Australian Economy

Bradley Jones appointed assistant governor

Dr Debelle was widely believed to be in the box seat to become the next RBA governor as early as September 2023, but bank watchers were left stunned when he quit to work for Andrew Forrest’s green energy arm.

The appointment of Ms Bullock to the deputy role was the first time in the bank’s 62-year history a woman held one of the top two jobs.

There are five assistant governors below the governor and deputy governor.

They are Dr Jones (financial system), Luci Ellis (economic), Christopher Kent (financial markets), Michelle McPhee (business services) and Susan Woods (corporate services).

When Dr Jones was recruited to work at the RBA in 2018, it was the first time since the early 1990s the institution had hired an outsider to one of its most senior policymaking posts.

The RBA has long faced criticism that its culture was too insular and that senior leadership was too often drawn from the ranks of long-term bank boffins; economists have proposed that issue be part of the independent review of the bank slated to be delivered to Treasurer Jim Chalmers in 2023.

Dr Chalmers has decided to appoint a panel of independent experts to review the bank, including a monetary policy expert from overseas.

Dr Jones holds a PhD in finance from Macquarie University, and served for five years as a fellow at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

He worked in Sydney as a Deutsche Bank economist while studying for his PhD.

He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a signatory to The Banking and Finance Oath.

In 2018, Dr Jones gave a speech about the 2008 global financial crisis, in which he said: “Encouragingly, there are grounds to believe reserve managers will be better prepared for future bouts of instability in international markets, though there are, of course, no guarantees.

“To the extent reserve managers have greater awareness of both their capacity to carry various risk exposures through a cycle, and the potential for their collective actions to impact financial system functioning, this by itself is a welcome development.

“And to the extent reserve managers are able to provide stabilising countercyclical flows that are in both the domestic and international interest, better still.”

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