Glenn Stevens : Behind the Rate Rises

Labelled by Kochie as “the person that nobody knows and yet the bloke who controls their lives”, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Glenn Stevens is a bit of an enigma. He’s a public figure, yet unlike most celebs we really don’t know much about him. However, with him recently becoming the Australian Public Service’s first million-dollar man, I thought it’s about time we lifted the lid on the real Glenn Stevens.The BeginningGlenn was born in Sydney in 1958 where, contrary to popular opinion, he in fact wasn’t born wearing a suit and tie. He went through school and on to the University of Sydney to pursue his passion for economics. However, whilst strolling the university’s corridors, he carried a deep dark secret inside – that he wasn’t “particularly good” at maths – a potentially career-ending roadblock for a budding economist. Nonetheless, showing the steely resolve that was to become his hallmark, Glenn overcame his mathematical demons and graduated out of Sydney Uni with first class honours in economics, going on to complete a Masters at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.The Rise to Power

Punctuated only by a brief sabbatical to San Francisco in 1990, Glenn rose meteorically up the RBA ladder before becoming head of the economic analysis department in 1992. Glenn was now on the fast-track to stardom and when Governor Ian Macfarlane resigned in 2006, Stevens finally found himself in the hot seat. Glenn Stevens had cracked the big time.

Welcome to the Good Life

With inflation well under control and Australia’s economy in reasonable shape having seen the back of the GFC’s worst, Glenn Stevens’ stewardship at the helm of Australia’s monetary policy ship is looking pretty rosy. And with his new million dollars plus a year pay packet, so is his bank balance.

Dark Days and Redemption

But it hasn’t always been easy. When the RBA was forced to make tough interest rate decisions at the peak of the GFC, the media vultures pounced, one newspaper asking the question “Is this the most useless man in Australia?” in reference to Stevens. Despite his rigid facade, Stevens himself admits that the comments during those dark times had an effect – “I’m a human being; these things hurt”. His response was to open himself up to the public, an effort that has seen his popularity soar and public image restored.

The Man Behind the Governor

Fast cars, fast women and even faster drugs. Glenn Stevens may be a public figure with means, but those are three things he has most certainly steered clear of. In the words of the man himself, “this [is] not the classic case of the terribly wayward life and in the later years seeing the light”. Rather, Glenn’s life has always been underpinned by family and faith. He’s very active in his local church in Sylvania Waters, and he attributes a lot of his success to the grace of God. Equally important is his family – his wife is actually such a big fan of his that she collects bank notes with his signature on it!

Not that Glenn doesn’t have his passions. He enjoys listening to jazz and also plays guitar in his local church band. In his downtime he also has a penchant for the Bond movies, perhaps where he gets his sophisticated yet understated sense of style from. Along the same lines, perhaps his greatest extravagance is his penchant for flying – he’s a keen aviator and even owns a twin engine plane. Watch out John Travolta, there’s a new famous airman in town! Perhaps Stevens’ retirement in 2013 will see him taking Travolta’s spot in Qantas ads!

Keen to see more of Glenn’s handiwork? Check out our Reserve Bank page!

Glenn Stevens : Behind the Rate Rises was last modified: June 29, 2015 by Yash Murthy

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