Wayne Swan getting political

From the department of old-rhetoric:
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is demanding the ANZ bank explain its ''excessive'' decision to raise home loan rates.

Mr Swan, who has summonsed officials from the central bank, Treasury and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to a meeting in Brisbane today, says the bank owes its customers and the government an explanation.

The ANZ yesterday became the second major bank to lift its variable home loan rate outside a decision by the Reserve Bank.

The 0.2 per cent hike was almost double that announced by the National Australia Bank last week.

''These rate rises are clearly a direct consequence of the United States subprime mortgage crisis,'' Mr Swan told ABC Radio today.

''... but I also point out that Australian banks are very profitable and I certainly would caution them against additional and excessive pressure on Australian families.

''Customers will want to know why the ANZ's hike was almost twice the NAB's hike last week and that's a very good question.''

Mr Swan described the ANZ decision as ''excessive''.
If you don't want to suffer a backlash, blame someone else. In this case, the banks.

I don't blame the ALP for high interest rates in the past - and in that I am a minority. Moreover I don't give credit to the Coalition either in keeping rates down (although their fiscal rectitude helped). I'm certainly not going to blame either the ALP or the Coalition for the interest rate rises that will inevitably occur this year.

Of course the credit crunch caused by the Subprime meltdown is affecting Australian banks, but to question a private company for the way it handles its money is appealing only to uninformed populists or ideological communists. If the ANZ is doing the nasty, then let people go right ahead and use other banks and financial institutions instead. That's how a market economy works.

The ALP has been in power for what, two months? I know it's the holiday season but there doesn't seem to be much substantial occurring at all in Australian politics. Swan's statements are straight out of the how-to-sound-political guidebook and go nowhere near addressing the truth of the matter.

Different party, same rhetoric... for now.

No comments: