I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell didn’t see that one coming!

My best guess is its a repudiation of the George W. Bush years . . .

News coverage:


Washington Post



Category: Politics

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.

120 Responses to “Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize”

  1. microcap says:

    I thought it was a joke when I first read it! Like him or not, the Nobel Peace Prize concept should be dynamited! [who gets that joke?]

  2. microcap says:

    New theory– this was actually orchestrated by conservative radio, to give them weeks full of new material! LOL

  3. arthur.i says:

    I agree, big slap in the face to W.

  4. Jimmy Carter was the last US President to receive this. Remember how wonderful his Foreign Policy was. Guess this is just the New World Government’s “thank you” to the man who is helping the US hand over it’s sovereignty as a nation.

  5. ljoncape says:

    Hey you can’t blame fellow communists for supporting their guy!

  6. Bruce in Tn says:

    I have a problem with sitting presidents winning the nobel peace prize. Basically, since we’ve been the world’s policeman now for generations. I see 3 sitting presidents have now won the prize, and I have no problem if the prize is awarded out of office, but during office, it troubles me some.

    I strongly think the two wars we are in were ill considered. Yet, we continue in them. Our generals want more troops, and apparently that is not going to happen. Does this make our manpower in Afghanistan too small to be effective, and if it does, why don’t we leave.

    I remember Carter bringing Egypt and Israel to Camp David. Good idea, but still think the Peace Prize shouldn’t go to sitting presidents even if they bring down the Berlin Wall and aid in the demise of Russian Communism.

    While in office our president must realize that many cultures hate us for what we stand for…the right of liberty. The office is about seeing that this experiment continues unabated, since no other has gotten it this right, with all its faults….

  7. Walther von Reinbach says:

    And Fidel Castro http://www.counterpunch.org/

    “I’ve read Obama’s books very carefully.” He slowly flipped through the pages of “Dreams From My Father” showing underlining and hand-written margin notes on almost every page.

    “A man who shows deep intelligence, with a gift for writing, and obviously good values,” he concluded. “But he is limited in what he can do. He is tied down by vested interests.” I imagined Gulliver thinking his noble thoughts as the Lilliputians chained his arms and legs.

    “I used to be a politician,” Fidel said, the understatement of the year. “I can put myself in his shoes. I understand how hard it is to make basic changes.”

  8. Patrick Neid says:

    Nobel himself would light the fuse of his invention.

  9. Kristjan says:

    What a pity. This goes to show that the Nobel Prize really needs reform. Obama is no different than Bush Jr. but for some reason (Guantanomo hasn’t been closed as he promised, troops are still in Iraq and there are now more troops being sent to Afghanistan), they all love him. And don’t give me that ‘he’s only been in office for less than a year’ BS. Obama is all talk no action. BTW, you should see Obama’s Saturday Night Live spoof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nWhe-EPv8w

    Drink the Kool-Aid!

  10. Moss says:

    The guy is trying to set an example for what true statesmanship should be. As the leader of the free word this award is acknowledging the role the US should have. The mere fact that he is trying to change the Bush/Cheney doctrine is reason enough.

  11. DaveO says:

    Bizarre, love him or hate him, the President has yet to accomplish a thing on the foreign policy/international relations front. He is trying hard, and apparently saying all the things the Nobel jury wants to hear. If that’s enough to win a Nobel the award has little meaning and no value.

  12. deanscamaro says:

    That one comes out of left field. I suppose it is a reflection of just how badly Dubya was viewed as a peacemaner. I don’t really see that Obama has done all that much, but obviously someone does. I’m not advocating this, but sometimes when a group which is seen as being as above the rest of the dog-eat-dog world of grunts out there, makes a choice like this, they lose stature. I would liked to have been the fly on the wall in the room when this decision was discussed/made. This should be a slap to the Republicans of this country.

  13. MikeH15 says:

    What rubs me the wrong way a bit is that, according to the AP ( http://bit.ly/12cWh4 ) he would have had to been nominated NO LATER than 02/01/09. Only twelve days into his presidency. Somebody musta been really impressed with those first twelve days.

