Hubbard, James, 1949- :[Official Cash Rate cut] 10 March 2011

Finance Minister Bill English scratches his head with frustration as he stands up to his chest in earthquake rubble that represents the 'economy'. Allan Bollard the Governor of the Reserve Bank appears in gumboots asking if he can 'help with rebuilding..? by making an 'OCR cut'; he holds a collection box labeled 'OCR cut'. Context - Two earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks have hit Christchurch, the first on 4 September 2010 and a second more devastating one on 22 February 2011. The Reserve Bank has made a relatively large 50-point cut in its benchmark interest rate, the Official Cash Rate (from 3% to 2.5 per cent). Critics say that inflation is already running unacceptably high and there is a threat of much higher inflation in a year or two when the rebuilding of Christchurch begins to put pressure on limited resources. The Reserve Bank acknowledged these factors, but it has chosen instead to focus on the immediate impact of the earthquake on the economy and particularly on all-important business and consumer sentiment. (Press editorial 12 March 2011) Quantity: 1 digital cartoon(s).

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