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."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It would be a stunning surprise if...

Professor Warwick McKibbin made himself available for a third RBA Board term and the Treasurer did not reappoint him simply because of politics (ie, McKibbin's outspoken yet relentlessly correct remarks on fiscal policy, climate change, and government discipline). This would be an extraordinary act given that McKibbin is Australia's most highly regarded macroeconomist and has been absolutely instrumental in some of the most important monetary policy decisions made by the RBA during the GFC, which played a vital role in sensibly supporting the nation. McKibbin, who worked at the RBA in the 1980s, completed his PhD at Harvard and is currently Director of the ANU Centre of Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, a Professorial Fellow at the Lowy Institute, and a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington DC where he co-directs the Climate Change program.

Having said that, it must be an open question whether McKibbin would be willing to selflessly lend taxpayers his considerable expertise again in view of the massive financial opportunity costs associated with doing so. By serving on the RBA Board for another term he conflicts himself from taking any direct investment roles within the financial services industry, which is his chief sphere of influence.