Philip Lowe is an Australian economist and currently serves as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
He succeeded Glenn Stevens on 18 September 2016, having previously served as deputy governor under Stevens from February 2012 to September 2016.
Lowe was born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, as the eldest of five children. He attended St Michael’s High School and Trinity Senior High School.
After completing his undergraduate commerce degree at the University of New South Wales by attending night classes, he was hired by the RBA straight out of high school at the age of 17.
Lowe later completed a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with Paul Krugman as his adviser.
Lowe joined the RBA in 1980 as a clerical worker and later became the head of various departments within the bank, including the Economic Research Department, the Financial Stability Department, the Domestic Markets Department, and the Economic Analysis Department.
He worked at the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland from 2000 to 2002 as head of its Financial Institutions and Infrastructure Division.
He was eventually appointed as Deputy Governor in 2012 and succeeded Glenn Stevens as Governor in 2016.
In 2023, an independent review of the RBA was conducted, which found that Philip Lowe was responsible for trading losses of between $30bioAUD and $58bioAUD as a result of the RBA’s bond purchase program and term funding facility.
These losses left the Reserve Bank technically insolvent, and as a result, Lowe and the Federal Treasurer agreed to halt all dividends to Australian taxpayers until the Reserve Bank returned to positive equity, estimated to take until at least 2032.
Despite this significant loss, Philip Lowe is still employed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank and is seeking another seven-year term in September 2023.
The report also found that the processes for the initial assessment and ongoing monitoring of the interest rate risks associated with the bond purchase program and term funding facility “were incomplete” and “did not pay sufficient attention to the risks posed to the RBA’s earnings” and did not contain the necessary scenario analysis for increases in interest rates.
Philip Lowe’s Wife: Meet Jocelyn Parker
Lowe is married to Jocelyn Parker, who works at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, and they have three children. He lives in the Sydney suburb of Randwick, New South Wales.