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."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What! Joshua Gans moving to bloody Canada!? You're kidding, right?

Well, this is sad. My friend and occasional co-conspirator, Professor Joshua Gans, is taking up a very prestigious Chair in strategy at the University of Toronto in Canada. You can read more about his unacceptable betrayal of all Antipodeans over at his excellent blog here.

This is going to be a bloody big body blow for the domestic policy debate. Joshua is the most energetic and active academic economist in Australia. While we don't always agree, he covers the avowedly centrist perspective with zeal, verve and substance. Joshua rocks. With the departure of professor Andrew Leigh to politics, Joshua has left no obvious heirs, which is indeed worrying. How about some succession planing buddy? Oh, and while you are at it, can you please fix the Core Economics iPad app? It looks crap and I hate using it.

I really do hope that Joshua does not completely disengage. The nation would be much poorer as a consequence. I guess we have still have Nicholas Gruen, who is a quasi-private sector equivalent of Gans...

Josh had sent me a random email late last week that I briefly glanced at while navigating other commitments. It didn't make sense: "I'm moving the family to Canada", he said. I was like, What? Why Canada? This can't be right. It is like a poorer, colder, dweebier version of Australia that has the distinct disadvantage of sending around 75 percent of its exports to the US! I thought he was talking about some skiing holiday.

Earth to Joshua: the global economy's centre of gravity is shifting thousands of miles away from the Atlantic to Asia! Australia is a sensible, stable, multi-cultural, English-speaking and incredibly habitable isle that is heavily leveraged to Asia. Think Stanford on the doorstep of Hong Kong and Singapore. (Well, sort of.) And our correlations with the North Atlantic economies are all breaking down.

What happened when professor Peter Swan's sister moved to take an international trade Chair at the University of British Columbia? She never came back! So, my friend, get your sorry arse back here quickly! You don't need to be in Canada. Your country does, however, need you here. Oh damn.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad