‘Remember the glass is indeed half full’: Philip Lowe’s gift to successor Michele Bullock in final speech as RBA Governor | Englishheadline


Philip Lowe has offered a parting gift for his replacement Michele Bullock in a light-hearted moment during his final public speech as Reserve Bank of Australia Governor.

Mr Lowe will officially end his tenure on September 17 after seven years in the position including a tumultuous final 12-18 months as inflation drove the RBA to lift the country’s cash rate 12 times in 13 months from May 2022 to June this year.

He faced heavy criticism for the rises after initially declaring in late 2021 interest rates would remain at the record low level of 0.1 per cent before they repeatedly soared to the eventual 4.1 per cent.

Confirmation Mr Lowe would move on was confirmed in July and he pulled out a surprise gift in his speech on Thursday afternoon to welcome the incoming Ms Bullock to the role.

“When Glenn Stevens was completing his term as governor, he presented me with a gift which I’ve brought along today,” he said as he held up a mug with the words “Half Full” written on it.

“His gift was a glass half full – strictly speaking a coffee mug half full. Glenn with your permission I would like to regift this to the next governor.”

The crowd erupted in laughter at the regifting before Bullock joined him on stage to accept the mug.

“Michele I do so in the hope that as you navigate the uncertainties ahead, remember the glass is indeed half-full and that we have a lot to be fortunate about here in Australia. Congratulations and I would like to regift this to you,” he said before he could be heard sounding surprised about receiving a standing ovation.

“So Glenn, your coffee cup lives on. I was hugely delighted to be able to pass that on to Michele,” Mr Lowe added.

In his speech, the 61-year-old reflected on some of the criticism he received as the rate hike announcements continued to pile the pressure on Aussie households admitting, “Nor did I choose Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling to accompany me as I walked to a recent podium” after the song choice led to accusations he was tone deaf.

He also admitted some of his explanations at the rate hike announcements had “missed the mark”.

“We take really important decisions on behalf of the country – they can be unpopular, they affect the distribution of income. Given that, I think we need to be as accountable as we can and explain our decisions as clearly as we can and the reasons why we’re taking those decisions and the trade-offs we’re managing,” he said.

“I cannot see how it can help the situation by being unclear. At various points in time I’ve struggled to be as clear as I wanted to be but I’ve always sought to explain things as clearly as possible. Australians should expect that of us, we take important decisions, we affect all your lives and you have a right to know.”

Mr Lowe finished his speech responding to his final question which asked him to give an answer on the neutral interest rate to which he responded “I’m going to leave that to my successor” to more laughter.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top
%d bloggers like this: