The interest rate spotlight turns to one bank boss, while Telstra's leadership may have received a timely boost.

It’s Mike Smith’s big day. ANZ Bank’s solution to the circus that enveloped the last interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank – delaying its own decision until the second Friday of each month – is looking less like a master stroke and more like Smith is taking one for the team. All eyes are on ANZ, and ANZ alone. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Elizabeth Knight says Smith should simply highlight the latest results from rival National Australia Bank that illustrate loans being written now are loss-making for his case to hike rates. Although, as The Australian’s Glenda Korporaal points out, Smith will be the most hated bank boss in the country until the other banks follow suit, and they might wait just long enough for the heat to die down. Meanwhile, The Australian Financial Review’s Tony Boyd says Telstra boss David Thodey might have found one of those crucial growth businesses he needs to protect the company’s 8 per cent dividend for the long-term.

But first we start with The Sydney Morning Herald’s Elizabeth Knight who says ANZ need only point to the latest results from rival NAB for justification to raise interest rates.



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