15 Apr 2009

Ben Stein Suspicious of Those Untrained In the Ways of High Finance

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This is too rich. Bob Roddis–a carbon-based Google Alerts–sent me this ridiculous Ben Stein article. It contains such gems as the following:

They allowed simply criminal self-dealing in the form of executive compensation—and just plain stealing—from Wall Street to Main Street. They did not stop the pools of manipulators and looters on Wall Street and in Greenwich from running wild. Essentially, they took the community swimming pool that had been the playground of people planning retirement—the stock market—and allowed sharks to swim in it.

The pitiful destruction of Americans’ hopes for retirement is the result. The demolition of American hopes for a brighter tomorrow is the result. It did not happen by accident. It happened because criminals and fast talkers were running the system that “served” American savers and robbing it blind.

Now I’m being so harsh on Stein because he is supposed to understand how market economies work. (If Oliver Stone said the above, I wouldn’t have bothered blogging it.)

But the absolute best is this:

But now we have Mr. Obama as president. He promised “change you can believe in.” He said he had a plan. He said he knew what to do. Now, somehow, some of us were dubious. Here was a guy with zero serious training in economics, with no academic accomplishments in this field that anyone knows about. But supposedly he was surrounded by geniuses and they would show him the way to prosperity.

I can’t believe this guy. Let’s go to the tape.

And just to add insult to injury, Stein tells us that the Depression was the fault of the Fed not printing enough dollars:

What I do know is that Professor Milton Friedman and top-grade economist Anna Jacobson Schwartz showed in A Monetary History of the United States that the Depression was created by allowing banks to fail (see Lehman Brothers), among other things, and was prolonged by (among other things) repeatedly taking “half measures” when full measures were needed.

What about Smoot-Hawley (or Hawley-Smoot)? Anyone?

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