    The credibility of this award is rapidly approaching zero.

  14. jeff in indy says:

    or some Olympic payback? maybe the chicago team is learning how to play euro-thug ball?

  15. bsneath says:

    Obama might earn it someday, but not yet.

    With respect to the Nobel Organization, it has lost much of its prestige due to its leftist agenda.

  16. Michael M says:

    What are your thoughts on the effect on the likelihood of bombing Iran in the near future? In theory it should not matter, but in reality will he really lead or join with the Israelis to bomb Iran right before flying over to pick up the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10?

  17. hopeImwrong says:

    I interpret this as an “anti-George” award.

    Since I find politicians unbearably distasteful, to the extent their only real value is to provide a low cost alternative to ipecac. Even their, they are just an inferior subtitute because the effect of witnessing a politician may not wear off for weeks.

    But, still, poor George. As a tax payer, I don’t mind paying his therapy bill. I just mind that he was such a dud president.

  18. KIMMY says:

    Would someone please tell me what he got the prize for, I might be stupid but what has he done since inception????

  19. Greg0658 says:

    BnT – I sorta agree with you, but I don’t run the worlds organizations. The Nobel Prize history doesn’t back us either. When I heard this an hour ago .. there’s always an angle, “he can be bought” NOT .. then “pat on the shoulder” “its not Your fault Chicago lost the Olympics” maybe.

    Barack Obama Nobel 2009 44th POTUS 2009-
    Jimmy Carter Nobel 2002 39th POTUS 1977-81
    Woodrow Wilson Nobel 1919 28th POTUS 1913-21
    Theodore Roosevelt Nobel 1906 26th POTUS 1901-09

    then there’s brainwashing:
    Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama Back to School Event
    Arlington, Virginia September 8, 2009
    The President: “Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at ….”

  20. bullionaire says:

    Obviously there are a dearth of worthy recipients for the committee to have gone for Obama (especially considering the Feb. 1 nomination deadline, meaning he had served exactly 11 days in office!

    I think that speaks more to the prospects for peace (or lack thereof) and the desperation of a Nobel committee that sees the increasing risks globally of civil unrest, trade wars & general upheaval that threatens to the world with social chaos, and they simply went for the person who held the office still perceived to be most powerful & able to effect desirable change “we can believe in”…

    very premature & desperate choice not based on any discernible criteria, but made purely in hope that someone can change the destructive course the world is on.

    bad choice – moral hazard is increasing, not decreasing.

  21. VennData says:

    I’m proud of our President, his progress, and using the power of the office to effect change.

  22. Assassin says:

    They should have held off until March 2011, and given him the award if he didn’t start any preemptive wars.

  23. Chz says:

    Mr. Ritholtz,
    I enjoy your economic insights and consider this site, and others, as a must daily read. I recommend you stick to that formula and not waste your time (or mine) with your pet political commentary. It’s counter productive and there are many other competing sites on both sides of the political spectrum that cater to this subject. I’m a customer to your site and you are competing against others – as your customer I’m asking you to stick to what you do best. It’s a win-win. If you feel you must deviate from your economic commentary to satisfy whatever need you have within you, then I’ll go elsewhere.


    BR: This site has become more or less successful because — and I think this is obvious — I don’t really give a flying fuck what many other folk think.

    My posts are sincere and unvarnished and blunt. Anything that enters my field of vision is fair game. I write what interests or intrigues me, and if you like it, well that’s great, and if not, well oh well.

    I do respect my audience, and often ask them what THEY think because I am curious and want to know. But I ask them about things that matter to me — politics not being in that category. Given how much we know about irrational brain activity as it relates to partisanship, I really don’t care what hyper-stimulated primate thalmus is excited about.

    You are not obligated to read everything I write; But your suggestion that I self-edit because you disagree with what I post is an assinine non starter. It makes me think you are not a regular reader here.

    As this is your 1st post — and with a garbage hotmail address — it means quite frankly means you won’t be missed.


