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, February 15, 2012

The RBA's Guy Debelle reads blogs, and has a sense of humour...

The RBA's most important Assistant Governor, Dr Guy Debelle, gave a great speech yesterday with an even better FAQ, which I listented to via Bloomberg. I am still waiting on the transcript, but there were some cracking responses.

All the economists, and especially Westpac's cunning Rory Robertson (of, amongst other things, "I forced Steve Keen to walk from Canberra to Mt Kosciuszko" fame), were trying to lever out of Debelle valuable snippets of information on the future direction of rates, which is what they are paid to do. I loved Rory's obviously-impossible-to-answer-question, which was something along the lines of: what are you going to do about the nine basis point increase in lending rates, mate (knowing full-well that Debelle would swot his buddy back)? The AFR reports this one, when Debelle was asked why so many economists and traders got the February decision wrong (present company excluded!). It forced me to laugh out loud:

“When you give them [market economists] two months to think about things, that’s always dangerous”

Interestingly, and I think encouragingly, Debelle had the creativity to link to an excellent blog in his speech, and then proceeded to quote from it. More of this freedom would be a good thing. I know from my own web statistics that the public service is an avid reader of blogs--my number one audience is Treasury followed by the RBA.

Finally, the AFR's Rear Window column added this cool cartoon, which I have inserted below (and will remove if the AFR has any issue with the link!). Since I seem to be on good terms with the new leadership, I am hoping there will not be any dramas ;-)