In 2007, pundits scoffing accurate predictions about the economy

Discuss

90 Responses to “In 2007, pundits scoffing accurate predictions about the economy”

  1. elk says:

    FOLKS:

    Remember when Bush wanted to privatize Social Security? Hard to believe this was once thought to be a good idea.

  2. datura says:

    Peter Schiff FTW!

    It’s good to see this guy getting some credit. He was predicting this crisis so early.

    Buy Gold and protect your money for the wave of inflation that is coming…

  3. urshrew says:

    Pundits are bad for truth and other intelligent things.

    Hey, what the heck is a pundit anyway? Since I started watching the news, all I hear about are pundits and how they fail at everything they say. Why are we listening to them still?

  4. envirotex says:

    Peter Schiff has been very negative for several years. He must figure that if he sticks with it long enough he will be correct eventually. I wonder if he was as negative when he worked at Lehman Brothers?

  5. Cowicide says:

    #59 >Peter Schiff has been very negative for several years.

    So… he’s been right about our economy for several years, then. What’s your point?

  6. Nur says:

    Hmm, Euro Pacific Capital, that might be a fairly good tip to look at as a broker.

    Your fees clearly get you the services of a professional Nostradamus.

  7. stephane says:

    Is he from the future?

    Anyway, Google Trends says he is getting more attention.

  8. screwballl says:

    Of course the real story and the truth is that these economic problems began during the Clinton administration… but the truth is not nearly as fun as blaming Bush… why not, the amount of publicity didn’t start until the Democratic Congress passed this crap to speed it up and now here we are…

  9. envirotex says:

    #60 – Nothing really, he should have stayed at Lehman.

  10. Antinous says:

    And, um, Happy 64th Birthday, Ben Stein. Now would be a good time to consider your retirement options.

  11. desiredusername says:

    The economy is looking good! No plan to raise taxes, good monetary policy, free trade, free koolaid. whoop whoop!

  12. Jayel Aheram says:

    @Spinlock: He is saying that overvalued stocks and property are just that: overvalued. Much like fiat money that is inherently worthless, increases in housing prices are driven primarily by pure speculation in the markets. No value was added to these houses being sold; what, then, can account for the increase in the price?

    “But, I do think that the bail-out will allow us to pay down our debt and start saving with a prolonged recession but without a depression.”

    :\

    Never mind.

  13. Spherical Time says:

    I saw this a few days ago, and it really is a priceless video. Love the Ben Stein clips.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As an infrequent patron of casinos, and a casual observer of financial “markets”, I make the following comparison: the main difference between the investment industry and the casino industry is that alcohol consumption is legal and encouraged on the casino floor.

    Floor traders and pit bosses are encouraged to validate/refute.

  15. eti says:

    He’s a regular Cassandra

  16. batu b says:

    “Buy Gold and protect your money for the wave of inflation that is coming…”
    I fail to see how putting all your money into a single commodity is financially wise.
    #13 – Thanks for the link. I like that podcast, too, but I missed that one. (fyi, the interview w/ Schiff starts at 8m00s).

  17. Ernunnos says:

    #54, if you think Greenspan was an independent actor… well, there’s not much I can add. The dot-com bubble was very much in Clinton’s interests. The budget was only “balanced” – excluding all the off-budget spending – based on the revenues collected during the bubble. And most voters are too dim to remember that the bubble was already popping in early 2000 (before the election) and still think fondly of the years of Clinton “prosperity”.

    Clinton started it, Bush continued it, Obama’s already appointing Clinton people and making it clear that he wants to continue the tradition.

    But reality is knocking at the door like some Lovecraftian monster, and it won’t take “Hope! Change!” as an answer.

  18. Stefan Jones says:

    #34: Yeah, whatever lets you get to sleep at night, dude.

    Hey, maybe you can figure out a way to blame this on Obama! Get cracking!

  19. Jake0748 says:

    Screwball… as far as I’ve read, NOBODY is blaming Bush, Clinton or anyone else here. This seems to be an article about how stupid/misguided/shortsighted many economist talking heads were a couple of years ago.

    Get off your high horse about political bullshit. People are suffering here.

