Peter Jonson is a leading economist who communicates with wit and in plain English. Now as his corporate career winds down he is able to spend more time reading and thinking and is part of an international team exploring the impact of monetary policy on asset inflation.
He is the founder and editor of HenryThornton.com, a virtual guide to economics, politics and investments. Henry Thornton’s monthly article on Australia’s monetary policy was published for over a decade in The Australian on the morning of each meeting of the Reserve Bank board. ‘Henry’s blog’ is now posted whenever he feels he has something original to say or something interesting to draw to his readers’ attention.
Peter’s book Great Crises of Capitalism was published by Connor Court in March 2011. He is writing another book based on his current economic research and plans to continue writing and speaking for as long as the grim reaper allows.
University: Peter first worked as a senior tutor at Melbourne University in 1971. He was an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia from 1972 to 1988, completing a PhD at the London School of Economics between 1973 and 1975. He was appointed Head of Research in 1981 and from then was responsible for economic forecasts and for advice to the Board and the Treasurer both on the setting of monetary policy and on economic policy matters. The latter issues included floating the Australian dollar and the case for the creation of an independent central bank with a mandate to prevent inflation.
Financial Services: Peter’s second career was in the private financial services industry, from 1989 to 1999. He was CEO of Norwich Union’s Australian business and Managing Director and then Chairman of ANZ Funds Management. From 2000 his third career was as a non-executive director, serving on boards including Village Roadshow Ltd (2001 – 2015), including a stint as lead independent director, Bionomics Ltd (Chairman 2005 to 2009), Pro Medicus Ltd (from 2000 to 2010) and Metal Storm Ltd (2006 to 2009), as well as private companies in the biotech, funds management and defence sectors. As a businessman he also chaired three funding committees for the Australian government, including the CRC Committee (2005 – 2010).
FEllow: Peter became a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences for Australia on 1989. In 2014, he was member of a group (with Richard Morgan, Mark Rayner and Colin Tease) that produced an agenda for economic reform titled ‘Growing the Trade Exposed Industries’.