Christopher Joye makes a good point in the AFR:
Before I started writing on the subject, I was struck by journalists’ dependency on the central bank. Many relied on the RBA for their interest rate predictions before board meetings and for much of their economics content.
Notwithstanding all too human mistakes – such as hoisting rates to 18 per cent in the late 1980s, presiding over a major inflation break-out before the global financial crisis, and the ongoing Securency scandal – many, but not all, in the media are eager to impute super-human capabilities to our monetary policy mandarins.
He is right. But it gets worse – our journalists will believe any mandarin on almost any topic.
I can think of a number of examples. On Fuelwatch I told a journalists that the ACCC modelling was dodgy. He said no way [a well-known Australian economist] would tolerate dodgy modelling. Well, he did. I told a journalist that the Treasury mining tax modelling assumed the RSPT had a zero dead weight loss and hadn’t demonstrated that fact. Surely not he said. I told several journalists that the 2010 budget papers had a dodgy graph and nobody was interested until Treasury admitted the error in Senate Estimates. People were shocked when I told a Senate inquiry that of course the RBA governor supports government policy, he is a public servant after all. And so on …