Saul Eslake

Economic Commentator

As the ANZ's chief 'number-cruncher' for nearly 14 years, it's been Saul Eslake's job to look at vast reams of economic data, and make sense of it. He has a knack for explaining economics in terms mere mortals can understand, which is why he's always in such high demand as a speaker and commentator.

Saul Eslake joined the Grattan Institute, a newly established 'think tank' affiliated with the University of Melbourne in August 2009. He also undertakes a range of speaking, writing and consulting engagements.

Prior to joining the Grattan Institute, Saul Eslake was for 14 years Chief Economist of the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), one of Australia's 'big four' commercial banks, and one with a sizeable presence in Asia. In that role he became one of Australia's most widely recognized economic analysts and commentators.

Saul began his career as an economist at the Australian Treasury in Canberra. He subsequently held positions as Chief Economist at McIntosh Securities, a stock broker, and as Chief Economist at National Mutual Funds Management.

Saul has a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Tasmania, and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. In 2003 he completed the Senior Executive Program at the Columbia Graduate School of Business in New York.

He is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian representative on the International Conference of Commercial Bank Economists. 

Saul Eslake has served a number of governments over the past 15 years. In 1992-93 he was Chief Executive of the Victorian Commission of Audit, which conducted a wide-ranging inquiry into the State of Victoria's public finances for a then newly-elected State administration. He also served as a director of the Victorian Government-owned natural gas utility, Gascor, and a network of public hospitals in Melbourne's north-eastern suburbs, in the mid-1990s. From 1995 until 2009 he was a member of the Tourism Forecasting Council, and from 1998 until the end of 2005 he was a non-executive director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

He was a member of the previous Australian Government's Foreign Affairs Council and Trade Policy Advisory Council. He has been appointed by the current Australian Government to its National Housing Supply Council and was a member of its Long-Term Tourism Strategy Steering Committee. He was also one of 1000 Australians participated in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's '2020 Summit' in April 2008.

In his home State of Tasmania Saul is a director of the University of Tasmania Foundation, a director of Hydro Tasmania (Tasmania's electricity generating company) and Chairman of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board (which advises the State government on the distribution of financial assistance to artists, arts organizations and institutions).

He is also a member of the Advisory Panels for the Economics Schools of the University of Tasmania, Monash University and RMIT University.

Saul Eslake talks about:

  • How Australia survived the Global Financial Crisis (while others didn't)
  • China: The Jade Dragon of Opportunity
  • What's on the Horizon for the Australian Economy
  • The 'Big Picture' for the Australian residential property market
  • The importance of growth to Australia's long-term future
  • The rise of India and Asia - and what it means for Australia
  • Long Term Prospects of a Global economy

Client testimonials

It is rare that an economist turns the house alight – you certainly did so at lunch last week ... the reaction by all present was that of a satisfied gathering. The breadth of the subject matter and the clarity with which you covered issues of significant complexity was exciting to behold

Chairman, Australia-British Chamber of Commerce

Of all the economic commentators I listen to he is the best ... the most comprehensive detailing, Saul joins the dots in the best ways, coupled with his choice of language (punctuated with dry humour) he enables one to stay focussed on the core message

Director, Darwin Central

I have never known an economist to have such a knowledge of world economic facts and to be able to bring to bear so much information in answering a question without notice

Chairman, ANZ

Your presentation effectively demonstrated both the clarity of your thinking and your skill in getting a complex message across to business leaders ... I was particularly struck by your mastery of presentation software and how it can be an effective tool in the hands of a professional ... you were by far the most impressive speaker on this day

Chairman of Tourism Task Force and former Minister for Tourism

The presentation and your outstanding commentary were seen as rich in excellent material on current and forecast economic outlook with a lot of data relevant for Coates

CFO, Coates Hire Limited

The audience feedback was outstanding and from my perspective it was the best presentation that I have seen in my 20 years with the ASX. Your knowledge of the subject matter was tremendous and the way you conveyed it was so fluent and professional

Australian Stock Exchange

Your presentation at our annual dealer conference is recognized as a high point of each event and eagerly anticipated from year to year

MD, Paccar Australia