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."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Do you roll the growth die in favour of austerity?

The excellent Russell Jones of Westpac comments:

"While S&P's assessments for each individual economy varied, there was one consistent thread in them all, and that was a judgement that there was an undue focus on fiscal austerity to the exclusion of growth-supportive measures. In essence, S&P was saying that the prevailing fiscal stance in these economies was making things worse rather than better. Interestingly enough, this also chimes with some recent but still incomplete IMF research that suggests that in the absence of growth, severe fiscal austerity programmes may elevate bond spreads rather than reduce them. It will be interesting to see how IMF policy towards the Eurozone evolves in the months ahead. Does it begin to take the same line as S&P?"