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."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Keep hands off interest rates, RBA warns retail banks

From The Australian:

"THE Reserve Bank effectively warned Australian banks today not to increase their key lending rates above official moves.

The central bank, which has raised official interest rates six times since October, emphasised that wholesale funding costs were unlikely to blow out in the next year.

In its quarterly Statement of Monetary Policy, the RBA said that while the price of wholesale funding had risen for the banks, the current costs were at the same point as one year ago.

It said if the current market conditions remained in place the banks' funding costs would rise by just 5 basis points in the next 18 months.

The forecast effectively slaps down the banks' constant arguments that funding costs remained volatile and could force interest rate rises outside of the official policy cycle.

"Recent increases in bond spreads are estimated to have had only a small effect on the major banks' overall funding costs to date," the RBA said."