Westpac's chief economist Brendan O'Donovan is a clown. In a less gentle age he would have been held in stocks in the public square and had rotten vegetables thrown at him.
We'll just have to make do with lampooning him on the Internet.
I've written numerous posts charting the descent of the New Zealand economy deeper into a black hole that it is extremely unlikely to climb out of.
I don't know about you but mass unemployment, increasing underemployment, low wages and no economic growth all suggest to me that the New Zealand economy is going to hell in a handcart.
Brendan O'Donovan thinks differently. He doesn't think the economy is on the point of collapse - he thinks we're on the cusp of a new golden age. Hallelujah!
It'll be party hats, champagne and brand new credit cards for everyone, according to O'Donovan.
In the New Zealand Herald today he says: "Personally I think New Zealand could have a ripsnorter of a year and I think we could be on the cusp of a golden decade in terms of economic prosperity.'
O'Donovan says that he knows his views are 'extremely unfashionable' ( could that be because they're just plain ridiculous?) but he's even got an answer for that.
Brendan's been reading his Pop Psychology for Beginners.
According to O'Donovan, we plebs are just partypoopers, who like to talk the economy down.
'We only seem to be happy when we are miserable,' explains O'Donovan, a veteran cheerleader for neoliberalism and the free market
So it's our fault the economy is in the crapper! And here's me thinking it was the fault of, oh, the BANKS for instance. But, of course, O'Donovan, works for a BANK. Westpac pays him some $180,000 a year for his 'economic wizardry'.
This is not the first time O' Donovan has predicted the economic good times.
In September 2009 he claimed that an economic recovery would be fuelled by a migration-driven housing construction boom, with Auckland leading the way,
At a business summit in Wellington he claimed that 'leading indicators were pointing to a strong recovery in global manufacturing activity.'
He said that you would have to be a 'pretty brave person' to stand in the way of these economic 'indicators'.
Donovan confidently predicted that the economic recovery would hit New Zealand within 'six to nine months'.
So it should have happened by May this year at the latest.
Anybody see it?