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, April 7, 2011

Rearing RBA babies

Historically, the RBA has always used ABS house price data in its "Chart Pack". Over the last few years, the RBA has either dropped references to, or de-emphasised,  ABS house price index numbers in favour of RP Data-Rismark, and, to a lesser extent, the stratified median price index the RBA created for a small data provider called APM. There is only one dwelling price chart in the official RBA Chart Pack, and for the last two months RP Data-Rismark has supplanted the ABS.

As regular readers will know, I am of the mind that the RBA has tremendous housing talent, led internally by Dr Anthony Richards and Dr Luci Ellis. They have been ably supported in the past by Paul Bloxham, now Chief Economist of HSBC, and Richard Finlay (I previewed his RDP on inflation expectations a few weeks ago). Finlay won the University Medal in mathematics at the University of Sydney, and received an even more prestigious and rare award, the Joye Prize & Medal in Mathematics, which my father and I endowed. Finlay has great potential, and it will be tough for the RBA to keep him inside their ranks. He would make terrific fodder for any aspiring hedge fund, having previously worked on the RBA's trading desk.