March 18, 2020

Kel Sanderson – thoughts, reflections, and recollections

Part 1 - Monetary policy and inflation targeting

Kel Sanderson started work at BERL in April 1970. Keith Holyoake was still Prime Minister of New Zealand, Te Tiriti was never heard of in mainstream circles, Brian Lochore was All Black captain, the 24 hour news cycle referred to the schoolchildren delivering the daily newspaper by bicycle, stockmarket buy and sell prices were recorded using chalk on blackboards, foreign exchange rates were fixed, and monetary policy was literally about the supply of money.

With nearly 50 years at BERL it is perhaps timely to ask our kaumātua to collect some of his thoughts, reflections and recollections from the many experiences that we may learn from. We will cover several topics in a series of discussions – including economics in a developing country; settlement hierarchy; population targets; transport investments; water and resource rentals; and the Māori economy.

In this first contribution, we have Kel engaging in kōrero with Ganesh Nana about the time New Zealand adopted the Chicago monetarists’ recipe for inflation fighting – that of an independent Central Bank.

The Reserve Bank Act of 1989, arguably, marked a critical juncture in New Zealand’s economic history – listen here for Kel’s perspective on how it happened and what it means now.

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Music in this episode is by SK and is licenced under a Creative Commons attribution licence.