Millions 'at risk' in dollar dealing

Saturday 13 March 2004

The Reserve Bank could lose hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by trying to lower the Kiwi dollar, according to critics of what has been labelled a radical and astonishing new policy.

By The Landlord

The central bank yesterday asked the Government to allow it to intervene when the currency became "exceptionally and unjustifiably high".

After the announcement the dollar dropped sharply, ending around US65.7 cents – its lowest level for seven weeks.

Former Reserve Bank deputy governor Roderick Deane – at the bank during the last currency intervention in 1984 – said if it did intervene in currency markets it would "definitely be a radical shift" in policy.

It was out of line with what had been mainstream economic thinking around the world for decades, he said.

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