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."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Higher US inflation and economic activity overnight

From UBS:

* US: Personal income rose 0.5% (consensus 0.4%, UBSe 0.3%) in Dec, and spending was flat (cons & UBSe 0.1%). Core PCE prices rose 0.2% (cons & UBSe 0.1%, total 0.1%). Data were already included on a quarterly basis in GDP, but show 2011 ended with a bit faster income growth, slower spending, and an uptick in core inflation compared to expectations and earlier in Q4.

* US: Overall in the Fed's January loan officer survey, "domestic banks reported...lending standards had changed little and...experienced somewhat stronger loan demand"...This was a similar tone to the last survey, except demand looked a bit stronger - so not quite an incremental positive, but stirring business loan demand is encouraging.

* US: The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity index jumped to 15.3 in January (mkt: 1.5), from a revised -0.3 in December (was -3.0).