I have spilled a great deal of pixels and time in these pages discussing the importance of not letting your biases get the best of you as an investor. (See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this). Further, when you are wrong, you must do more than merely acknowledge it: Embrace the error, understand it and learn from it. Traders who don’t learn these lessons very quickly become ex-traders.

If only the same were true for the pundits and politicians who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. Instead, they double down on the same bad philosophy and belief system that led to the error in the first place.

The latest example of this is former Vice President Dick Cheney. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed — one that isn’t even worthy of a link — he blames the entire Iraq fiasco on the current president, stating “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

I did a double-take when I read that: I wasn’t sure if he was discussing the current president or the man Cheney ostensibly worked for, George W. Bush. Regardless of what you think about the current sitting president — he has been an enormous disappoint for many, and his poll numbers reflect that — invading Iraq was a choice made by the Bush administration. And the only person more wrong about Iraq than Bush was the invasion’s chief advocate and architect, Cheney himself.  Continues here

Category: Really, really bad calls, Trading, UnGuru, War/Defense

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.

21 Responses to “Dick Cheney Would Make A Terrible Trader”

  1. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    “Being wrong, staying wrong, and refusing to acknowledge your errors are expensive, fatal flaws. It’s as true for politicians as it is for traders.”

    The “flaw” in Bushco’s misbegotten war — as well as their self-serving handling of the economy — was seriously harmful to many. It has only been directly fatal to roughly 5,000 US soldiers and an inestimable number of Iraqi non-combatants.

    I know a CFO whose acid test for bad decision-making is whether anyone died as a result.

    Bush, Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Feith, Gonzales, Rove, and a host of other of their associates, should be imprisoned at hard labor for a long, long time.

  2. A says:

    That he was a part of one of the most corrupt administrations is firmly etched in the history books. Did I mention that he also shot a ‘friend’ in the face ?

    Well, there were positives from the war: his old company faced increased business, as well as friends of the Bush family in the oil ventures. And it did serve to pacify the general electorate that wanted some sort of revenge for 9/11. Tell that to the 4500+ dead soldiers. Pathetic.

    As the old saying goes, the world is a corrupt place. And until the human race is universally recalled and put through a badly-needed redesign, this will always be the case. Live accordingly.

  3. BennyProfane says:

    An evil man who wants us to be involved on perpetual war. I’m dumbfounded that he and his cohorts are out in the media pining this on Obama. May they all die on a fiery plane crash, please.
    Say what you want about Bush 43, but, he at least summoned up enough class to keep his mouth shut.

  4. rd says:

    Dick Cheney would have made an excellent trader.

    He would have developed a network to get insider information that he would have acted upon ruthlessly to amass a fortune. He would then have used that fortune to find the skeletons in the closets of the prosecutors and DAs so that he would have leverage to not be prosecuted for insider trading. He would have come out of quite wealthy, similar to his time at Halliburton.

  5. ilsm says:

    There were no WMD’s in Iraq but everyone in the world knew Sunni Baaths had used Nerve Gases, Bush and Cheney ignored disposing of the Sarin being too busy looking for “yellow cake”.

    Now we hear ISIS has a supply of nreve gas found somewhere in the Sunni areas they have entered.

    When will we find out how bad Bush/Cheney were?

  6. ByteMe says:

    Who needs to be a “trader” when you own a huge amount of stock in the company you’re using your awesome position in the government to funnel business to?

  7. VennData says:

    He’s under the illusion he can be an entrepreneur

    “Vice President Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney released a video announcing the formation and launch of The Alliance for a Strong America, a 501(c)4 grassroots organization that will advocate for a restoration of American strength and power. … Vice President Cheney … will serve as Chairman and Liz Cheney … will be the group’s President. The committee is supported by citizens who are dedicated to the hard but necessary task of preserving freedom and restoring American strength and power in the wake of the Obama administration’s national security failures.”


    Like the canned GOP talking point of 2009, “They’re blaming Bush for everything” which gave those GOP voters afflicted by GOP Media Machine mind control a way to to remove themselves form the reality of the horrible GOP Presidency and concomitant GOP-controlled Congress that did nothing the GOP voter really needed, the New Cheney thinks he can form a message.

