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."

Monday, January 23, 2012

ACCC criticises bank oligopoly...

From the banking bible, Banking Day, today:

Bank oligopoly too cosy for Sims
23 January 2012 7:03am

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has voiced a wish for more competition from foreign banks, and suggested the present market structure is too "cosy".

In an interview with News Limited's Sunday newspapers, published yesterday, ACCC chair Rod Sims said: "Normally four players in a market should lead to a lot of competitive activity.

"In the banking sector it seems to need more because even though there are four of them there is a lack of full and effective competition."

Sims encouraged foreign banks to open in Australia.

"I think the four of them [the major banks] feel they are protected from others entering the market and that makes for arrangements that are too cosy for consumers," Sims said.

The News Limited newspapers reported that Sims said more foreign banks should open up business in Australia to put pressure on the local banks.

"If we can see any behaviour by the banks that is preventing competition, any misuse of market power or any collusive agreements, we will move," he said.