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Michael Boskin on “The Obama Crash”

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On December 7, 2009 @ 6:53 am In Politics,Really, really bad calls | Comments Disabled

They never seem to learn, do they?

The idealogues who use the ups and downs of markets to critique political figures. These, rigid, rabid partisans care not the least about your investing dollars; rather, the hardcore political junkies are more than happy to lose you money, so long as they can score political blood in the process.

Michael Boskin is only the latest in a series people who will LOSE YOU MONEY if you listen to their political drivel.

Remember Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line [1], the worst timed Op-Ed in the history of publishing? Well, Boskin is giving that idiocy a run for its money-losing leader status with this “classic” political polemic in the WSJ exactly 9 months ago today.

Boskin’s screed managed to bottom tick the lowest market price in decades: March 6 2009: Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow [2]. Had you avoided equities based on his political critique, you would have missed the best rally in 75 years.

What was the blame that Boskin — the man who helped institutionalize the under-reporting of inflation for a generation — made?

“It’s hard not to see the continued sell-off on Wall Street and the growing fear on Main Street as a product, at least in part, of the realization that our new president’s policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy, not just mitigate the recession and financial crisis.”

This leads to an obvious question: If the market sell off was caused by the new President’s policies — then just 6 weeks on the job — what caused the 65% market rally since that Op-Ed was published? By Boskin’s own logic, it must be those same Obama policies. (My own, non-biased, non-partisan, non-money losing views as to why the market has rallied are here [3]).

When you see the world through ideological glasses, than everything is clearly black and white, unlike in the real world, where there are nuances and shades of gray. Miss that and you miss reality. This is part of the reason why Politics as an investment strategy is a surefire way to hurt your own finances.

I am not a defender of Obama’s economic policies; I am an equal opportunity critic. After 8 years of bashing Bush’ awful economic policies and massive deficits, regular readers know I give the Obama errors no quarter. Indeed, I have been called one of his 14 most strident economic critics [4].

But the sort of partisan, money losing silliness that Boskin pushed via the WSJ should act as a reminder to investors everywhere: Mixing Politics with market action is a  money losing venture.

Markets are Rorschach tests [5]; they frequently reveal more about the commentator then the commentator reveals about them. The ones who try to draw political conclusions from markets are deadly to your financial well being.  Avoid these people like the capital destroying viral infections they are . . .

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Previously:
Markets Are Rorschach Inkbot Tests [6] (March 2, 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/markets-are-rorschach-inkbot-tests/

Was the ‘00-03 Crash Bush’s Fault? ‘09 Obama’s? [7] (March 5th, 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/2000-crash-bush-09-obama/

Source:
Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow [2]
MICHAEL J. BOSKIN
WSJ, MARCH 6, 2009

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123629969453946717.html


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/12/michael-boskin-on-the-obama-crash/

URLs in this post:

[1] Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/quit-doling-out-that-bad-economy-line/

[2] Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123629969453946717.html

[3] here: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog../2009/10/the-most-hated-rally-in-wall-street-history/

[4] 14 most strident economic critics: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/04/16/cassandras/index.html

[5] Rorschach tests: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/?domains=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ritholtz.com%2F&sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ritholtz.com%2F&cx=015905226837203657063%3Ax1cwdcykvvw&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&cof=FORID%3A11&s=Search&q=roschact&sa.x=0&sa.y=0#1052

[6] Markets Are Rorschach Inkbot Tests: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/09/2009/03/markets-are-rorschach-inkbot-tests/

[7] Was the ‘00-03 Crash Bush’s Fault? ‘09 Obama’s?: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/2000-crash-bush-09-obama/

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