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 18, 2011

Once again Steve Keen gets it wrong...

I've debated old Steve Keen twice in the last couple of weeks. Lovely guy. Not so good with his facts. In the last debate, my penultimate slide was the one enclosed immediately below (click on it to enlarge). As you can see, Steve has a terrible forecasting record. And I mean truly terrible. His latest prediction, announced in the middle of last year when the RP Data-Rismark house price index first started tapering, was that the rate of house price falls would "now accelerate". Unfortunately for Steve, nothing like that has come to pass. House prices have basically flat-lined. When I ran through this slide, Steve jumped (cat-like for someone in his final years!) up out of his seat and screeched that he was "living in the wrong country", and that if only he had been based in the US he would have been right (until he was scolded by the moderator). I am truly sorry Steve, but you were wrong, and repeatedly so. And not by a small margin--you were off by miles. Think Perth as is to Sydney. In the second chart, I show our national dwelling price to income ratio estimates stripping out the imputed owner-occupied income that the quarterly ABS National Accounts include (these are the only regular disposable income estimates the government produces). Again, contrary to what Steve claims, the impact is trivial. The benchmark ratio rises from 4.4x to 4.8x. My old pal Steve would do his credibility wonders by sticking to what he knows and understands, and not trying to twist facts to suit his fictions. If he does, any legacy that he leaves when he departs this world (hopefully many decades hence for both of us!) will be judged much more fondly by history.