The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Joshua Gans goes pit-bull on Andrew Robb

So my old mate Professor Joshua Gans, who is currently based at Harvard, has torn strips off Andrew Robb today. In a second post on the same subject, Joshua argues that sovereign risks are not germane to the RSPT--as readers of my previous post will know, I don't agree. Unilateral retrospectivity is a genuine concern, particularly when you consider the importance of the resources sector to the Australian economy. And while Joshua suggests that the tax trims the right-hand-side of a miner's expected return distribution, it also truncates the left-hand-side, which is a good thing, as I noted in earlier (ie, reduces the extent of their losses). Alongside Rory Robertson, I don't know why they called this thing a 'tax', at least given the adverse popular conception of taxation.