Monday, September 8, 2008

The Cairns-Connor Testimony

I've just been listening to RBA Governor Glenn Stevens giving his report to the House of Reps standing committee on economics.  A copy of his crib notes is here.  I must say the report was fairly uninspiring stuff, and I can't help thinking that what it really needs is some pizzazz, starting with the name of the presentation.  At the moment it's presented as follows:

Title: House of Representatives Standing Committee: Economics (Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Report 2007) (HMS 9)

Contrast that with the US, where a similar report done by the Fed to Congress is known as the Humphrey-Hawkins testimony, so named for a couple of pollies (Gus Hawkins and Hubert Horatio Humphrey) who did the spadework on related legislation back in the 70's.  How snappy is that?

Assuming we want to mimic the American approach (why not - we do everywhere else), what heroes of 1970's economic reform can we use?  Lacking any pollies with "Horatio" in their name closes off that avenue of thought, but for economic events of earth-shaking significance it's tough to go past the Jim Cairns - Rex Connor - Tirath Khemlani loans scandal.  Read about it here.  It's got a bit of everything - the dreamy academic turned Federal Treasurer; the old school ALP/Communist Party man turned Federal Minerals & Energy Minister, the shadowy Pakistani banker with supposed access to billions of petrodollars, the Carlton Football Club (!) and last but by no means least the sultry private secretary romantically linked to Cairns.  It's pure soap opera, and played no small part in the eventual dismissal of the Whitlam government.


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Cairns Connor Khemlani Carlton Morosi

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