While everyone is so focused on the anniversary of Lehman Brothers (9/15) and AIG (9/16), today is a different sort of anniversary: Its been exactly one year months since the single dumbest column ever published in The Washington Post appeared: Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line.

Breathtaking in its ignorance, shocking in its fallibility, astonishing in its author’s perversely misperceived world view, it stands as a monument to sheer cluelessness in a single person:

“There have been 11 recessions since the Great Depression. And we’re nowhere close to being in the 12th one now. This isn’t just a matter of opinion. Words — even words as seemingly subjective as “recession” — have meaning.”

-September 14, 2008

It turned out that we were already in a recession for 9 months — and it was about to get a whole lot worse.

The article goes on to deny the Housing slump, misreads the debt markets, recommends equities, states that bank capital was more than sufficient, looked at employment trends as proof there was no recession, applauds economic growth levels, decried the use of the terms crisis” and “meltdown” — and gets every single one exactly wrong.

If you had a time machine, knew the future, and purposefully tried to write something where every word was literally wrong, you could not have done a better job.

Be sure to read the whole embarrassing thing if you want to enjoy a good chuckle.

>

Source:
Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line
By Donald Luskin
Sunday, September 14, 2008; B01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/12/AR2008091202415.html

Category: Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

28 Responses to “Happy Anniversary !”

  1. bubba says:

    how would you like to have this in your wikibio:
    “He has been frequently referred to by Brad DeLong as “the Stupidest Man Alive” for, amongst other things, his continued support for literal interpretations of the Laffer Curve.[25]“

  2. Mannwich says:

    Luskin? Good grief. And what happened to that clown? Did he EVER offer a or ANY mea culpa for this idiotic article, among many over the years? Of course not. And he likely still appears regularly on Clown-low’s show on CNBC (I wouldn’t know, since I have watched the channel since March, not even for quick viewing). There is no penalty for disastrous incompetence by the elites in this country. They only move onto bigger and better things where they can do even more damage.

  3. Mannwich says:

    @bubba: LOL!!!! That is priceless. Was Jerry Bowyer second? Wesbury?

  4. Onlooker from Troy says:

    But of course he’s back blathering just like nothing ever happened, I’m sure. I doubt that CNBC or any other media source has held him accountable for such blatant nonsense or discredited him as would be deserved.

    The Fed and the easy money has helped to paper over his sins as well as so many others. But it’s not over yet, I fear.

  5. Andy T says:

    Seriously, does he still show up on CNBC anymore? That guy was a complete tool….I had never seen someone come off as sooo self-assured while at the same time being sooooo wrong.

  6. ben22 says:

    Oh but Barry, I just saw Mr. Luskin on Larry Kudlow’s show not more than 45 days ago claiming he called the bottom to the day for his clients. He literally said those words. I believe I wrote on this blog that night about it in outrage. The fact that he is still allowed to go on tv and get away with saying such things should tell us all a little about where we are in the process…

  7. CNBC Sucks says:

    Luskin?

    Is he still alive?

    I would say if financial idiots were to have a Hall of Shame, the little Ewok would be John Stockton, Brian Wesbury would be David Robinson, Larry Kudlow would be Jerry Sloan, M. Caruso-Cabrera would be C. Vivian Stringer, and Don “Is He Still Alive?” Luskin would be Michael Jordan.

    And oh, Art Laffer killed America. You know that, yes?

  8. hue says:

    would be funny if it were someone serious or respected.
    luskin? mr. metamarkets, openfund and stalker of krugman.
    in the story, Luskin said he is an adviser to the McCain campaign — must have been right there with Phil Gramm, mr. nation of whiners. mr. nation of exaggerators and mr. nation of whiners prolly helped the Straight Talk Express picked ms. Para Salin http://imgur.com/gallery/idvV5

  9. Mannwich says:

    Barry – not sure if this is happening to anyone else, but your site has been awfully slow and sometimes unreliable lately. Oftentimes, it won’t refresh.

  10. WallStreetNobody says:

    What an effing moron that guy is. I’m sure his firm Trend Macrolytics LLC is nothing more than another bucketshop. Pathetic.

  11. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Mannwich – I’ve experienced that too. It’s timed out on my a couple of times.

  12. CNBC Sucks says:

    Ritholtz, I have to agree with Jeff “33 Points from Defense / Special Teams” Mannwich here. Your crappy Web hosting service and poor choice of the WordPress platform (major irony on that second point) are so not fashion-forward.

  13. MikeG says:

    The Recession Debate Is Over [Larry Kudlow]

    There ain’t no recession.
    Today’s ADP private jobs survey of 189,000 could produce a 200,000 non-farm payroll job gain for November. I don’t know — these wacky BLS numbers are subject to huge revisions. But the ADP was a huge number. In fact, jobs seem to be picking up major steam from their August low, rising in September and October. And now I’m expecting a good increase in November to be reported by the BLS this Friday.
    Plus, profits are stronger than people seem to understand. The ISMs are fine. Productivity, reported out today, soared to over 6 percent annually in the third quarter. That’s the best number in four months for output per person.
    On top of that, business inflation is zero. Flat. Nada.
    The recession debate is over. It’s not gonna happen. Time to move on.
    At a bare minimum, we are looking at Goldilocks 2.0. (And that’s a minimum). The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth splendid year with many more years to come.
    12/05/07 04:04 PM

  14. [...] think Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture puts it best: If you had a time machine, knew the future, and purposefully tried to write something where every [...]

