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."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Random 'rumourtrage' for Aussie policy boffins

Why would somebody google the words "David Gruen Deputy Governor." Because my web tracking system has picked 'em up (they naturally landed at the nation's premier economic salon, Aussie Macro Moments). It's not a totally crazy thought. He was the RBA's head of economic research, and is now one of the most respected guys in Treasury. Ric Battellino is leaving soon, and it might be an appropriate sojourn for Gruen. After all, neither Lowe nor Debelle are that old. And the last Labor Government gazumped internal RBA candidates to appoint Bernie Fraser, who had previously been Treasury Secretary, as Governor of the Bank. While Bernie was certainly outstanding, he has acknowledged that he did not see eye-to-eye with the Bank's hawks. And Labor might think that it would be a tactically astute decision in advance of the next election even though it is very hard to conceive of any political imperative exerting influence on Dr Dr Gruen (yes, that mistake was intentional). Food for thought nevertheless. And it might give others pause! The early 1990s iteration of the RBA, which was patently not politically independent, needed Bernie for his very close working relationship with Keating. Bernie won the Bank independence and its inflation-targeting regime. The RBA of today does not need to be compromised in this way. Its popular reputation is beyond reproach (notwithstanding some occasional rejoinders by yours truly).