The Brandon Copple Blog

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Bueller? Bueller? Merrill?

Posted by bcopple on March 11, 2009

This loong piece is worth watching, and significant, not so much as a tribute to Peter Schiff but as a punch in the noses of some of the persistent nimrods of financial punditry.

Schiff is clearly a smart guy, although I don’t know much about him, and don’t really care. I do admire that he not only forecast the credit bubble and the catastrophe that would result when it popped, but also spoke up about it, even as the pinheads on cable news repeatedly laughed in his face.

Of course we know now that the people laughing at Peter Schiff were (and are) total humps. Arthur Laffer is seen swatting away Schiff’s prediction of a debt-driven recession on Aug. 26, 2006. “We’re gonna have a nice slowdown but it’s not gonna be a crash,” says the man who gave us the Laffer Curve (actually he wrote it on a napkin and gave it to Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, who fed it to us).

Also shown to be a buffoon: actor/economist Ben Stein. Now, Ben Stein is a decent writer who has a Sunday New York Times column (although it’s often full of shit). But he should limit his TV work to schlepping eye drops. In this clip, Stein proclaims Merrill Lynch “an astonishingly well-run company”and declares its stock a “super bargain.” That was back in August 2007, when Merrill shares traded at $70. If you listened to Ben and bought Merrill stock, I’m sorry. Merrill was sold to Bank of America for $29 a share last September.

Lesson: don’t believe any of the clowns on TV, especially this guy.

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