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, October 19, 2010

RBA: A case could be made to increase the cash rate at the current meeting

Fascinating Minutes from the RBA today. The key was the following text, which confirms that the logic I presented here for an October hike based on the RBA's inflation forecasts was spot-on, albeit that the timing was up-in-the-air:

"As in the previous month, members concluded that interest rates would need to rise at some point if the economy evolved in line with the central scenario of a gradual tightening in resource utilisation, as this would most likely result in a gradual strengthening of inflation pressures. The timing of adjustment remained a matter of judgement. A case could be made to increase the cash rate at the current meeting, based on the medium-term inflation outlook and the fact that developments had continued to be broadly consistent with the central forecast scenario. The case to wait before making a tightening move was that the economy was still expected to continue growing at trend in the near term, credit growth had softened somewhat and the rise in the exchange rate would, if it continued, effectively be tightening financial conditions at the margin. Moreover, it was still possible that downside risks to global growth could materialise.

Members felt that these arguments were finely balanced. While the Board recognised that it could not wait indefinitely to see whether risks materialised, members judged that they had the flexibility to do so on this occasion. Overall, they concluded that it would be appropriate to hold the cash rate steady for the time being, pending evaluation of further information at the next meeting."