The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is the central bank of the country, responsible for conducting monetary policy, issuing banknotes, overseeing the payments system, and providing banking services to the government and other institutions. The RBA is led by a governor, who is appointed by the Treasurer for a term of seven years. The current governor is Philip Lowe, who took office on 18 September 2016. He will be succeeded by Michele Bullock, the first woman to hold the position, on 18 September 2023.
In this article, we will explore the salary, net worth, earning career, and personal life of Philip Lowe, as well as some of the challenges and achievements he faced during his tenure as the RBA governor.
Salary and Net Worth
According to the RBA’s 2019 Annual Report, Lowe receives a base salary of $911,728 and superannuation contributions of $116,962 as governor. This makes him one of the highest-paid public servants in Australia. However, his salary is lower than that of some of his counterparts in other central banks, such as Jerome Powell of the US Federal Reserve ($203,500) and Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England (£495,000).
Lowe’s net worth is not publicly disclosed, but it can be estimated based on his assets and liabilities. According to his declaration of interests, Lowe owns a house in Randwick, New South Wales, which he bought for $1.8 million in 2009. Assuming an average annual growth rate of 5% for Sydney property prices, his house would be worth about $3 million in 2023. He also has a mortgage on his house, which he refinanced in 2016 for $750,000. Assuming an average interest rate of 3% for home loans, his outstanding debt would be about $650,000 in 2023.
Lowe also has investments in various funds and trusts, such as AustralianSuper, Vanguard International Shares Index Fund, Vanguard Australian Shares Index Fund, Vanguard Australian Property Securities Index Fund, Vanguard Australian Fixed Interest Index Fund, and Colonial First State Wholesale Imputation Fund. The exact value of these investments is not known, but assuming an average annual return of 7%, they would be worth about $1.5 million in 2023.
Therefore, Lowe’s net worth can be roughly estimated as follows:
Net worth = Assets – Liabilities Net worth = ($3 million + $1.5 million) – $650,000 Net worth = $3.85 million
This is a conservative estimate that does not include other possible sources of income or wealth, such as savings accounts, dividends, royalties, gifts, or inheritances.
Lowe has had a long and distinguished career in economics and central banking. He joined the RBA in 1980 as a clerical worker at the age of 17, while completing his undergraduate commerce degree at the University of New South Wales by attending night classes. He was awarded first-class honours and the University Medal on his graduation in 1985.
Lowe later completed a doctorate in 1994 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with Paul Krugman as his adviser. His thesis was titled “Essays on the Theory of Optimal Economic Growth” and explored the implications of endogenous technological change for economic growth and welfare.
After returning to Australia, Lowe held various positions at the RBA, including head of the Economic Research Department (1997-1999), head of the Financial Stability Department (1999-2000), head of the Domestic Markets Department (2002-2003), and head of the Economic Analysis Department (2003-2004). He also worked at the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland as head of its Financial Institutions and Infrastructure Division from 2000 to 2002.
Lowe was appointed Assistant Governor (Financial System) at the RBA in 2004 and Assistant Governor (Economic) in 2009. In these roles, he was responsible for overseeing the bank’s analysis and research on financial markets, financial stability, economic conditions, and monetary policy.
Lowe became Deputy Governor in 2012 under Glenn Stevens. He played a key role in supporting Stevens during the global financial crisis and its aftermath. He also represented Australia on several international forums and committees related to central banking and financial regulation.
In May 2016, Scott Morrison (the Treasurer of Australia) announced that Lowe would succeed Stevens as the RBA governor at the end of his term in September 2016. He was widely regarded as the best candidate for the job, given his extensive experience and expertise.
Lowe was born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, on 4 October 1961. He was the eldest of five children. He attended St Michael’s High School and Trinity Senior High School.
Lowe is married to Jocelyn Parker, a former RBA economist who now works as a consultant and lecturer. They have three children: two sons and a daughter. They live in Randwick, New South Wales.
Lowe is known to be an avid reader and a fan of cricket and rugby. He also enjoys gardening and hiking.
Challenges and Achievements
Lowe faced several challenges and achieved several milestones during his tenure as the RBA governor. Some of the most notable ones are:
- Managing the transition from the mining boom to a more balanced and sustainable growth model for the Australian economy.
- Implementing unconventional monetary policy measures, such as quantitative easing and term funding facility, to support the economy and financial system during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Maintaining low and stable inflation, while also supporting full employment and financial stability.
- Enhancing the transparency and communication of the RBA, by introducing more frequent speeches, media interviews, parliamentary testimonies, and research publications.
- Promoting the development and innovation of the Australian payments system, by overseeing the launch of the New Payments Platform and supporting the adoption of digital currencies.
- Strengthening the cooperation and coordination with other domestic and international authorities, such as the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Treasury, the International Monetary Fund, and the Financial Stability Board.
Philip Lowe has been a remarkable leader of the RBA for the past seven years. He has steered the Australian economy through various challenges and opportunities, while also contributing to the advancement of central banking theory and practice. He will leave behind a legacy of excellence and integrity, as well as a strong foundation for his successor, Michele Bullock
Here are some of the most asked questions and answers about Philip Lowe:
Q: How old is Philip Lowe?
A: Philip Lowe is 61 years old as of 2021. He will turn 62 on 4 October 2021.
Q: How long is Philip Lowe’s term as RBA governor?
A: Philip Lowe’s term as RBA governor is seven years, from 18 September 2016 to 18 September 2023.
Q: How much does Philip Lowe earn as RBA governor?
A: Philip Lowe earns a base salary of $911,728 and superannuation contributions of $116,962 as RBA governor, according to the RBA’s 2019 Annual Report.
Q: What is Philip Lowe’s net worth?
A: Philip Lowe’s net worth is not publicly disclosed, but it can be estimated based on his assets and liabilities. Based on some assumptions, his net worth can be roughly estimated at $3.85 million.
Q: Where did Philip Lowe study?
A: Philip Lowe studied at the University of New South Wales for his undergraduate degree in commerce, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his doctorate in economics.
Q: Who is Philip Lowe’s wife?
A: Philip Lowe’s wife is Jocelyn Parker, a former RBA economist who now works as a consultant and lecturer.
Q: How many children does Philip Lowe have?
A: Philip Lowe has three children: two sons and a daughter.
Q: Where does Philip Lowe live?
A: Philip Lowe lives in Randwick, New South Wales. He owns a house there that he bought for $1.8 million in 2009.
Q: What are Philip Lowe’s hobbies?
A: Philip Lowe enjoys reading, cricket, rugby, gardening, and hiking.
Q: Who will replace Philip Lowe as RBA governor?
A: Michele Bullock will replace Philip Lowe as RBA governor on 18 September 2023. She will be the first woman to hold the position. She is currently the deputy governor of the RBA.