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, December 14, 2010

The far-right take on the RMBS debate

My friend and sometime sparring partner, Dr Stephen Kirchner, gives the standard far-right critique on the government's RMBS support. Interestingly, the first comment in his post offers a much more intelligible analysis. The essential point here is that "matched" securitisation funding is a theoretically much safer financing approach than using the inherently very fragile asset-liability mismatches that are the basis for traditional bank business models and which require truly extraordinary state subsidies. The immense logical flaw in Kirchner's analysis is that he never acknowledges these frailties and the intrinsic taxpayer support that they crucially rely on to survive. The objective behind the RMBS policy was to make a tiny step towards leveling the competitive playing field between these two forms of funding, with appropriate costs, which, unfortunately, have yet to materialize.