  15. Mannwich says:

    A tad off-topic but still on-topic regarding BAC’s and the SEC’s stupidity (and criminality). Bears watching.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/judge-rakoff-orders-trial-merrillbofa-settlement

  16. leftback says:

    Luskin, the Neville Chamberlain of market forecasting.

  17. [...] – The Big Picture var addthis_pub = ''; var addthis_language = 'en';var addthis_options = 'email, favorites, digg, [...]

  18. Seattle Chill says:

    “Macrolytics” sound like something you’d put in a green-tinted vegan protein smoothie to make it more digestible.

  19. Pat Shuff says:

    Luskin has ample company amongst the large minded nonsufferers of hobgoblins of consistency, consistency of duplicity and selective memory excluded.

    Austan Goolsbee, member of The Council of Economic Advisers March 29, 2007 on the eve of the mortgage meltdown–

    ~~~~~
    Almost every new form of mortgage lending — from adjustable-rate mortgages to home equity lines of credit to no-money-down mortgages — has tended to expand the pool of people who qualify but has also been greeted by a large number of people saying that it harms consumers and will fool people into thinking they can afford homes that they cannot.

    Congress is contemplating a serious tightening of regulations to make the new forms of lending more difficult. New research from some of the leading housing economists in the country, however, examines the long history of mortgage market innovations and suggests that regulators should be mindful of the potential downside in tightening too much.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DEEDF1030F93AA15750C0A9619C8B63&scp=26&sq=Austan%20Goolsbee&st=cse

    Austan Goolsbee now–

    The existence of such a regulatory framework might have averted Lehman’s chaotic end — and the economic crisis that followed — because cheap money wouldn’t have been allowed to inflate a real estate bubble with questionable mortgages and mortgage derivatives, according to Austan Goolsbee, a member of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.

    “One of the fundamental principles of the plan is that if you’re menacing to the system, someone is going to regulate you very closely,” said Goolsbee, 40. “They’re going to be in there watching everything you do.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aUTh4YMmI6QE

  20. Kestrel10 says:

    DEMAND PUNDIT ACCOUNTABILITY !

    I sometimes get the sense that you simply need a pulse to be a pundit. Is there a scorecard for idiots like Luskin somewhere on the internet? Every time a pundit gets on CNBC, Bloomberg, or FBN, their rating should be posted. They could post the ranking next to the other disclosures now made. This ranking would be based on their previous predictions from newsletters, TV, radio, newspaper, etc. For this article Luskin would be given credit for 7 or so separate predictions and his scorecard would read 0 for 7 / 0%.

    This would probably kill the pundit business. Good riddance.

  21. eric20008 says:

    Most people outside of Washington have a perception of the Post in its heyday during Watergate. Alas the sad truth is that the paper seems to be in terminal decline, dominated by “lite” pop style writing, uninformed and idiosyncratic commentary, political correctness, and political pandering. Its current state is testimony to the dark side of nepotism. I halted my subscription during the Iraq war and haven’t resumed.

  22. [...] Ritholtz gets in the best zinger: If you had a time machine, knew the future, and purposefully tried to write something where every [...]

  23. investorinpa says:

    Everyone else has stolen my thunder on Luskin, so I’ll just make it low-class and personal…Luskin is one ugly ass MFer!

  24. Alex says:

    I gotta admit, it never gets old pointing out Luskin is an idiot. And fortunately he is good enough at self-promotion, that he always providing new material. He is a living cognitive cancer, grabbing at whatever zeitgeist to metastasize.

    To wit, “Smartmoney” (choke..choke..) magazine is still running his columns. Now what does it tell you about that sadly ridiculous little rag? If you are tempted to go there…Warning! Some of his column titles put up the facade or reasonableness. Enter and you will fall into the fun-house nonsense of Luskin-world.

  25. Peter Davies says:

    I haven’t watched that buffoon Kudlow for a while but wasn’t Luskin one of K’s regular band of ass kissers, along with Bowyer, Jimmy the Greek, Moore, etc? The good thing is that if they can all be concentrated in one program then this will reduce the pollution on other financial TV programs.

  26. VennData says:

    Leave… Luskin… alone…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc

    I mean, don’t you want such an excellent reverse indicator in real time?

  27. [...] Barry Ritholtz: Happy Anniversary While everyone is so focused on the anniversary of Lehman Brothers (9/15) and AIG (9/16), today is a different sort of anniversary: Its been exactly one year months since the single dumbest column ever published in The Washington Post appeared: Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line. Breathtaking in its ignorance, shocking in its fallibility, astonishing in its author’s perversely misperceived world view, it stands as a monument to sheer cluelessness in a single person: “There have been 11 recessions since the Great Depression. And we’re nowhere close to being in the 12th one now. This isn’t just a matter of opinion. Words — even words as seemingly subjective as “recession” — have meaning.” -September 14, 2008 It turned out that we were already in a recession for 9 months — and it was about to get a whole lot worse. The article goes on to deny the Housing slump, misreads the debt markets, recommends equities, states that bank capital was more than sufficient, looked at employment ttends [...]

  28. [...] On September 14, 2008, Donald Luskin firmly discredited himself forever: The article goes on to deny the Housing slump, misreads the debt markets, recommends equities, state… Luskin, incidentally, hates Peter Schiff. From what I hear, he hates Schiff as only a thoroughly [...]