Economics

Ann Coulter on the Roots of the Financial "Meltdown": "Former frat boys and pinko professors"

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 Alan Vanneman blogs a Human Events-related sales pitch from truthteller Ann Coulter:

"If you've been wondering why the financial industry has been in meltdown—and taking your 401(k) or investment portfolio down with it—now you know.

Let's face it: The former frat boys who populate Wall Street today understand economics about as well as the pinko professors whose courses they snored through.

That's why betting their entire industry on "subprime" loans to people with no jobs and no collateral made sense to them—and why betting the entire U.S. economy on the likes of Hillary and Obama makes sense to them now.

These jokers don't even know what's in their own self-interest, much less yours. Trusting them with your money is like trusting Bill Clinton to babysit your underage niece."

More here.

I'm not sure I understand, much less agree with, Coulter on financial markets, but is it wrong of me to want her to replace Ben Bernanke at the Fed?

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  1. Ann as usual, can be trusted to provide the analysis of big complicated problems with somewhat amusing stereotypes of the players involved.

  2. She does, however, have a point… excuse me throws up a little.

    All the major schools of economics (with the possible exception of the Austrians) have an incredibly shitty track record of predicting macroeconomical trends.

    It is possible for all the major actors in a market to be using bad models and as a result taking actions that do not actually benefit them. If they all are using simmilarly bad theories, you get something just like what we have here, where people are blindsided by what seems obvious in hindsight.

    Many members of my extended family are in the financial services industry, and their understanding of monetary theory as expressed at the Thanksgiving dinner is a shockingly primitive mixture or mercantilism and old school Keynseianism.

  3. Trusting them with your money is like trusting Bill Clinton to babysit your underage niece

    Or getting substantive analysis from Ann Coulter.

  4. Whoops Hit post prematurely.

    frankly, many of my aforementioned family members are people who work in the financial industry because it provides a comfortable living and because their parents/social circle made it easy to enter the industry. They are not really interested in economics and have a bunch of simple rules of thumb they use to guide them in their decision making. These rules are essentially empirical models that work for a thin slice of time in a particular sector of the industry, but are inoperative anywhere else. Because they are not underpinned by any understanding of why they work, they are absolutely unprepared when some change makes the old rules no longer useful.

  5. She’s still hot:P

  6. IANAP. but I suspect that Ms Coulter has serious brain chemical imbalance issues.

  7. She’s still hot:P

    Of the right-wing crazy bitch squad, Malkin is light-years better looking than scarecrow Coulter.

  8. The Republicans have had 8 years to head off the coming crash.
    Instead, they went off to Iraq to play war games.

    And Coulter wants to play the blame the “other side” game.
    Yeah, right.

  9. She’s still hot:P

    If your tastes run to albino Ethiopians.

  10. If the government bails your failing company out. How risky are those sub-prime loans?

  11. She’s still hot:P

    If your tastes run to albino Ethiopians.

    Make that insane albino Ethiopians.

  12. Sounds like *somebody* got snubbed by a few frat boys, along the way.

  13. I managed to find this quote on a few blogs. They attributed it to spam from Ann Coulter. It is not on Ann’s blog. One blog mentioned the Rush Limbaugh newletter, but I could not find the quote on his blog either. I’m staying skeptical about the quote’s origin for now.

  14. Still, I agree that in general, the investors who foolishly invested in overvalued securities are the ones responsible for bursting bubbles.

  15. Me thinks that some of you would love to have an “experience” with Ms. Coulter, particularly those of you most emphatic in your disparagement of her appearance.

  16. You may hate Ann now, but you’ll all miss her when she finally dies of anal gonorrhea.

  17. Stop insulting Ethiopian girls. The ugliest Ethiopian girl in the world is better looking than Coulter.

  18. What the hell is wrong with letting Bill Clinton babysit your underage niece? Is she implying statutory rape, or just that he’ll instill a bunch of liberal ideas in her head?

  19. Yeah- a slim, 6 foot blond with great legs is ugly. Oh, but physical beauty we are told is “all in the eye of the beholder.”

    Okay-but we all know that if Ann showed the slightest bit of interest, most of you would want her to hold a certain “eye”.

  20. Hunter,

    It has long been a trope of the hard right that even though Lewinsky was 22 when their affair started, it is evidence that Bill is a pedophile.

  21. All the major schools of economics (with the possible exception of the Austrians) have an incredibly shitty track record of predicting macroeconomical trends.

    Oh and you, of course, just happen to be an Austrian…or at least you drink their Kool-Aid on a regular basis. Which I know because your blithe dismissal of the very successful Chicagoan Economists shows that you’re more partisan than intellectual.

