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Economist challenges RBS 'sell everything' analyst to A$10k bet

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Economist challenges RBS 'sell everything' analyst to A$10k bet

Top Australian economist Stephen Koukoulas has thrown the gauntlet to RBS ‘sell everything’ analyst Andrew Roberts.

Robert caused a real stir with his note earlier this week advising investors to sell everything bar high quality bonds in anticipation of a ‘cataclysmic’ year for markets.

Koukoulas, a senior adviser to the Australian prime minister, is deeply sceptical about Roberts’ advice.

‘Roberts has certainly gained a lot of coverage for himself and his business. If that was the aim, it was a great success to write such headline-grabbing 'research' on the hope the media would run with it,’ Koukoulas said in a blog posted on his website.

Koukoulas wants to know if Roberts is prepared to ‘put his money where his mouth is’, challenging him to a A$10,000 (£4,872) bet.

‘I note with interest your “sell mostly everything” note from earlier this week. I think you will be wrong and in the spirit of the market and healthy competition, would like to offer you a chance to personally benefit from your forecast,’ Koukoulas wrote in an email to Roberts.

‘How about a bet of, say, A$10,000, that more than half of the items in list below will be stronger on 31 December 2016 than they have been in recent days? I am open to a different amount to wager, just let me know what you are comfortable with.’

Koukoulas listed 11 variables covering a range of asset classes which Roberts implies are a ‘sell’. The winner of the bet will be the one who has six or more go in their favour.

US stocks (S&P 500): 1925.0 points

Brazil stocks (Ibovespa): 39,500 points

China stocks (Shenzhen): 1,850.0 points

Japan stocks (Nikkei): 17,200.0

US house prices (Case-Shiller 20 city): 182.83 points

UK 20 city house prices (Hometrack measure): GBP228,800

Sydney House prices (Corelogic index): 915.00

Iron Ore: US$40.50 a tonne

Oil (WTI): US$31.50 a barrel

Copper: US$4,325 a tonne

AUD/US:D 0.7000

Koukoulas eagerly awaits a reply from Roberts.

‘Andrew has yet to respond to my very generous offer. After all, he only has to get six out of 11 to win – not “everything”. I will confirm whether or not Andrew is up for the challenge.’

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