  20. Doc says:

    (#59) “Peter Schiff has been very negative for several years. He must figure that if he sticks with it long enough he will be correct eventually.”

    If someone told you every day that “Something bad is going to happen to you,” and eventually you got into a car crash or found out you had cancer, common sense would not consider that a display of predictive power.
    But if someone told you, “Sometime within two to three years, a helicopter is going to crash onto your home” and then two years later a helicopter crashed into your home, I don’t know about you, but I would consider that a predictive hit. Schiff was very specific about what was going to happen and why it was going to happen. So I don’t think the “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” cliche applies here.

    (#45) “While these clips do make him look pretty good, Peter Schiff’s investment strategy isn’t exactly panning out as well as one might think”

    Even if that were true (and I am not saying that it is), diagnosing a problem and identifying a solution are two separate acts.

    Economist A: A train is coming. I advise getting off the track.
    Economist B: A train is coming. I advise throwing the switch to divert the train.
    Economist C: A train is coming. I advise trying to stop the train with your arms.
    Economists D-Z: There is not a train coming.

    Economists A, B, and C understood the problem. Economists A and B might have decent solutions. But, even though I just said that diagnosing a problem and identifying a solution are separate acts, I think I’m going to listen to what economists A, B, and C have to say before I throw all my money at the solutions proposed by economists whose ideologies prevented them from even seeing the train coming in the first place.

    Unfortunately, economists D-Z are in control, and from all indications that’s not going to change anytime soon.

  21. franko says:

    actually, #34, the real root of the problem goes all the way back to nixon. no joke. it’s convenient for republicans to just stop looking when they hit clinton, but it’s been a problem in the making for a long, long time.

  22. Clayton says:

    #36: He never said “put all your money into a single commodity.”

    Also, gold is one of the safest investments out there. Very little risk involved.

  23. Clayton says:

    #34, There’s no single root cause to the current problem, but you can rest assured its foundations were set decades before Clinton.

  24. pollyannacowgirl says:

    I know next to nothing about all this stuff but I saw it coming. What goes up must come down. The pendulum swings the other way. F*cking DUH.

  25. Tzctlp says:

    #85 spinlock

    I have still to hear how the bailout (which one?) is going to help.

    You said the bailout will help us pay our debt, consider this: if somebody was debt ridden, had run credit cards to the rim and defaulted, was not paying his mortgage and had increased his debts by 25% more in the last couple of years, would you think that the solution to that person’s problems is yet another loan?

    No, the solution would be to go bankrupt, sell your assets and get started from scratch, with the help of friends, family and perhaps charity organizations.

    Alternatively that person could cut spending severely and live under his means. This option is the difficult one, which is why no politician is advocating it.

  26. Tzctlp says:

    #84 trr

    How is that you cure a debt ridden economy piling more debt?

    It just does not make sense.

    But no worries, there are serious economists (not the bozos on the clip arguing with Schiff) who are advocating exactly that, so no wonder we, the general public, are equally confused.

    But think, does it make to give a debt addict yet another loan?

    Does it make sense to give more money to the people (banks) that “engineered” the current situation?

    Does it make sense to tell to the public to go shopping when is exactly that what put the US trade balance in such a sorry state?

    Does it make sense to devalue the dollar (it will devalue, its current run will not last) by the US government getting into yet more debt (i.e. flooding the market with money, which will make it cheaper)?

    To me it doesn’t.

    I really don’t know if a purist laissez fare solution (letting things run its natural curse, i.e. allow banks to default, companies to go broke, etc) would work, we will know soon enough …

  27. halfcaptain says:

    wow, Schiff was dead on. why are so many arrogant, greedy fat-cats touted as experts? i mean, i know why it’s that way on fox, but everywhere else?

  28. Ernunnos says:

    The sad/funny part is, even after all this they’re still not listening to Peter Schiff. He hasn’t stopped making predictions. The response is a little less overtly scornful these days, but they still don’t believe him. Everybody wants an easy way out, and when he says there isn’t one… the blast doors of denial come thundering down.

  29. catbeller says:

    Hey. Sorry, but this IS all about political bullshit, as one of you put it.

