Stephen Koukoulas, or The Kouk as he’s known, is one of Australia’s best known and most colourful economists.
He’s also a guy who doesn’t mind a punt if the constant quoting of political betting odds on his Twitter feed is any guide.
Today he combined these twin passions to take aim at Andrew Roberts of RBS after all the publicity that his “sell everything” note has generated in the past 24 hours.
After initially mocking Roberts on Twitter The Kouk came back with a challenge.
In an open letter on his website, Koukoulas offers to bet Roberts $A10,000, or some other amount Roberts is “comfortable with”, that the majority of 11 variables Koukoulas has identified – and which he says Roberts has implied should be sold – won’t go down.
The winner “will have six or more go in their favour.”
We asked The Kouk why he’d taken such a public step to criticise Roberts and make this offer of a $10,000 bet.
He said he thought Roberts “has an unrealistically gloomy view of the world and the pragmatism of policy makers who, if nothing else, have learned to deal with extreme market and economic shocks.”
As a result he said that his “challenge is based on this and a recognition that the recent data flow in the US and to some extent Europe is suggestive of a decent rate of growth in the global economy”
The old joke goes that if you get two economists in a room you can get 4 opinions, one for each hand. What’s remarkable about both Roberts’ note, and The Kouk’s response, is that they are being so blunt.
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