Reserve Bank of Australia

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Around the globe, economies and policy frameworks have changed significantly since the Reserve Bank of Australia commenced operations in 1960. In most countries, the role of the government in product and labour markets has declined, trade barriers have been reduced substantially and there has been extensive liberalisation of financial systems.

There have also been substantial changes to the framework for monetary policy and the way in which it is conducted. Along the way, policy-makers have faced numerous challenges, and while there have been occasional setbacks, significant progress has been made. The occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Bank provided an opportunity to take stock of what has been learned over the past five decades, and to assess what needs to be reconsidered.

To that end, the Bank held a one-day Symposium in Sydney, gathering a large number of leading central bankers, academics and business people from Australia and around the world.

The Symposium was organised around several topics of critical importance to central banks, with papers commissioned to examine each. The first topic was the conduct of monetary policy – its objectives, means of operation and its role in promoting macroeconomic stability. The second was the future shape of financial regulation, including the role played by international institutions and intergovernmental bodies. The third topic was supply-side issues – those factors influencing economic development and an economy’s productive capacity and flexibility. In addition to keynote speakers, a number of distinguished panellists offered their views on the issues. This volume provides a record of the Symposium papers, the panellists’ views and a summary of the associated discussions.

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