    This is not a random crisis which no one could foretell. We have numbers and we have causes, and they do correlate.

    The root cause is ideological. After the financial collapses of 1871 and 1929, it became apparent that the financial markets could not be allowed to do whatever they liked, devil take the hindmost. Regulations were passed. The usual suspects screamed communism, and spent a dreary half century demonizing those who created the regulated market.

    Milton Friedman, creator Chicago School of economics, created the era of super-capitalism, the unregulated (as much as they could) bubble economies.

    His boy, one Ronald Reagan, cut taxes, killed social spending, deregulated the markets as much as possible, increased military spending, and ran up the debt like a drunken sailor. Good times for those who made out like bandits. Savings and Loans companies were the first explosion of the unregulated market. Taxpayers bailed them out.

    Clinton came in, cut spending, increased the taxes back to saner levels, pulled the economy out of the tailspin, and actually started to pay down the debt. Largest expansion of an economy in world history. Also, he was a free-marketer, and started deregulating trade, tho not so much the financial markets.

    Bush enters, and out-Reagans Reagan by simply installing the foxes in all the regulatory henhouses. The actual laws passed under Clinton and Bush are irrelevant, as they were not enforced, so not pertinent to the discussion of blame. The financial markets learned to leverage debt with unsecured insurance, and became rich. The “money” made was leveraged and re-leveraged in a dizzying spiral; derivatives went from a seven trillion dollar pile in 1999 to over seventy trillion in 2008. This money was all bits and bytes, cross-hatched financial cats-cradles made of imagined wealth based on the housing bubble.

    All bubbles end. But the Fed, under Ayn Rand boy, kept lowering the rates to keep a hot housing market that should have cooled in 2003 going until 2006. The economy had no growth in the uh-ohs but for the money “made” in rising home values. A guinea pig that could read the newpaper on the bottom of his cage could predict what would happen next.

    The price of oil spiked, because of the wonderful new game that commodity players learned through the example of Enron; choke supply, don’t build refineries, and prices go up.

    The economy constricted, and home prices finally slowed and then started to collapse. No money, no purchases, supply and demand. SOMEthing had to burst the bubble.

    Big bit: 2005, Congress makes it all but impossible for consumers to go bankrupt. Uh-ohhhh….

    So, the poorest or more unlucky – usually health care costs cause bankruptcy – started to default. This was inevitable, and NOT the product of laziness or greed or stupidity. In a gas leak, the weakest respiratory systems die first. That’s all. When the bubble breaks, the weak go first.

    The collapse that we are gloriously observing had to happen at some time. The house of cards, the vaporous pile of “cash” that was leveraged into every aspect of out lives, did not really exist except on the books of con men.

    Those con men, having merged their businesses without government constraint for decades, were so large that their falls would collapse the world’s economy. So we are now pledged to pay them – directly! – with no strings – almost eight thousand billion dollars right now, more than all the wars, land purchases, foreign aid and NASA budgets combined in all our history. And that’s just the start. The businessmen who ruthlessly gamed an unregulated market are now literally being handed the keys to our treasury and all our future wealth as a token to assuage their failure. And still no regulation.

    And key: the supply-side tax cuts were supposed to enable those who had wealth to create industry and jobs for all. This did not happen. They exported jobs to countries employing, practically, slave labor, killed retail by consolidating into superstores, stole the pension funds, killed the unions, slashed wages and health care, and told those who gave warning to grow up and learn a new trade. The money made in the economy was not invested in jobs, but in new forms of wealth. Our standard of living drops.

    This was all ideology and politics. The neo-cons, the deregulators, the tax cutters, those who demanded that the government spend itself to literal death are winning. Our country will be sold, is being sold, for pennies on the dollar. We’ve been conned.

    You are not witnessing a failure of ideology, but a triumph of planning. They are charging us top dollar to execute ourselves.

  30. Takuan says:

    not permitted, copyrightme. Read the rules.

  31. Antinous says:

    I just wonder how Ben Stein feels about the financial markets as an investment now.

