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Tony Alexander bows out as BNZ chief economist

Friday 27th September 2019

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Bank of New Zealand's chief economist Tony Alexander has resigned after nearly 25 years in the role.

"After 26-and-a-half years, with almost 25 years as chief economist, and having achieved many of those goals I set out at the start, I’ve decided that, in our world of disruption, maybe it is time to disrupt myself, and have made the call to resign from the BNZ," Alexander wrote in his regular weekly email.

Alexander says he started in his profession in Sydney in 1985 and then moved back to New Zealand just before the 1987 share market crash.

"The changes which our economy has been through since the mid-1980s have been truly astounding," he says.

"I’ve noticed a lift in the general debate about the economy, but with a distinct movement away from the old sole focus on rip-roaring free markets toward a very long overdue focus on how to deliver benefits to more people."

With policymakers pursuing wellbeing and more inclusiveness, "we have an upending of old economic models and structural changes in things such as average inflation, wages growth, house prices and, of course, interest rates," Alexander says.

"Increasingly, this past decade I’ve spent less time forecasting and more time simply explaining to people some of these bigger structural changes and their implications," he says.

"There are more changes to come and, while I will be leaving the bank, I’ll probably still look to keep people informed as a speaker in some capacity – though maybe at fewer functions than the hundred or so per annum of recent years!

"Many thanks to all those people who have attended my presentations and read, perhaps even commented on, the BNZ Weekly Overview, which was first produced in 1998."

Bank of New Zealand has been owned by National Australia Bank since 1992.


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