Job application

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
26 July, 2019

Dear Minister of Finance,

I am writing to apply for the position of Lead Economic Advisor to the Government, a position held by The Treasury since the 1940s.

Please find enclosed my CV with references.

I feel I can really add value in this role. I am a fast learner, a team player, and I have strong skills in Microsoft Excel with more than 18 months of experience.

I can also tell the difference between fundamental economic concepts such as GDP and inflation. Or wages and productivity.

Or efficiency and financial stability. Something Treasury and the Reserve Bank are having trouble with.

In a joint paper, “Safeguarding the future of our financial system,” these institutions propose to replace the efficiency objective in the Reserve Bank Act with a legislated goal to “protect and enhance” financial stability.

That objective makes more financial stability always better. Taken to its logical conclusion, that objective will shut down the economy, an outcome that would be avoided only if officials arbitrarily disregard their new legislated objective.

But officials see no efficiency consequences in this. They say efficiency is, and I quote, “just a theoretical concept”.

Well, yes. And the foundation of welfare economics, the basis for all cost-benefit analysis, and an idea that dominates the first 10 minutes of Econ 101.

It has also been a core principle of the Reserve Bank Act for 30 years.

Which reminds me, Minister, I am also capable of basic reasoning, willing to disagree with the Reserve Bank, and I cost $100 million less than the Treasury.

Minister, I really feel this Lead Economic Advisor to the government role is a good fit.

Of course, the job will be busy. After all, Treasury has more than 300 staff and there’s only one of me.

But I can do what the small army advising you apparently cannot – recognise the importance of independent, competent oversight of a financial regulator.

I just ask that you keep these officials working on financial stability well away from border security, road safety and export promotion since consistent application of their ideas on financial stability would eliminate tourists, road vehicles and domestic consumption.

Minister, in the unlikely event my skills in learning, teamwork and spreadsheets do not convince you to replace your Lead Economic Advisor, please pass on my regards to Treasury and a request that they start doing their job.
 
Yours etc,


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