© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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To view older Political Economy related articles from Henry, and other correspondents of Henry, visit the archive of the original Henry Thornton site here:


PD Jonson

Peter Jonson is a lifetime monetary economics tragic and as a young man held a number of senior positions as an economist with the Reserve Bank of Australia. From 1982 to 1988, Peter reached the giddy heights as Chief Economist, then called Head of Research. After a dust up with the then Treasurer, Paul Keating, Peter moved to corporate life, including stints as Head of Research at James Capel Australia Limited, Group Managing Director of Norwich Union Financial Services Ltd and Chairman of ANZ Funds Management.

Most recently, Peter has been a professional director. He served ad an independent director at Village Roadshow Ltd (for a time as lead independent director) and as Chair of ventures in Remediation, Innovative Manufacturing and Biotechnology. Chairman of the Melbourne Institute Advisory Board from 1992 to 2002, now Chair Emeritus. Founding Chair of the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (2002 to 2007).

During this time, Peter was Chair of the Commonwealth government Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Committee 2005 - 2010, and of two earlier funding committees for the Howard government. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1989.


A biographical essay can be found here.


Peter is the founder and editor of HenryThornton.com.


Also a lifelong landscape painter, now painting seriously with a friend who is a full-time professional. Images of recent economically themed works are available here.


His Great Crises of Capitalism was published in early 2011. Info here. He is currently researching the connection between monetary policy and asset inflation.


More information here. ASSA site.


Specialities: Economist, Corporate, Science and technology, Australian Football, Politics - domestic and international

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

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December 20, 2019

Check out Pete's 2018 exhibition of EcoArt here.

Geoffrey Blainey

Oil paint on canvas

550 cm X 750 cm

Signed bottom left, 2019

Geoffrey is the artist's great friend, in my view one of the great historians of Australia with a wonderful feel for matters economic.  As well as his Australian history he has written an acclaimed book about the causes of war and another, called The Great Seesaw about the swings of optimism and pessimism...

December 11, 2019

These images come from my journey from untrained teenage religious painter (earliest image) to a more fulltime practitioner. Most are fairly standard landscapes, though two are obvious precursors to recent EconArt, documented separately and linked here. 

The Spirit of the Rock

4' x 3'
Oil on Canvas
Signed, bottom right, 2013

In collection of Professor Robin Batterham and Hanne, Melbourne.

The old tree, the derelict...

October 17, 2019

Modern Crucifixion

 Oil on canvas board

24 '' x 16 "

Signed, Left Hand Side

Cardinal Pell's trial, where he was declared guilty by a jury of pedophile actions, was a deeply curious event. I expect appeal before by three judges will present a more believable judgment of 'Not guilty'. But even so, a modern crucifixion will have been perpetrated.

Now we are awaiting a possible review by Australia's High court. If the verdict...

May 11, 2017

The Hon Scott Morrison          

Treasurer of Australia
Parliament House
Canberra, ACT, 2600

Dear Treasurer

Aspects of economic policy

Congratulations on your 'Plan B' budget.  A great pity you were not allowed by the opposition and the Senate to do more of the task by spending cuts, but a good effort in difficult circumstances.

I write today with two issues, and a suggestion, about Superannuation matters. First...

February 7, 2017

Screaming headlines today based on the latest News poll, which makes Tony Abbott look relatively successful.  If Mr Turnbull and his cabinet are surprised,  they might consider the following:

* When Mr T qualified his challenge, he said it was justified by the polls (as they were then) and lack of an economic narrative.  Polls now are equally awful and there is still no narrative.  And the LNP has endorsed the socialist ex...

October 18, 2016

A lifetime's hard work, mostly pro bono. 'Thank your mother for the rabbit' type of activity.



1. Practitioner

1.1  On the edge of chaos, 1995

Biographical account of the rise and fall of a central banker

1.2  Money, Prices and Output, 1975.   [Link to be provided]

New wine in old bottles, the role of 'monetary disequilibrium'.

1.3  Reflections on Central Banking, 1988.  

On leaving the RBA - a failed central banker who...

October 17, 2016

Biographical talk about Australia's financial system, presented at Melbourne University in June 1995. For young RBAers: be careful how much courage you bring to your work; and will you be supported by your bosses if you overrstep the mark?

                                                     Animal S...

October 17, 2016

My new red peddle car was stolen on my first day at kindergarten. I was an average performer at school, below average after a severe viral illness suffered in year ten. The effects of this illness however made me a far better footballer, a reasonable net outcome I thought at the time.  Much to my family's surprise, I trained for two years with Carlton's senior team, being paid 6 pounds a week for the privilege. Sadly I was sen...

October 2, 2016

Martin Wolf reviews for The Economist a book by Sebastian Mallaby about the life and times of Alan Greenspan.

Paul Volcker was the brave man who crushed (goods and services) inflation. Alan Greenspan 

once believed that regulating the financial system was a mistake. Much later he admitted to his own mistakes. One mistaken belief was that no-one could tell if a boom...

September 14, 2016

Larry Summers has said: ‘If interest rates are negative, all the verities are up for grabs'

Mervyn King has warned: ‘The economy is behaving in ways we did not expect, and new ideas will be needed if we are to prevent a repetition of the Great Recession and restore prosperity’, (The End of Alchemy, P 6)

Robert Gordon notes in  The Rise and Fall of American Growth the much slower growth of USA productivity than in the ‘successful...

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