Glenn Stevens

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For the American mathematician, see Glenn H. Stevens.
Glenn Stevens
7th Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia
In office
18 September 2006 – 17 September 2016
Nominated by Peter Costello
Deputy Philip Lowe
Preceded by Ian Macfarlane
Succeeded by Philip Lowe
Personal details
Born (1958-01-23) 23 January 1958 (age 58)
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Residence Sylvania Waters, Sydney, New South Wales
Alma mater
Profession Economist
Religion Christianity[1]

Glenn Robert Stevens AC (born 23 January 1958) is an Australian economist who was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia from 2006 to 2016.

Early life and education[edit]

Stevens was born in Sydney in 1958.

He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1979 with a Bachelor of Economics, first class honours. He subsequently graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Masters of Arts. In 2014 he was awarded honoris causa a Doctorate of Laws from the University of Western Ontario.[2]


After holding various positions in the Bank prior to 1990, he accepted a position as Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Subsequently, Stevens held positions in the Reserve Bank of Australia, as Head of the Economic Analysis Department, the Head of the International Department, and was Assistant Governor (Economic) from 1996 to 2001, prior to his appointment as Deputy Governor in December 2001.

RBA governor[edit]

Following the September 2006 retirement of Ian Macfarlane, who served as Governor for ten years, Stevens was appointed to replace Macfarlane. Stevens has demonstrated a commitment to the style of operation of the Reserve established under Macfarlane including its independence from the direct influence of government, the 2-3% inflation target over the course of the economic cycle, and the accountability of the Reserve when the decision is made to change interest rates.[citation needed]

Early in 2008 Stevens announced an official interest rate rise by 50 basis points, predicting ongoing inflation pressures. This drew strong criticism from The Daily Telegraph.[3][4][5][6] As the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009 progressed, Stevens announced large cuts to the official rate. By the end of 2008, the Reserve Bank board, chaired by Stevens, had cut interest rates a total of 300 basis points, returning them to mid-2002 levels.[7] By August 2013, interest rates had been cut to 2.5%, with the RBA monthly meeting minutes citing domestic economic growth below long term trends, the relatively high value of the Australian dollar, and the "subdued" labour market as the justification for the historically low[8] official interest rates.[9] In May 2016 the RBA lowered the cash rate to 1.75%. The RBA stated that inflation has been unexpectedly low, due to low growth in labour costs and very low cost pressures elsewhere in the world; which justified lowering the cash rate to historically low levels.[10] In August 2016, the RBA cut rates further to 1.50%, triggering the biggest housing bubble Australia has ever seen. Property prices in Sydney were averaging beyond 13 times average wages - some of the highest in the world, putting banks at risk of future default, and making the first home market unattainable to most of the cities youth. Critics fear Steven's legacy will be tainted by a potential property market collapse. [11]

Personal life[edit]

Stevens is a professing Christian, and plays the guitar at his local Baptist Church. Stevens once quoted "If you're a Christian, God has given you certain capabilities to do a job, to earn a living. The Bible teaches that you should do that as if you were doing that for Him, because you are, and that's my attitude".[1]

He has spent most of his life living in the Sutherland Shire and lives in Sylvania Waters.[2] He is also a recreational pilot with Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Command Instrument Rating (CIR). He owns a Piper PA-34 Seneca.

In 2016 Stevens was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the financial and central bank sectors through leadership roles, to the implementation of innovative monetary and economic policy, to international financial regulation, and to the community.[2]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ian Macfarlane
Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia
2006 - 2016
Succeeded by
Philip Lowe