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, February 28, 2012

More positive economic data overnight...

From UBS:

* US: The pending home sales index rose more than expected in January: up 2.0%m/m (cons 1.0%, UBSe 0.0%) after an upward-revised decline of 1.9%m/m in Dec (was -3.5%). At 97.0 in January, the index is up 8.0% from a year ago and the highest level since April 2010—ahead of the expiration of the home buyer tax credits. Data adds to evidence the housing market has begun to show improvement.

* US: Current activity in the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey rose to 17.8 (cons: 15.5) in Feb from 15.3 in Jan. Growth-related details were stronger, as production (11.2 in Feb after 5.8 in Jan) and employment (25.2 after 12.2) rose. New orders remained positive, albeit slightly less than in Jan (5.8 after 9.5). Using the manufacturing ISM weights, the index rose to 54.0 in Feb from 53.6 in Jan.

* EU: M3 increased by a stronger than expected 2.5% y/y in January (mkt: 1.8%), picking up from 1.6% y/y in December.

* EU: The German parliament passed a vote in favour of the €110bn bailout package for Greece.