  24. KIMMY says:

    C’mon the US, we all know this is all to do with Latvia. How about one of the 300 million stand up and lead the US out of this corrupt debacle. Most of the world had respect for the US but this has been completely eroded.

    Get up, organise and bloody confront.

  25. Greg0658 says:

    “should have held off until March 2011″ NOT enough time to fund R&D for NASA with a space anti-gravitiy Dec 21, 2012 alignment Dday device to counter-act the earths core cooling into a neutral +- state and leaving us unprotected from solar radiation

  26. V says:

    Does anyone find this insulting? When you consider Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize after five nominations …

  27. Its payback for Arizona State University not awarding Obama an honorary degree when he spoke at their commencement.

    Bad blood betqeen Copenhagen and Phoenix !!!

  28. ljoncape says:

    The Peace Prize committee is now officially a joke! The Nobel Peace Prize was already struggling to maintain any sense of relevance, now it has none.

  29. Robespierre says:

    Well I think it was given to him because he didn’t declare war on the banksters when he took office. Remember when asked about investigating them for wrong doing he said: “lets not act in anger”. Very peaceful words to me so yea well deserved prize

  30. cvienne says:

    The Taliban “rejects” it… (seems things aren’t so “peaceful” over there)


  31. beaufou says:

    Strange club where your portrait can find itself next to Kissinger, Arafat, Begin and De Klerk.

  32. cvienne says:

    The interesting thing to me if you read the Bloomberg article on Obama winning the NPP was this.

    The “nominations” for this years award were closed on February 1st… Which Obama was in office for what, two weeks when he got nominated?

  33. hopeImwrong says:

    CV – Taliban. They are sooooo freakin’ partisan. When will they get with the program and become bi-partisan?

  34. beaufou says:

    I think his image around the world after 8 years of Bush did the trick.
    Let’s face it, anyone following W’s legacy would have been a serious contender, he should really thank Bush in his address, sort of “you made look like a million bucks just because I’m not you”.

  35. beaufou says:

    It will be called the Afghan surge, the part when you throw money at them to stop the fighting bit.
    Apparently, it worked in Iraq.

  36. cvienne says:

    All I know is this…

    Now that Netanyahu has been thrown under the bus, if Israel decides it needs to act out on its own to take out potential Iranian reactors, and thus, WWIII gets started…


    Diplomacy ain’t as easy as waking up out of bed and declaring “no nukes”…

  37. call me ahab says:

    i see it as preemptive- as putting a shock collar on Obama so he doesn’t raise troop levels in Afghanistan and doesn’t take a preemptive strike against Iran-

    because he hasn’t done anything remarkable- except in the eyes of VennData- hereafter called VD-

    who from his comments would support Obama under all circumstances

  38. Rikky says:

    who really cares? nothing has changed in America. we’re still $12 trillion in the hole, $80 trillion in unfunded liabilities, still spending more than we make, trying to reform things which will cost multiple times more than any rosy forecast by our ‘non-partisan’ hacks in collaboration with K-Street. Obama can win 10 nobel peace prizes and carry around the 10 commandments for all I care, as long as he deals with the structural fiscal problems this country has.

  39. ljoncape says:

    It was a preemptive award for his work in converting a successful, free-market economy into a centrally controlled facist regime!

  40. hopeImwrong says:

    Will they pay me money to stop going to town hall meetings? That would be awesome.

  41. hopeImwrong says:

    Beside being anti-bush, it’s a bit of a push to get him back on track. “go obama, go”

  42. mars10 says:

    With regard to the Peace Prize, the will [of Alfred Nobel] stipulated that it was to be awarded to the person “who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.


  43. ljoncape says:

    So he did all that after 11 says in office…..whatever, oh wait a minute maybe the Peace Prize committee is launching a new affirmative action program, now it makes sense……

  44. AS says:

    ……If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?……

    ..It would be so nice if something made sense for a change……

    Not my words, the above. Straight out of Alice in Wonderland. What do I think, for all it’s worth?
    The news is straight from The Onion. They have finally managed to go mainstream.

    Mr. Taleb is right once more. The Nobel Prize is one big shenanigan.

