Fix the BOJ!

Published: Sunday | November 8, 2009


PROFESSOR EMERITUS at Stanford University in the United States, Donald J. Harris, has added his voice to those calling for the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to be duly constituted as an independent central bank.

The recent dismissal of long-standing central bank governor Derick Latibeaudiere has rekindled the debate on the structure of the BOJ, with many persons suggesting that it should be independent with the role of governor separated from the chairman of the board.

But Harris says the operation of the central bank must be adjusted if it wants the respect that it deserves.

standing guard

"If the BOJ is to be legitimately considered an autonomous and independent central bank, then it must be made to justify and validate that status by standing guard against the fiscal imprudence of the Ministry of Finance, instead of aiding and abetting it by allowing it easy and uncontrolled access to the many monetary instruments," Harris said.

"Furthermore, the BOJ must itself exhibit fiscal prudence, technical competence and professionalism in the internal management of its own affairs, in as much as it must also seek to strengthen regulatory control over private financial institutions under its purview," added Harris in an exposé on Jamaica's failed policies over the years and suggestions for change.

Basic salaries paid to central bankers around the world.

Ben Bernanke US$191,300 (in 2008) - J$17,073,525

Jean-Claude Trichet €$446,806 - J$59,241,918

Mervyn King £290,000 (in 2008) - J$42,834,502

Jean-Pierre Roth CHF$817,700 (in 2008) - J$70,597,766

Mark Carney CAD$350,000 (in 2008) - J$30,723,496

Glenn Stevens AUD200,000 in 2008) - J$16,217,082

Alan Bollard NZD540,000 (in 2007) - J$34,746,667

Derick Latibeaudiere - $14,545,000

Conversion facilitated by FXConverter, Friday, November 6, 2009

See lead 11 for the full text of Harris' presentation.

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