    Given that he’s still defending Nixon…

  32. Frank says:

    While these clips do make him look pretty good, Peter Schiff’s investment strategy isn’t exactly panning out as well as one might think:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kW64YYcUso&feature=related

  33. bardfinn says:

    Given that Fox News isn’t about news, but – rather – is about bullying and propaganda, little surprise that their talking heads would scoff at anything that breaks from their Glorious Message.

    As for Stein – I have an ongoing game:

    Whenever something goes wrong, I BLAME BEN STEIN.

    Failure to compile without errors? Stein.

    Failure to connect to ODBC interface? Stein.

    Unexpected expenses? Stein.

    He’s been an apologist for so many venal hypocrites and fascists and slandering so many good people that he should, I believe, experience what it is like to be the scapegoated than the scapegoater.

    Stein’s expertise lies in lying.

    • Antinous says:

      Whenever something goes wrong, I BLAME BEN STEIN.

      That’s the doctrine of the Single Agent of Blame. Pick one and blame everything on them. Nazis, Templars, your mother, Herman Melville – it’s all their fault. Susan Sarandon is mine.

  34. Ceronomus says:

    I hate pundits.

  35. Stefan Jones says:

    Last spring, when the howl of wolves was starting to be heart, John Stewart had great fun with Bill Kristol when the latter described how great things were economically.

  36. Ernunnos says:

    #41. Look at the M3 graph. (The one the government is no longer publishing because it’s too scary.) It takes off on a steep upward slope in the middle of the Clinton administration. Certainly the structural changes that allowed that to happen were sown under Nixon but there’s no doubt about when the cheap money party started. The dot-com bubble was a direct result of that. W didn’t want to be a one-term President like his pappy, so rather than push fiscal restraint, he took out another credit card and kept the party rolling. It worked too.

    Now Obama’s coming in, and while I feel some sympathy for his predicament – the same I felt for Bush – his plan is… to take out yet another credit card and hope to inflate another bubble in some other asset class.

    But as Schiff says, other nations are starting to catch on that we’re not a good credit risk. They’re not going to give us another card or a higher limit.

  37. tenner says:

    I started knowing nothing about economics or finance. I figured that winning at the stock market was just guesswork — a bunch of blowhards trying to get rich off of slight deviations in a stochastic process.

    I learned a little bit about finance through a couple of college courses. I realized that these financial wizards are amazing people. If we follow them, we will be wealthy; there’s no reason we shouldn’t sign over all our paychecks to them to invest fully in whatever the daily special was.

    I spent ten more years studying finance through watching news, reading articles in the mainstream media and the blogosphere, and talking with conservative and liberal friends. Now I again realize that finance is a bunch of blowhards trying to get rich off of slight deviations in a stochastic process.

  38. rasz says:

    Schiff was also dead wrong about AU (gold) , it is still falling, it hit rock bottom two days ago

  39. Takuan says:

    not Susan!

  40. noen says:

    Be Stein knows as much about economics as he does about evolution.

  41. The Unusual Suspect says:

    You could do worse than to listen to everything Ben Stein says, then believe the opposite.

  42. macisaguy says:

    You know, it really all goes back to something d-o-o economics. Voodoo economics.

  43. trr says:

    Smart guy, that Peter Schiff. Did you also notice he said that we need to reduce [government] SPENDING? He was right about everything else, but that can’t possibly be right. Or can it?

  44. Michael A. Banks says:

    Inevitably, those who predict rational stuff are ignored. It ain’t cool–and the paper zillionaires couldn’t handle the thought of losing it all.

    There were similar predictions–and even a stock-drop warning–well before the crash of 1929.
    –Mike On the Way to the Web

  45. proto opus says:

    #10: bernard baruch, early in 1929, having decided that the stock market was a bubble, liquidated his holdings and went into precious metals. after the crash, he owned one-fifth of the world’s visible silver.

    #58: pundit = pun (we all know what that is) + dit (in vietnamese, the buttocks). maybe they are talking through their asses?

  46. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    “Hey, maybe you can figure out a way to blame this on Obama! Get cracking!”

    Rush Limbaugh has been calling what’s been going on “the Obama recession” for a while now.

  47. Stefan Jones says:

    What is really sucky about this is that there is a real need and purpose for the stock market.

