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."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Congratulations to Professor Andrew Leigh

Andrew Leigh's career continues onwards and upwards with a win in the Fraser pre-selection. Andrew is probably the youngest fully tenured economics professor in Australia having originally completed his PhD at Harvard following an early stint as a lawyer (smartest move he ever made was getting out of the law, which, with all due respect, would have to rank as one of the world's worst jobs--I acknowledge they are a necessary evil). In this regard, he is somewhat similar to Yale's Ian Ayers. Anyways, Andrew certainly lifts the parliamentary IQ, and would have to now rank as the best economics mind on the hill, assuming he eventually gets there...And here's a prediction: Andrew will one day serve as an outstanding Treasurer, when his time eventually comes. I expect Andrew Charlton--who is the prime minister's economics advisor and an Oxford PhD--to follow in Leigh's footsteps, which, when combined with Craig Emerson, would equip the ALP with a very solid set of economic talent. In this respect, the Liberal Party looks to be light-years behind its main foe. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any serious economists, or indeed any individuals with serious financial economics expertise, serving the centre-right side (with the exception of MBT). Now that gives one some pause. Arthur Sinodinos would help the cause. But for some reason the Liberal Party appears to be suffering from a real brain drain. And I am not exactly sure why. Of course, intellectual horsepower and electoral success need not be positively correlated.