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."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What the Fed can and cannot do

From FT Alphaville:

"Monument Securities’ Stephen Lewis, raking over the spat between Fed board members James Bullard (we need QE to prevent Japan-style deflation) and Richard Fisher (no we don’t):

'Mr Fisher declared that central bankers could do no more to boost the economy. He believed that no amount of monetary easing could offset the retarding effects on growth of heightened uncertainty… At the same time, Mr Bullard acknowledged that downside economic risks were increasing. Central bankers seem close to recognising that the actions they take do not determine the economy’s performance. They can no longer demonstrate, or credibly claim, the omnipotence attributed to them by credulous markets in the era of the Greenspan cult. Market participants, however, give every appearance of lagging behind central bankers in their understanding of what macroeconomic policy can achieve. They still look to the Fed and to other central banks to engineer an improvement in the situation. When they grasp how circumscribing are the limits on the efficacy of central bank action, there is likely to be a major reassessment of market valuations.'"