  45. emmanuel117 says:

    The Nobel Peace Prize has been a joke ever since Kissinger won it.

  46. hopeImwrong says:

    The peace prize is just a political tool. Bulimics around the world will find the headline aleviates the need to put a finger down their throats this morning.

    The commitee is pushing him to pull out of the middle east faster.

  47. Marcus Aurelius says:

    ljoncape Says:

    “So he did all that after 11 says in office…..whatever, oh wait a minute maybe the Peace Prize committee is launching a new affirmative action program, now it makes sense……”

    Aren’t you supposed to be getting ready for your Friday night Klan meeting?

  48. HCF says:

    The problem with the Peace prize is that it is associated with prizes such as the Nobels in Physics or Chemistry which are (usually) true acknowledgment on groundbreaking work. The Peace prize (and often the Nobel prize in Econ) is a complete joke. I’m not saying he’ll never do anything groundbreaking for peace, but what the hell has our President done yet? Peace in Middle East? Negotiate nuclear disarmament? Thus far, his greatest achievement in international peace is “I’m not W.”


  49. Rikky says:

    well said HCF

  50. call me ahab says:

    “I’m not W”

    neither am i- where’s my peace prize already-

    snubbed again

  51. Petey says:

    I am going to direct the world’s greatest movie; Where is my Oscar?

  52. MorticiaA says:

    call me ahab @ 9:37 am: “snubbed again” — reminds me of Stephen Colbert’s segment, “Who’s Not Honoring Me Now.” LOL.

    On the OT — I voted for the guy, I like him, but I’m flabbergasted at the Committee’s decision.

  53. crosey says:

    What do the NPP and the UN have in common?

    All form and no substance.

    Too many idle intellectuals sitting on their collective asses, pondering platitudes.

    Get the f*** to work and do something productive!

  54. crosey says:

    Patrick Henry was quoting Ezekiel..”they speak of peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Another quote from Ezekiel..”they have seduced my people with talk of peace when there is no peace…”

    The word “peace” is almost always used to lull opponents before waging war. Even in Ezekiel’s day. And the suckers still fall for it.

    …….thanks to Ruth King for her thoughts!

  55. km4 says:

    a great way to piss off and check the US military industrial complex and Neocons.

    I would short Halliburton and a few others.

  56. Petey says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Obama wins Nobel Prize in economics for promising to save or create 4 million jobs.

  57. V says:

    >Too many idle intellectuals sitting on their collective asses, pondering platitudes.

    Interesting point, how many idle intellectuals can an economy sustain before it is a drag on economic growth? Is there a statistical measure available?

  58. Gatsby says:

    As a non-American it is rather clear to me what I think what most of you, or all of you, are missing: Barak Obama’s posturing, his rhetoric and his stated objectives are so diametrically opposed to those of the “W. Bush” administration that they represent one of the most tangible and substantial about faces in history. To those of us looking at America from the outside this is no less significant than the conversion of Constantine. It shows America has at least acknowledged that the great nec-con experiment was an unprecidented disaster for both America and the world. This nobel peace proze embodies the world’s collective sigh of relief.

    Barak Obama does not have to do ANYTHING to deserve this award in the World’s view. Simply NOT creating another Iraq, NOT stoking biulligerence with Russia, NOT setting up secret prisons all over the place and NOT bending to religious and ideological wing-nuts makes him extremely productive.

  59. catman says:

    Eat your heart out Dick Cheney!

  60. call me ahab says:

    “Barak Obama does not have to do ANYTHING to deserve this award in the World’s view. Simply NOT creating another Iraq, NOT stoking biulligerence with Russia, NOT setting up secret prisons all over the place and NOT bending to religious and ideological wing-nuts makes him extremely productive.”

    nonsense- here is a better reason- as reported by CNN-

    “Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, last year’s Peace Prize laureate, said it was clear the Nobel committee wanted to encourage Obama on the issues he has been discussing on the world stage.”

    exactly- and that is why he won the “prize”- to make sure he follows through on his rhetoric

  61. Gatsby says:

    call me ahab:

    Yes this is an excellent point and it is likely part of the reason but I don’t think it’s realistic to completely discount the extent to which the world community desires to formally rebuke the Bush administration and the neo-con ideology.