    The problem is the GOP don’t need him anymore. So without the full court press of repeated advertising, Cheney’s message will fall flat.

    Cheney if you want to get back into the downright- and kneeling position with the GOP, do something to undermine Hillary for them.

  8. WickedGreen says:

    George W. worked for Dick. Couldn’t get enough Dick. Loved Dick.

    Everyone knows that.

  9. speed racer says:

    I can’t believe that the Wall Street Journal gave that man any ink.
    I can’t believe that anybody takes Dick Cheney seriously, but many do.

    The man wasn’t right about anything.

    No WMD’s.
    We weren’t greeted as liberators.
    We weren’t in and out within six months.
    The war didn’t pay for itself.
    We didn’t have enough troops to secure the peace after the war had been won.
    The deal that they signed at the end of 2008 to not leave any US troops behind didn’t work out.
    There weren’t any terrorists in Iraq until the invasion, contrary to what we were told.

    Absolutely nothing inside Iraq was what they said it was.
    Absolutely nothing worked out like they said it would.

    Now this evil old man is saying that Obama is to blame for this fiasco.

    You just can’t make this shit up!

    Dick Cheney makes me ashamed to be an American.
    Dick Cheney makes me ashamed to be a human being.

    The man has no shame!

  10. mpetrosian says:

    Search Google for Cheney ’94 why invading Iraq would create quagmire. Back in 94 after gulf war 1 he gave this interview explaining why sending in ground troops and occupying Iraq is a bad idea and why. He lists several reasons which all came true. It’s only a minute long and fascinating.

  11. DaveWC says:

    This article assumes that Cheney believes the b.s. that he’s saying. He’s behaving more like a pump ‘n dump trader right now.

  12. farmera1 says:

    This reminds me of the BIG LIE. Say something often enough no matter how ridiculous and people will believe it. It works, yes it does.

  13. Ben Dover says:

    The Bush administration certainly made plenty of blunders. However, it amazes me that those that decry Cheyne et al simultaneously blame everything that has occurred in the Middle East over the past 6 years on the past administration. Is it just me or does everyone not recognize this as the pot calling the kettle black?? I suppose it’s just the current more polarized state of US politics at work, but COMMON people! Were our reasons for taking military action contrived and wrong? Yes. Was Iraq really just an easy scapegoat for our collective anger over 9-11? Yes. Was the choice of disbanding the Iraqi military leaving an entire generation of young men with military training disillusioned, unemployed, and unable to provide for their families a wise one? No, absolutely not.

    Okay now, let’s take a look at current leadership: the Russian “reset” that has enabled Vladimir Putin to strut about as a latter-day czar; the betrayal of allies, especially in Central Europe, not to mention Israel; snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq by failing to achieve a status of forces agreement (SOFA) that would help to keep Iraq out of the Iranian orbit; the muddled approach to Afghanistan; our feckless policy-or lack of policy-regarding Iranian nuclear weapons, not to mention Libya and Benghazi, as well as Syria.

    It is easy to criticize the foreign policy of the Obama Administration, but what are the alternatives? Succumb to the siren call of strategic disengagement offered most consistently by Senator Rand Paul? A return to traditional realism in foreign policy which emphasizes the international balance of power, the careful coordination of diplomacy and force, and the international (rather than domestic) behavior of other states? Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, reject what they see as the utopian’ism of liberal internationalism but nonetheless have supported U.S. intervention in Libya and Syria.

    Both administrations (are they’re not the only ones) are guilt of a lack of prudent use of power to secure American interests. Blunders by the CIA in the mid east can traced all the way back to the Carter Administration. We’ve just continued along that path, and it’s gotten worse over time.

    Prudent American realism, as opposed to a more traditional realism, recognizes that the internal character of regimes matters and that foreign policy must reflect the fundamental principles of liberal democracy. And unlike liberal internationalism, which holds that international law and institutions alone are sufficient to achieve peace, prudent American realism understands that there are certain problems that can be addressed only through the prudent exercise of power. Thus, the strategic objective of prudent American realism is to maintain a liberal world order characterized by freedom and prosperity.