    What is a shame is that the bright people, instead of running businesses and making products and providing services, are sought out or seek themselves to get rich by trading and speculation and managing debt and arranging insurance on debt.

    Yeah, it might make dough more available, but you have to think about sustainability and social need.

  48. Takuan says:

    good to hear that. It makes any unfairness against any bush/cheney machine supporter (or Limbaugh listener) completely justified.

  49. the23skidoo says:

    I met Peter more than 10 years ago at an investment conference on a cruise ship in the Bahamas. His message was the same. And, frankly, he was right on back then. The Dow was at 9300 and it was evident that Greenspan had turned on the money spigot already: ’1996′ “The Asian Flu”, Then ’1999′ “Y2K”, Then ’2001′ “9/11″ – and on and on.

    Peter began saying that the fundamentals of the economy were heading in the wrong direction under Greenspan and Clintons watch. He’s independent and does not care who is in power when analyzing the effect of policy.

    All of the people who heeded the advice at the conference are much wealthier today and have been wondering how long the train wreck would take to happen.

    It wasn’t a matter of IF, it was a matter of when we would begin to pay the price for our economic policies.

    Kudos to Peter for his willingness to speak truth to power.

  50. pineapple says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Schiff

    Schiff was an economic adviser to Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. Schiff made the following statement concerning Paul’s economic revitalization plan.
    “We need a plan that stimulates savings and production not more of the reckless borrowing and consumption that got us into this mess in the first place. Ron Paul’s plan is the only one that amounts to a step in the right direction. If you want meaningful change – for the better that is – Ron Paul is the only candidate capable of delivering it.”

  51. devophill says:

    I can’t off-hand think of the actor who delivered this line:

    “In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone?… the Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?… raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.”

  52. The Unusual Suspect says:

    …Bueller…

    …Bueller…

  53. igpajo says:

    NPR’s Planet Money Podcast had an interview with Peter Schiff the other day where they talked about this clip.

    Great daily podcast by the way!

  54. Anonymous says:

    Let this be a lesson to us – doubt ALL future TV “pundit” opinion shows you may see or hear. They are for entertainment purposes only, usually with some corporate spin agenda whirring away in the background.

  55. jetsetsc says:

    One of the benefits of showing up on Fox news is that it’s pretty easy to be the brightest person there. Big whoop – you’re smarter than a third grader!

  56. Fred H says:

    I always pay heed to the polite, mild-mannered person in the room. They’re usually have their facts straight.

    There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.
    -Herman Melville

    Maybe this is all Melville’s fault…….

  57. Mike Estee says:

    Wow. It’s interesting to listen to the pundits laughing and snickering at Peter. I love the part where Ben gushes over Merrill Lynch.

    This Peter Schiff guy knew what the hell he was talking about. Can we get more people to listen to him?

  58. Anonymous says:

    So much for Fox’s supposed conservatism. When presented with a real fiscal conservative like Schiff, they treat him like an imbecile.

  59. Ugly Canuck says:

    Bang on. The ideology of the entire ruling class in the USA for the past thirty years has been based on profoundly self-serving lies.
    Democrats/Republicans?
    Miniscule differences of actual policies, no difference at all in outcomes….they are the same people, wearing different ties….
    Why this bail-out (so called) but no Universal Health Care? Oh yeah, that’s too “expensive”….
    http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2008/11/relative-efficiency-of-public-and.html

    Nice leadership you’ve got there, USA….(sarcasm)

  60. acacia72 says:

    I had to turn the sound off as soon as that jacka$$ Laffer opened his pie-hole. Schiff was remarkably ACCURATE! Wow, too bad more people didn’t listen to him, maybe at least the recession could have been “dampened.”

  61. fx says:

    Considering the linked source has a bunch of hysterical “BLACK PEOPLE ARE THE REAL RACISTS” links down the right hand side of his blog, not to mention the RonPaulian connections of Schiff, I’m gonna take this with a big chunk of salt. Sure Schiff was right in the end, but for all the wrong reasons. Let’s hear what he has to say about the Jewish Communist Negro Conspiracy to get Barack HUSSEIN Obama elected. I’m sure it’ll be entertaining.

