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, April 12, 2011

Macro Man covers Joye vs. Keen title fight awarding Joye points victory

Well, sort of. Macro Man is a famous gaggle of bloggers who spawned from one original global macro trader admired for his novel insights. In Australia, we have Aussie Macro Moments (ie, this blog) and the subsequently established, and very similarly named, Macro Business blog, which is less technical and occasionally has some decent commentary (the daily "links" are by far the most useful content on this site). These bloggers appear to have found common cause in a deep-seated emotional desire to see Australian house prices collapse. While this is an exceedingly remote possibility, you need two sides to a story to have a decent debate.

Anywho, Macro Man wades into the Aussie house price war and is rather scathing of the arguments levied by associate professor Keen, who is the titular leader of the local armageddon movement. As I have noted too many times to count here, Dr Keen is perhaps distinguished most for making sensational yet relentlessly inaccurate forecasts.

As it happens, a little birdie tells me that the author of this Macro Man article studied at Harvard, and completed an honours thesis under the supervision of my old co-author, Professor Ed Glaeser. I believe the dissertation in question was a study of the application of hedonic technology to quantifying the impact of supply-side constraints on the cost of Australian housing. I am pretty sure that the RBA currently has a number of similar research projects underway on this subject. Most readers will know that Rismark's research group designed and developed the hedonic technology used in the RP Data-Rismark house price indices favoured by the central bank and Treasury.

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