Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Imbeciles Coming out of the Woodwork!

Is there something in the water?

Is it a planetary alignment?

Do these people realize auditions for my All-Imbecile Team is not meant to be flattering but rather homage to abject stupidity? It seems word has gotten out about my All-Imbecile Team search as lately there seems to be no shortage of morons up for consideration.

Recently, June 17 to be precise, a piece was published by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond senior economist Dr. Kartik Athreya entitled Economics is Hard. Don't Let Bloggers Tell You Otherwise.

I have reprinted a couple of the more choice lines from Dr. Athreya's essay and yes readers I have learned my lesson, I will attempt to refute his arguments rather than simply insult him, thereby NOT lending credibility to his arguments, (sure!)

The good PhD doctor starts off with this beaut:

"In this essay, I argue that neither non-economist bloggers, nor economists who portray economics - especially macroeconomic policy - as a simple enterprise with clear conclusions, are likely to contribute any insight to discussion of economics and, as a result, should be ignored by an open-minded lay public."

Say again now? Wow! With that opener you remind me of some insult throwing, refuse to tea bag like the mainstream media, idiot bloggers.

"So far, I've claimed something a bit obnoxious-sounding: that writers who have not taken a year of PhD coursework in a decent economics department (and passed their PhD qualifying exams) cannot meaningfully advance the discussion on economic policy."

And to think know-nuttin' wanna-be bloggers like myself have the gall to call PhD's piled higher and deeper, shame on me for not knowing my place and shutting up.

"The real issue is that there is extremely low likelihood that the speculations of the untrained, on a topic almost pathologically riddled by dynamic considerations and feedback effects, will offer anything new. Moreover, there is a substantial likelihood that it will instead offer something incoherent or misleading."

Here's a dynamic consideration for ya Doc,

P=(1+r) to the exponent n.

That's the compound interest equation in case you forgot- and its the underlying problem that got us into this pickle we're in- which is what can happen to many academic types, especially those ensconced at the Fed, who prefer memorization to comprehension. And since you brought up the topic of 'incoherent and misleading', you could not have chosen 2 better adjectives to describe your history re-writing former chief theorist Alan Greenspan,.

As if this were all enough, he has the gall to call for a higher standard with this gem:

"As a result, my hope is that the broader public will ask for a slightly higher bar when it comes to economics, rather than self-selecting into blogs that merely conrm half-baked views that might have been acquired from elsewhere."

Amen to that higher bar Doc and it starts with the Fed and the Treasury, (one can dream can't one?), and its easy money, serial bubble blowing, cut rates at the first sign of trouble, Greenspan put, housing's not in a bubble, chug, chug, chug frat boy attitude and policy. The Fed is the root of the cancer we now face. Easy money all the time. Rather than the being the 'taker-away of the punchbowl, the Fed is the drug pusher of choice. How fitting. The perceived cop is really the criminal.

Funny how, with the shortage of mirrors in this country, cats like Athreya at the Fed want everyone else to get one, themselves excluded. You Dr. Athreya provide yet more proof, as if we needed any more, of why the Fed should be shuttered immediately.

The only missing piece from Dr. Athreya's piece is that he is not an alum of Yale or Harvard, but rather is a Hawkeye from the Univ. Of Iowa. After reading his piece most would conclude Athreya a shoe-in for a spot on the All-Imbecile Team. Most would be wrong. I will not add Dr. Athreya to my All-Imbecile squad. No, he has been cut, instead placed on the junior varsity squad, no even good enough to make the varsity team.

In all honesty I gotta cut Dr. Athreya some slack as he is probably a ton of fun to watch Jeopardy with. He is simply a product of the culture of hubris we have come to expect from the Fed. That they are omnipotent everywhere and always.

I no doubt expect a paper like this to garner Dr. Athreya multiple speaking engagements, a future, a Nobel prize in economics, a Fed Governorship alongside numerous CNBC and Bloomberg visits as a regular guest contributor. No doubt offering up the kind of timely insight right up there with the kind we have become accustomed to from the likes of Dennis Kneale, Ron Insana and Steve Liesman at the Propaganda network.

Good speculating to you all and please remember to never forget that "an investor is a speculator who made a mistake and will not admit it".

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Anonymous said...

I was listening to PBS radio today where there were a couple of economists dueling it out over whether there should be more stimulus or cutbacks. The guy
for stimulus, last name Galbraith from some university, at one point said something very forcefully to the effect of "we should start getting rid of all the idiots against stimulus from policy decision-making". That statement
appalled me because, unlike, say, a master plumber who has hundreds of successful installations he can point to, I see economists as more like philosophers or psychologists where there is no way they can prove their opinion to be right or wrong - they can feel so, but have no way of knowing so. Thus, it
is galling to think an economist would have the hubris to insist they are absolutely correct.

To be honest, it made me think of a dog, who when feels most insecure, barks the loudest.

Keep lettin' 'em have it,


Harleydog said...


Einstein when asked the greatest invention ever replied "compound interest". Unfortunately most Keynesian economists seem to conveniently forget it only works in the lenders favor.

Spending what you don't have is ALWAYS a recipe for extreme trouble.

The sad irony is that with a few plumbers in charge at the Fed as opposed to the PhD's we might actually have a shot at getting out of this mess in one piece!