“We are monitoring growth in the fourth quarter very closely and the first half of next year when probably, the full effects of the crisis taking place in the developed countries will have an effect on the emerging economies,” she said.
Whether deliberate or, not, I often find our Bank Negara governor very oracular. It's rather like sifting through the remains of an unfiltered cup of Darjeeling to peer into one's fortunes.
But, unlike the more crass remarks made by politicians with finance portfolios, Zeti comes across like a nervous, cautious, circumspect scholar with some claim to monetary economics. Her halting and slightly staccato pattern of speech that is impregnated with strange pauses always jars me.
I often find myself leaning forwards towards the television screen with a silent, urgent call to her electronic image with a furtive mental call to her, "Come on, Zeti! Say it. Say what's on your mind. Say what's TRULY on your mind."
Without any telekinetic powers and, the television broadcast being just a recording, I find my effort to be in vain.
So, bereft of any hope of Zeti sharing her true thoughts and insights with me, I end up hearing things like these:
“What has been driving our economy so far, for quite an extended period of time, is domestic demand. That is why we want to see most of the measures support domestic demand. “That is the opportunity to sustain our economy, through the promotion of domestic demand in this very challenging external environment,”
”We assessed the environment and our interest rates were already low and supportive of economic activity. This adjustment is intended to give further support.”
Zeti said the central bank would review the conditions and make assessments, moving forward. “We have the flexibility to undertake further measures,” she said.As I said, it's oracular, suitably nebulous.
Cautiously committal and yet, not.
A hint of a warning and yet, not quite.
A sense of caution and yet, strangely calming.
Too much nuance.
Not enough in-your-face dishing out the bitter stuff.
Then again, even I would freak out if Zeti loses her cool.