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, February 10, 2012

More stimulatory economic developments over night

From UBS:

* EU: An agreement on fiscal austerity measures (EUR3.3bn spending cuts) has been reached by Greek politicians. The structure of the bailout is now being discussed by EU finance ministers in Brussels.

* EU: ECB left rates unchanged at 1%. At the press conference, Draghi pointed to surveys indicating "stabilisation of economic activity", though there were still "downside risks". He opposes the ECB taking a loss on its (Greek) debt holdings as this would amount to "monetisation of debt", but did not rule out transferring them at cost price (i.e. foregoing profits).

* UK: The BoE left rates unchanged at 0.5%, but expanded QE by £50bn to £325bn - both in line with expectations. The explanatory statement was dovish in, explaining that without the expansion, inflation would undershoot the 2% target in the medium term.

* UK: IP rose 0.5% (mkt: +0.2%)...The outperformance was driven by manfuacturing output (+1% vs mkt: +0.2%).

* US: Jobless claims continued to decline, confounding consensus forecasts for a small rise. The 15k decline to 358k left the four week average at 366k, lowest since before the financial crisis.

* CH: China's CPI unexpectedly rose to 4.5% y/y in January, from 4.1% in December (mkt: 4.0%), driven by higher than expected food prices, due to Chinese new year. But we continue to expect CPI to dip below 4% y/y in February. PPI fell to 0.7% y/y from +1.7%, in line with expectations.

* KO: Bank of Korea held rates at 3.25%, as expected.

* ID: Bank Indonesia surprisingly cut rates by 25bp to 5.75% vs consensus on-hold.