Has the Reserve Bank's current cycle of easing monetary policy ended? The recent consensus has been that improvements in the global economy mean it has. But hours after the confusion over the Italian national elections started affecting financial markets, one of the Reserve Bank's most senior officials has warned the central bank could cut interest rates even further "to counterbalance the pressures" of the strong Australian dollar.

Speaking in Adelaide this morning, Guy Debelle, the RBA's assistant governor overseeing financial market operations, made the bank's options more clear: not selling the currency, but cutting rates. He said: