion, a separate Senate Economics Committee – headed by Labor’s Jess Walsh – referred to Dr Lowe by his doctor honorific in its Hansard transcript of his November grilling.

She even asked the Reserve Bank chief his preferred title, after a name tag with a Mr honorific had been placed in front of him at last month’s Canberra hearing.

‘Thanks, Dr Lowe. I just wanted to clarify your preferred title. I’ve been referring to you as Dr Lowe because you are a recipient of a PhD,’ she said.

The House of Representatives Economics Committee has referred to the Governor by the 'Mr' instead of the 'Dr' honorific, even though he has a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. (pictured)

The House of Representatives Economics Committee has referred to the Governor by the ‘Mr’ instead of the ‘Dr’ honorific, even though he has a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. (pictured)

‘But your nameplate says ‘Mr Lowe’ and I’m advised that may be your preference.’

The RBA Governor replied: ‘I don’t have a preference. As long as you’re polite, I don’t mind what you call me.’

Dr Lowe is now referred to by the Mr honorific on the Reserve Bank website, even though his PhD qualification from 1991 is still listed. 

The central boss with a doctorate has presided over eight consecutive monthly interest rate rises in 2022, with the December increase taking the cash rate to a 10-year high of 3.1 per cent. 

Since May, this has seen monthly repayments on an average $600,000 mortgage surge by 40.8 per cent, or $934, to $3,225 from $2,291, as average variable rates with the Big Four banks rose to 5.01 per cent from 2.24 per cent.



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More