    Prudent American realism represents a species of primacy. Primacy is based on hegemonic stability theory, which holds that a “liberal world order” does not arise spontaneously as the result of some global “invisible hand.” Instead, such a system requires a “hegemonic power, a state willing and able to provide the world with the collective goods of economic stability and international security.” The United States, as Great Britain before it, took up the role of hegemon not out of altruism but because it is in its national interest to do so.

    a foreign policy of prudent American realism must recognize certain operational principles. First, it needs to distinguish between friends and allies, on the one hand, and enemies and adversaries, on the other. For the last six years, the Obama Administration has failed to make this distinction, causing our allies to lose faith in the United States, while emboldening our enemies. Second, any attempt to spread democracy abroad must be limited by considerations of prudence. For one thing, “democracy” is not always liberal democracy. For another, U.S. resources are finite, and good strategy requires the United States to prioritize among the goals it wishes to accomplish. Third, the United States must return to the more classical connection between force and diplomacy.

    For too long, American policy makers, motivated by the assumptions of liberal internationalism, have acted as if diplomacy alone is sufficient to achieve our foreign policy goals. But as Frederick the Great once observed, “Diplomacy without force is like music without instruments.” Prudent American realism recognizes that diplomacy and force are two sides of the same coin.

    This should be what is appearing in Op Ed peices about what is happening in world relations. Instead all we have is more of this childish: “He did it!” , “Nuh, uh he did it” crap. It’s despicable.

    • Petey Wheatstraw says:

      “The United States, as Great Britain before it, took up the role of hegemon not out of altruism but because it is in its national interest to do so.”

      Funny that “altruism” was the reason these chickenhawk war criminals ultimately gave for their mishandled, bastard-child of a war, in the first place.

      This particular hegemon has diminished the fortunes of the vast majority of citizens, as well as damaging, probably beyond redemption. the ideals and ideas this nation were founded on.

      I distinctly remember “All Men” being covered by our National creed.

      Bushco intentionally stepped in multiple cow pies, for profit, while wearing the nation’s best shoes. Now, we have the shoes, and they have riches and clean feet.

      Bushco built that, and it IS despicable.

    • rd says:

      Botched military sideshows are a common cause of weakening empires. Vietnam was one and it took the US a decade to recover from that. Iraq was another and we are only half-way through the decade it will take to recover from it.

      By committing your forces and wealth to a quagmire that has no rational good outcome, enemies become emboldened to take advantage. Putin would have been far less likely to be as aggressive as he is if the US had not engaged in Iraq.

      Ultimately, a lot of multi-national corporate interests (coincidentally working very hard not to pay US taxes) were major proponents of the war to take advantage of the military supply chain as well as hoping for lucrative contracts in a free Iraq. “Nation-building” in a country that is not actually a nation was a post-debacle justification for trying to stick it out after it fell apart. I haven’t heard the same neo-con recriminations over the actual break-up of Yugoslavia that is very similar to the current breaking up of Iraq that is occurring for similar reasons – but Yugoslavia didn’t have oil.

    • 873450 says:

      “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq”

      Neocon hallucination ranks alongside “smoking gun mushroom cloud” and “Mission Accomplished”

  14. ch says:

    Cheney is looking at game differently than everyone else.

    Iraq war 2 was about defending the petrodollar from Iraq which had just moved oil pricing to euros in fall 2000. Given that petrodollar is still in force, it was successful.

    Obama is moving away from petrodollar.

    I find war to support the currency offensive but in the interest of being objective, one must objectively debate the real issue, not the canard given to the masses.

  15. Moe says:

    Is he capable of a facial expression that is not a sneer?

  16. leonardcrook says:

    Quo usque tandem abutere, Cheney, patientia nostra? Apologies to Cicero. .

  17. mpetrosian says:

    wow, what’s most interesting about this post is the number and length of comments left. The comment was that Dick Cheney would make a bad trader. Would anyone disagree with that? I don’t.

  18. Expat says:

    If you can’t understand why America is not loved all around the world, you simply have to know that Dick Cheney was never arrested, tried and executed for crimes against humanity. Bush and Cheney will ultimately go down in history alongside some of the world’s worst tyrants and murderers. And yet, they are icons and heroes to so many in the States. Doesn’t that say it all about ‘Murica.