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."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The RBA Governor's complaint about quality of Australian economic media reporting

A journalist asked me for the link. So here it is:

According to data published this week by the Australian Statistician, real GDP rose by over 4 per cent over the past year...Core inflation is a bit above 2 per cent. The financial system is sound. Our government is one among only a small number rated AAA, with manageable debt. We have received a truly enormous boost in national income courtesy of the high terms of trade. This, in turn, has engendered one of the biggest resource investment upswings in our history, which will see business capital spending rise by another 2 percentage points of GDP over 2012/13, to reach a 50-year high...

Yet the nature of public discussion is unrelentingly gloomy, and this has intensified over the past six months. Even before the recent turn of events in Europe and their effects on global markets, we were grimly determined to see our glass as half empty. Numerous foreign visitors to the Reserve Bank have remarked on the surprising extent of this pessimism. Each time I travel abroad I am struck by the difference between the perceptions held by foreigners about Australia and what I read in the newspapers at home.

I harbour no illusion that this can suddenly be lifted by anything I say today. But it is, hopefully, worthwhile to offer a few facts, and some perspective and analysis of the situation.