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, September 20, 2010

Stevens exactly as I expected

Glenn Stevens delivered today almost exactly in line with my expectations with one exception:

1) He reaffirmed the RBA's medium-term tightening bias with above-trend forecast GDP growth and their projection that CPI disinflation will cease and consumer prices will start accelerating again. Long story short, we are not going to get the benefit of a neutral cash rate for too long;

2) He went to great lengths to explain the role of monetary policy, the fact that it is a very blunt, singular instrument, and, crucially, works with long lags and must, therefore, be predicated on the Bank's base-case view of the future state of nature, rather than the past;

3) He highlighted that a single monetary policy setting is unlikely to suit all regions at any given point in time, although spent far less time on structural adjustment across the states than I was expecting to see in line with the recent Bulletin analysis (in fact, he ended up arguing that there was reasonable commonality in inflation outcomes, albeit perhaps less so in respect of unemployment).