  62. Timotheus says:

    I knew when Obama was able to get a Boston cop and Harvard professor to sit down and have a beer and peanuts together, the Nobel Prize would soon follow.

  63. wunsacon says:

    >> exactly- and that is why he won the “prize”- to make sure he follows through on his rhetoric

    That’s what we do with CEO’s! We prepay them for performance. And then we can’t get the money/award back when the recipient screws up.


  64. HCF says:

    Perhaps President Obama will celebrate his Nobel Peace Prize by finding bin Laden’s cave and bombing the shit out of it. Wouldn’t that be ironic?


  65. call me ahab says:



  66. Greg0658 says:

    Rikky .. I’m with you .. be a G .. declare Jubilee and abolish the FED
    ljoncape .. “talk about calling the kettle black” or put another way “takes one to know one”
    me .. “control of the government is the best path to prosperity” c2009 via TBP

  67. cvienne says:

    This reminds me of high school when they give out “Most Likely to Succeed” honors…

    A juvenile way of saying:

    Most likely NOT to get drunk or do too many bong hits at the graduation party and crash dad’s car.

  68. DeDude says:

    It’s like after the market has crashed its a lot easier to be a successful trader. Without Bush this would never have happened – maybe he should share the money with Bush, or at least buy the guy a beer ;-)

  69. Greg0658 says:

    good one V @ 10am … I admit .. I need a pyramid to build .. rather get carpal tunnel from operating snips .. paid better too

  70. Moss says:

    To equate it with financial jargon it is a call option on less global military tensions.
    Time will tell if that increases or decreases in value.

  71. clawback says:

    BR, HCF, call me ahab, et al.,

    This has to be the most entertaining thread I’ve read in a long time.

    This, in particular, put a big smile on my face:

    “BR: This site has become more or less successful because — and I think this is obvious — I don’t really give a flying fuck what most other folk think. “

  72. Pete G says:

    THE ONION FOLDS in light of the Obama Peace Prize… “We officially cannot top that.”

  73. clawback says:

    So we bomb the moon and Obama wins the Nobel Peace prize. I just wonder what the guys and gals at The Onion did when they woke up this morning. They should have just crawled back into bed and given up.

  74. clawback says:

    Damn you, Pete G.! I was typing when you posted. Swear to God.

  75. bergsten says:

    What will be telling is not that he won the prize, but whether he accepts it.

  76. MikeH15 says:

    Of course he’ll accept it.

    If he refuses the award, he is forced to admit to the world that he hasn’t accomplished anything prize-worthy. That could be disastrous.

  77. cvienne says:


    He will… He needs to money to offset the 3 large a year his wife was being paid from the University of Chicago Medical center…

  78. SINGER says:

    B-B-Barry, (sniffle, sniffle) I don’t like it when you post on politics, s-s-so if you d-d-don’t stop, I-I I will (sniffle, sniffle) stop going to your site… Whaaaaaah!!!!

    What a F**kin’ douchebag…. You smashed that retard BR!!!


  79. [...] the Obama Peace Prize, now this headline: Saudis ask for aid if world cuts dependence on [...]

  80. Pete G says:

    Obama wins the green jacket at the masters — its only a matter of time before he breaks 90 . . .

  81. cvienne says:


    By that I mean…

    Replacing Michelle

    At the top right hand corner of Page 17 of the New York Post of January 24th, 2009 , was a short column entitled “Replacing Michelle” in the National Review “The Week” column. So here it is, word for word, as it appeared:

    “Some employees are simply irreplaceable. Take Michelle Obama: The University of Chicago Medical center hired her in 2002 to run “programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and minority contracting” .


    -In 2005 the hospital raised her salary from $120,000 to $317,000 – nearly twice what her husband made as a Senator.

    - Her husband had just become a US Senator? And had requested a $1 million earmark for the UC Medical Center.

    - Michelle’s position was a part time, 20 hour a week job.

