NZ Herald business editor at large

Blogger backs OCR leak probe

Economist and blogger Michael Reddell. Photo / Duncan Brown
Economist and blogger Michael Reddell. Photo / Duncan Brown

The blogger who sparked a Reserve Bank investigation into the possible leak of this month's rate cut decision says he makes no claims as to authenticity of the information he received but wanted to ensure the Reserve Bank's process was robust.

The Reserve Bank has begun an investigation which will see it interview journalists who attended the March 10 monetary policy statement in order to ascertain whether news of a rate cut was leaked ahead of the 9am embargo.

Such a leak would have the potential to move currency markets and would be taken extremely seriously by the central bank - although there is no obvious evidence of market movement before the announcement of what many called a surprise cut.

Economist and blogger Michael Reddell says he received information which indicated there had been a 0.25 per cent rate cut at 8.04am from a media organisation, which he declined to name.

"I've got the email, I don't know what it means," he said. " It's worrying ... But that's why you have an inquiry to look into those things."

It would be a hard thing to proved one way or another, he said. "If someone really has got something to hide it may be impossible to prove. I think it is one of those things that should prompt a rethink about what the vulnerabilities in the process are."

It was possible that this was someone from a media organisation trying to alert their newsroom in advance. But while it didn't do any damage on markets there was potential for it to have caused chaos.

"Well it didn't do any damage because I didn't put it on my blog. I got it at 8.04am, if I'd been reckless and irresponsible and put it on my blog it would have been a mess."

In a statement the Reserve Bank said: "We are aware of an allegation that information may have been leaked ahead of the OCR announcement on 10 March. While we have no evidence at this stage that any information was leaked, we take the integrity and security of market-sensitive information very seriously and have initiated an external investigation into the allegation.

Reddell said he had no criticism of the Reserve Bank.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 02 Oct 2016 08:11:11 Processing Time: 483ms