Dr John Edwards

Nonresident Fellow
Areas of expertise
Australian economic policy; monetary policy; international economics; banking
News and media

John Edwards is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute.

He is an Adjunct Professor with the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy at Curtin University, and a member of the board of CEDA. He recently completed a term as a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. From 2009 to 2011 he was Director for Economic Planning and Development for the Economic Development Board of the Kingdom of Bahrain. From 1997 to 2009 Dr Edwards was Chief Economist for Australia and New Zealand for the global financial group, HSBC. In 2008 he was given leave of absence from HSBC to accept a secondment to the Australian Treasury as Chief Adviser, Financial Markets. At the same time the Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, appointed Dr Edwards to join chairman David Mortimer AO in a two-member Review of Australian Trade and Investment Policies. From 1991 to 1994 John was principal economic adviser to Treasurer and then Prime Minister, Paul Keating. In that role he had particular responsibility for international trade issues, labour market reform, and monetary policy.

Earlier in his career he was a political and economic journalist in Sydney, Canberra, and Washington. He joined Australian Financial Review in 1970, and his subsequent roles included Political Correspondent of The Australian, and Economics Editor of Bulletin magazine. Immediately prior to joining Mr. Keating, he was the Sydney Morning Herald’s correspondent in Washington, DC.

After leaving Mr. Keating’s office in 1994 John was an adviser at Macquarie Bank, and then Chief Economist for Société Generale in Australia, before joining HSBC. From 1994 to 1996 he was also appointed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs as Adviser to the Australian member of the APEC Eminent Persons Group and to the two Australian members of the APEC Business Advisory Council

His articles on economic issues have appeared in The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, the Financial Times and other publications. He has given evidence on economic issues before parliamentary committees, and presented briefings for government officials and ministers.

He has published four books, including a narrative history of the MX missile program Superweapon (Norton 1982) and an account of Australian economic policy making under the former Treasurer and Prime Minister Keating: The Inside Story (Viking 1996). His most recent book is Curtin’s Gift: Reinterpreting Australia’s Greatest Prime Minister (Allen and Unwin 2005), an analysis of changes in Australia’s economic framework in the Second World War.

He holds Ph.D. and M Phil degrees in economics from George Washington University and a BA from Sydney University. In his doctoral dissertation he created and tested a model of the Australian monetary policy mechanism to examine the impact of financial deregulation on the effectiveness of monetary policy.