    - Now that Mrs. Obama has resigned, the hospital says her position will remain unfilled.

    How can that be, if the work she did was vital enough to be worth $317,000? And I wonder what some of the price tags on a Chicago 2016 Olympics would have been?

  82. going broke says:

    What next?

    Citi is bank of the year?

    This is by far, the most corrupt world Government ever!

  83. seneca says:

    The Constitution forbids the president of the United State from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” (Art. I, Sect. 9) , without the consent of Congress. As himself a former professor of constitutional law, President Obama is surely aware of this constitutional safeguard.

  84. LeeX says:

    This is an outrage! Dick Cheney was robbed!

  85. cvienne says:


    The Nobel Committee has declared itself “insolvent” and is requesting a $1 million dollar bailout from the United States Government.

  86. rustum says:

    The president of the county who is fighting 2 wars and contemplating one more, wins the noble prize.

  87. Azfsih says:

    What I find interesting is that he was nominated for the prize some 12 days after becoming president. They said they gave it to him for bringing about better relations with Europe. This, to me is not about Obama, it is about Bush. This is Europe slapping at Bush one more time because they can. Why else use such a flimsy reason to award the prize? In a way its an insult to Obama, that he does not have to do anything to win the award, and I say that as a supporter of the president, within reason. He did nothing, with regard to fostering peace in the world and won basically because he wasn’t Bush. Not much to go on, I say.

  88. bergsten says:

    @cvienne — 11:02 am — “It’s GOOD to be the King”

  89. cvienne says:

    What? You mean this guy didn’t win the PEACE PRIZE?


  90. Greg0658 says:

    cvienne @11:02 .. gotta high5 em when I see em ..
    me .. “control of the government is the best path to prosperity” c2009 via TBP
    the Soc’s gotta get back control from the Fas’s … oh man this isn’t going to go down to good
    … its a great time for an award of this magnitude (-:
    seriously on your report .. funny the hypocrisy this capitalist system envokes

  91. jeff in indy says:

    cured everything in 11 days, eh? he’s not quite reached the required ’6′ day mark (remember, He rested on the 7th); at which time i will then go on bended knee to the new messiah.

  92. Stephan says:

    “Bad blood between Copenhagen and Phoenix !!!”

    Copenhagen? This joke was made up in Oslo.

  93. bdg123 says:

    Just in time. We’ll soon start bombing the living shit out of Afghanistan. This makes me want to side with the religious zealots who are looking at the President as some sort of anti-Christ who brings the world together under some false pretense of peace. Haha. Not really.

  94. Mike P says:


  95. cvienne says:


    Oh-no…you brought up the “AC” word!…

    Fun facts…

    The Illinois State pick 3 lottery numbers came out 666 the day after the election…
    The S&P bottomed at 666 days after Big O said stocks were cheap…

    But then of course there are other fun facts, like, um, if you turn a “W” upside down, you get “M”…

    I wonder what it all means?

  96. cvienne says:

    @Mike P

    At least Obama did better than Carl Lewis…


  97. Desi Erasmus says:

    Scanning the list of previous winners, one finds an assortment that ranges from zany and fatuous, to terribly ironic, to plausiblly deserving of some recognition for advancing the cause of peace.

    There seems to be a slight bias in favor of the certifiably delusional (e.g., the various instigators of the Kellog-Briand pact “outlawing war”, and Woodrow Wilson, who plumped for the “war to end all wars” and “war to make the world safe for democracy”). Given what followed in history after some of the ‘clearly premature’ awards, one wonders if we are setting up for another “peace to ends all peace”, in the words of a memorable book title about the post WWI Anglo-French “settlement” of the middle east.

    On balance, I come away with increased respect for Le Duc Tho, who turned the award down.

  98. beaufou says:

    In a world of show offs, sometimes things go horribly wrong.

  99. MikeInSF says:


    You must be referring to that Menachem Begin/Anwar Saddat shaking hands on the White House lawn thing.

  100. WaveCatcher says:

    This greatly diminishes the credibility of the Nobel Peace Prize, if that is even possible.