  62. SEMC says:

    1) bardfinn – I seem to recall seeing similar debates on more than just Fox News. In fact the first video clip was from MSNBC. The NYT and the Wall Street Journal also had editorials claiming that the crisis was over. Its not just Fox News.

    2) I personally find it hard to take Ben Stein seriously after his tv game show. He’s really an economist?

    3) For whatever you may think about him, Glenn Beck has talked about this perfect storm theory and financial collapse since 2006. I remember people calling up and calling him retarded for believing that our economy could undergo such problems. Peter Schiff appeared on Glenn’s show repeatedly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB9fuIvksLw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db7SM3wb_No
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGxC5v220HE

    5)Here’s a video of CNBC reporters treating Schiff like crap when he’s trying to tell them that he’s not a supporter of either McCain or Obama and they keep bringing it up over and over.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSixu-wxvKI

    6) Lastly, Schiff’s been on this problem for quite some time. Here’s some 2002 vids.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0XJu9l3Mfk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv1rI41W838

    enjoy.

  63. SEMC says:

    This is video also shows why true conservatism isn’t tied to party affiliations or media outlets.

  64. ill lich says:

    “They treat him with undisguised contempt and hatred”

    Really? on Fox News? Unbelievable!

  65. bardfinn says:

    I blame Ben Stein for Antinous’ irrational blaming of Susan Sarandon.

  66. buddy66 says:

    “Single Agent of Blame. Pick one and blame everything on them.”

    Hmmm.

    Farmers. Fucking farmers! They set the wheel in motion 10,000 years ago with agriculture. It’s been all downhill ever since.

    I’m not joking.

  67. elNico says:

    “Rush Limbaugh has been calling what’s been going on ‘the Obama recession’ for a while now.”

    I’m so glad I never have to see this stuff by chance.

    Although the US election outcome has been encouraging, the fact that such pundits can serve their bile to a mainstream audience and are listened to shows how deeply fucked many parts of the US are.

    The morons haven’t just been enlightened overnight. Good luck anyway.

  68. NZheretic says:

    To put it more simply, from June 2006:
    I’m over forty years old. I have lived though, vividly remember and fully comprehend the late 1970s oil crisis, New Zealand’s own 1984 balance of payments crisis and the 1987 share market crash. My Father was born a year after the 1926 stock market crash and is well acquainted with the effects of the resulting depression. I have repeatedly seen fools and so called wise men throw their fortunes on various markets and schemes based upon expected high return on investment. Eventually and inevitably the pyramid schemes — for in the end that’s all the revolving investment schemes are — collapse.

  69. Mark Rowan says:

    I know this is a very serious video about a topic which affects me personally, and literally every other person living on earth in some way, but I can’t quit watching Schiff turning from side to side in his spinny chair (during that first clip).

    It’s totally mesmerizing — I literally canNOT focus on the actual words he’s saying during that part of the video.

  70. Piers W says:

    Laffer was the inventor of the Laffer curve, memorably satirised by Martin Gardner.

    http://everything2.com/title/neo-Laffer%2520curve

  71. Oskar says:

    Seriously people, what did Susan Sarandon ever do to you? We all know who the real culprit is here! The Hunter that killed Bambi’s mom! That guy screwed up a whole generation of people.

  72. Jesse says:

    @47:

    #41. Look at the M3 graph. (The one the government is no longer publishing because it’s too scary.) It takes off on a steep upward slope in the middle of the Clinton administration. Certainly the structural changes that allowed that to happen were sown under Nixon but there’s no doubt about when the cheap money party started. The dot-com bubble was a direct result of that. W didn’t want to be a one-term President like his pappy, so rather than push fiscal restraint, he took out another credit card and kept the party rolling. It worked too.

    umm, presidents don’t set interest rates. The Fed does, and Greenspan repeatedly moved / kept rates in the opposite direction from what BC wanted. If you have a problem with excess liquidity and unnaturally low risk premia (as I think we all do…), take it up with Alan the Terrible.

