Greenspan for RBNZ
Jim Anderton MP Thu Sep 9 1999
He says Alan Greenspan is regarded as the world's best central banker - but he is paid half as much as New Zealand's Reserve Bank Governor, Don Brash.
'Alan Greenspan is paid US$136,700 (NZ$270,000) a year. His supervision of monetary policy has seen the US economy power ahead with record sustained growth and he has dropped the idea that a country needs to maintain 6% unemployment in order to keep inflation low. He uses a wide range of monetary policy instruments, and successfully targets multiple monetary policy objectives.
'Don Brash is paid $485,000 a year. New Zealand's monetary policy has kept interest rates and our exchange rate higher than they need to be, blown out our overseas deficit, crucified our productive sector and destroyed tens of thousands of jobs. Dr Brash, however, claims success in introducing competition in domestic airlines.
'It is beyond me why we need to pay Mr Brash nearly half a million dollars a year to run the central bank of New Zealand, when his American counterpart runs the entire US monetary system for half the salary.
'We should offer Alan Greenspan a raise and bring him here.
'We would save the taxpayer a quarter of a million dollars a year in salary payments alone. Taking into account Alan Greenspan's extraordinarily successful record, we would be getting a bargain.'
Jim Anderton quipped that he might raise it over dinner with Bill Clinton when the US President arrives in the Alliance leader's Wigram electorate next week.
'I might tell him to give Alan Greenspan a raise or we'll hire him to come and run our Reserve Bank.'