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 12, 2011

Leith van Onselen makes mistakes again

LvO goes to tremendous lengths over at MacroBusiness to criticise my use of the highly regarded Acadametrics house price index in the UK, and queries why I did not use the Halifax measure. As with most of LvO's attacks, this one is baseless. As we explained years ago, Acadametrics uses 100% of all UK sales whereas Halifax only captures about 10-15% of the market, and that is biased towards Halifax borrowers. So while, yes, Halifax has a better index methodology (this is actually debatable because Acadametrics use several methods), its sample selection biases are far too extreme to make it better than Acadametrics. Perhaps LvO could point that out to his readers, although that may be asking too much.