Euromoney Magazine’s decision to award Australian Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan the title of “Best Finance Minister” of the year has been met with much derision and scepticism in Australia. On Twitter, in the “Blogosphere” and in the mainstream media, Australians have questioned how a Treasurer who is perceived to be a big spender can be considered one of the best Economists in the world. However, despite the recent editorial and comments in the Australian questioning Swan’s credentials, way back in May of this year The Australian published an analysis piece which praised Swan’s efforts highly.
The “Twittersphere”, the “Blogosphere”, and the mainstream media have joined together to deride Euromoney’s recent decision. This has especially been the case in the wake of today’s announcement of a higher than projected budget deficit. However a May 16, 2011 Article by George Megalogenis in the Australian puts Wayne Swan’s perceived spending into context. In fact as a simple graphic shows, when compared with the previous 5 treasurers (including the vaunted and Reagan-esque John Howard), Swan has been the most frugal spender in times of economic growth (measured in terms of real increases in government spending). Furthermore, Megalogenis notes that despite the general consensus in the media, Swan’s job performance has been highly lauded by private sector economists such as Bill Evans the chief economist at Westpac. All this goes to backup a post I made recently concerning Commsec’s analysis of the Australian Economy. And despite recent mutterings in the media (and especially The Australian) Wayne Swan has indeed done a good job considering the resources and situation with which he was faced.
Source: ALP Best Manager of money, history shows – The Australian