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, May 26, 2011

Pascoe on housing nutters

Well put:

"Meanwhile, the-housing-bubble-must-crash true believers increasingly take on the characteristics of other Doomsday cults. They're as bad as the housing spruikers who claim residential real estate is a guaranteed path to millionaire status.

There have been bubbles in parts of Australia - most obviously the Gold and Sunshine Coasts - but in the scale of the past decade and the overall market, it's easier to say average prices aren't doing much at all. Up a couple of per cent, down a couple of per cent; policymakers won't lose sleep, especially when we are fundamentally under-built.

Indeed, a flat market is the Reserve's ideal, as it would allow the continuance of the soft household deleveraging occurring as we pay down debt, building a stronger economy in the medium term and making room for the commodities boom we're promised in 2011-12.

The difference between deciding to back the view of APRA and the Reserve against the Doomsday cult, aside from the Reserve's greater intellectual rigour and superior research resources, is that the central bank has the ability to influence the game to its desired ends."