The Morrison government has reappointed Dr Guy Debelle as the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) full-time deputy governor for a further five-year period, commencing from 18 September 2021.
Dr Debelle has been the RBA deputy governor and deputy chair of the RBA board since 2016 and has played a critical role in forming the monetary policy response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as during the GFC.
In response to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, the RBA announced a new package to support the economy through monetary policy during the challenging period by announcing a $90-billion term funding facility (TFF) for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI), which also aimed to support lending to small-to-medium enterprises (SME).
This had followed an emergency out-of-cycle cash rate cut to 0.25 per cent in March 2020 (the cash rate was further reduced to the current record low of 0.10 per cent in November 2020).
Additionally, the RBA simultaneously commenced a quantitative easing strategy, which included a central bank target of 0.25 per cent yield on three-year Australian government bonds through purchases in the secondary market.
The RBA said in its July monetary policy decision statement that it will retain the April 2024 bond as the bond for the yield target and retain the target of 10 bps.
Furthermore, it wound back government bond purchases to a rate of $4 billion a week until at least mid-November, down from around $5 billion.
Dr Debelle is also the chair of the Reserve Bank’s risk management and investment committees, and the global foreign exchange committee. Prior to his role as deputy governor, Dr Debelle was the assistant governor (financial markets) at the RBA.
In addition, he has also worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements, Australian Treasury, and as a visiting professor in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He graduated from the University of Adelaide with an honours degree in economics and has a PhD in economics at MIT.
RBA governor Dr Philip Lowe’s present term (which commenced in September 2016) is due to end on 17 September 2023.
The federal government has simultaneously reappointed Professor Ian Harper as a part-time member of the RBA board for a further five-year period, commencing 31 July 2021.
Professor Harper has been an RBA board member since 2016, with federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stating that he has made a valuable contribution to the board’s decision-making in supporting the economy.
He is dean and director of the Melbourne Business School and co-dean of the faculty of business and economics at the University of Melbourne.
During his career, Professor Harper has also been involved in public policy development, including having chaired the government’s competition policy review from March 2014 to March 2015.
Commenting on the two reappointments, Mr Frydenberg said: “These reappointments maintain the high level of skills and experience of RBA board members, and ensure that monetary policy continues to support Australia’s economic resilience and prosperity through the recovery phase of the COVID‑19 pandemic and beyond.”
[Related: Lowe stays firm on cash rate outlook]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.