    Moreover, if you want to talk about M3 and short term debt, it’s a bit disingenuous to refer to any real change originating in the mid nineties:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply#United_States

    It’s more like the early 90s were a brief respite from otherwise ceaseless growth, and not just in M3 but in the whole non physical money supply. And that’s not ipso facto a bad thing.

  73. ill lich says:

    Laffer’s and Stein’s comments remind me of that joke about the guy falling out of the 30-story building, and people heard him saying “so far, so good” as he fell.

    Stein: “sub-prime is a tiny tiny blip”. . . yeah, and a shanker is just a little cold sore.

    I wonder how many of these talking heads even remember these conversations.

  74. shMerker says:

    He was also right about the price of gold. It did go up over $1000 per ounce this year: http://goldprice.org/gold-price-history.html#5_year_gold_price

  75. Cowicide says:

    Conservatives like Ben Stein are professional WRONG people. And, of course, the more WRONG you are, the more other WRONG conservatives will air you on FOX again and again later as if NOTHING happened. FOX News, the home of the WRONG and proud of it (for some very strange reason).

  76. Anonymous says:

    There is only ever one rule for any issue where there is something that matters (ie healthcare, money, education, employment) – always plan for the worst case scenario and you’ll never be surprised. Never gamble because probability says that ultimately one bet will come back and bite you.

  77. RiskAverseAlert says:

    The stock market bottomed in 1932 long before the banking system went into a death spiral. Something to think about…

    http://stock-index-options-alert.blogspot.com/

  78. bardfinn says:

    Gold’s value is set by demand and supply – the supply of gold is highly limited, and the demand is many-sourced – from electronics to jewelry, chemistry and medicine – So gold is not a fiat currency, as the US Dollar is.

    The problem with gold is that the demand is high and the supply is limited; If our current economic environment devolves to the point at which fiat currency is severely devalued, then what will happen as well is that supply of gold is going to go up as people start trying to liquidate it just to be able to buy food, and the demand from many industries will collapse because the industries will collapse.

    Gold is only a good answer to fiat currency insofar as it remains an economy of (smaller than global) scale and that we do not drop into a massive depression. So, while this fellow did correctly call the economic collapse, one shouldn’t always take the advice of someone giving you advice on a market they’ve been in for decades. All confidence schemes begin with the conman showing that he trusts /you/.

  79. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    And yet Stein can’t stop yapping, and the papers keep running his columns.

  80. urshrew says:

    #70 “…but I can’t quit watching Schiff turning from side to side in his spinny chair (during that first clip).”

    That’s because he’s using NLP to hypnotize you into believing that the economy is less then stellar and banking organizations may not be well run! Panic!

    Ha, just kidding. I don’t know nothing about NLP or hypnotism. I’m just talking out my back end to practice for my career as a pundit.

  81. spinlock says:

    OK, I’m going to be the dummy that says that Peter Schiff isn’t right about the bailout. Let me start with a question:

    Is boingboing worth anything?

    Schiff seems to be saying that it is only when you produce hard assets does your national wealth expand. I think he is undervaluing intellectual property as well as Internet properties like boingboing. I don’t think Schiff has considered the case of the farmer, who produces real goods that people need to live and uses the proceeds to buy video games.

    Now, I don’t understand all of what Schiff is saying and no one can deny that he is absolutely correct that American’s have too much debt and too few assets. But, I do think that the bail-out will allow us to pay down our debt and start saving with a prolonged recession but without a depression.

  82. hillx075 says:

    It sure is fun to watch them eat each other a year later, though…

    http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/neil-cavuto-screamathon-ben-stein-over-

  83. jccalhoun says:

    The part I found the best was when the people would say, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” It is funny because they were right. He was talking about economics and they had no idea…

  84. Bluebottle says:

    Here is more Schiff…
    This time talking about our general economy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGHODRNJqRo&eurl

  85. SEMC says:

    Listen to then end of this one>
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSixu-wxvKI

    They completely mock him and say Peter is messed in the head around 6 and 7 min marks. My god, the female reporter just keeps going off on him with stupid stuff like “But gold has no inherent value, like oil which does. Gold only has value in-so-far as I perceive it to have.” WTF, is she mental?

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