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."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why Australia looks like the PRC, when you are Glenn Stevens sitting in Martin Place

Glenn Stevens is like a fine wine. The guy just gets better with age. Now, I don't drink, so I am no expert on wine. But I love listening to the Governor's Q&As. The speeches are better read via the text, if truth be known. It is not much fun listening to a macroeconomic bed-time story. A little bit like verbal water-boarding. The Q&As on the other hand, are very revealing indeed (check out the latest here). Stevens invariably strikes the right balance with his responses. He is like Ricky Ponting in his early thirties. Of course, that is not to say he will not swing and miss every once in a while. But we lay folk can rest comfortably knowing that, for the time being at least, monetary policy is in safe hands.

It must be a very funny thing being Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. In many ways you sit at the helm of a command economy. You are, bluntly put, a benign dictator, entrusted with so much responsibility. I often wonder what Glenn Stevens thinks of capitalism from his unique vantage. This might sound crazy, but from where he sits Australia looks more like the PRC. The price of money is determined by one man.