  22. Bernanke is about to drop some of his MIT Princeton economic knowledge on all you hickish austrians and you will see who the true masters of economics are. I predict that the sophisticated fiat/fractional reserve system of Bernanke/Greenspan will soon make a strong comeback and our GDP in this country is about to take off due to the low inflation and sound fundamentals we still have here.

    It is amazing that austrians can think they have a good “track record” at macroeconomic predictions when they have all been telling us how the dollar was going to crash for the last 8 years…well look idiots, America is still number 1 our economy is still the strongest in the world and the dollar is strong.

    As soon as this idiotic commodity bubble crashes you will see that inflation is well under control.

  23. Its not their education or understanding that is making a difference. It is the fact that THEY PERSONALLY MADE HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY DEALING IN SUBPRIME MORTGAGES, and are laughing all the way to the bank while the economy crumbles. As long as the “money managers” get paid for promoting pyramid schemes, then that is what they will promote.

  24. 1) i know the libertarian v-card sausage factory thing is always in full effect whenever the word “woman” is used in a blog post, much less actual mentions by actual women, but it’s still depressing all these years later. when coulter is added to the mix, the ooga ooga crowd and the check for the adam’s apple gang show up like a battle of the marching bands that just won’t quit.

    2) Okay-but we all know that if Ann showed the slightest bit of interest, most of you would want her to hold a certain “eye”.

    what the fuck?

    3) Bernanke is about to drop some of his MIT Princeton economic knowledge on all you hickish austrians and you will see who the true masters of economics are.

    serious or not, that’s an awesome sentence.

    4) is coulter an archie bunker-esque clown or do people genuinely take her seriously?

  25. She’s not really trying to be right, she’s trying to be funny/outrageous as usual.

    1 – I’d place a great deal of blame for our economic woes, probably 40% ,on the administration that increased spending some 200% and devalued the crap out of our dollar. I’d split another 40% of the blame between individuals making poor investments (buying 4 homes at twice what they should be worth) and the banks who structured the loans in the most asinine ways so as to make them TEMPORARILY affordable for people who really shouldn’t be able to afford them. I believe this was done because their capital was flowing too quickly, so finally, the remainder of the blame is placed on the fed and any regulation that kept interest rates artificially low and made for too-easy money.

  26. Dhex-

    It is called biology. Some of us are hard wired to be the energizer bunny that won’t quit when confronted with slim, 6 foot blonds with great legs, sans apparel.

    I may want to nuke the neocons, but I am practical enough to never let ideology interfer with biology.

  27. It has long been a trope of the hard right that even though Lewinsky was 22 when their affair started, it is evidence that Bill is a pedophile.

    I had never heard that one before.

    never let ideology interfere with biology.

    Words of wisdom, gentlemen. Words of wisdom.

  28. They are not really interested in economics and have a bunch of simple rules of thumb they use to guide them in their decision making. These rules are essentially empirical models that work for a thin slice of time in a particular sector of the industry, but are inoperative anywhere else.

    This is not a function of the sociology of money management. I continue to think it’s a function of the use of a method of analysis imported from the hard sciences.

    It is possible for data to deceive you if you fail to exercise common sense. When working with data, one should always be cautious that it does not lead you to overlook the obvious.

    The data said, for several years, the subprime mortgages were performing adequately. This allowed analysts and credit raters to point at the data stream and say, “These investments are sound.” No one stepped back and said, “The data’s no good because the foreclosure rate on these things is being artificially held down by rising real estate prices. Borrowers who can’t pay can just sell. What happens with real estate prices stop rising?” Or if anyone stepped back and said that, they were ignored – because you’re not supposed to answer questions by thinking about them any more; you’re just supposed to collect some data and accept the conclusions from that data.

  29. I am sure that Bernanke would be more than glad to tackle inflation a la Volcker if Bush had the cojones that Reagan had to show some freakin’ discipline. But it’s an election year and god forbid we make an adult decision to actually, you know, not want to have our cake and eat it too.

  30. Why would Bernanke care about Bush’s cojones? Are you telling me that Bernanke thinks doing a Volcker is the right thing for the american people, but he consciously is trying to rape the american people so that it will benefit his political career?

    wow that sounds like a conspiracy theory, how could bush possibly wield this much power over Bernanke’s political career? I thought the defenders of the Fed always point out it si so good because it is independent of politics and that the people making critical decisions are only looking at sophisticated economic models meant to maximize the average person’s well being?

    let me say that I’m not even advocating that Bernanke pull a Volcker, I just don’t understand what you believe to be happening behind the scenes.

  31. If there’s one group of people I’m going to trust about sound business practice, it’s a lawyer. Lawyers rival doctors in the bad business practice competition.

    I’ve shat things with better understanding of Coulter, whose knowledge of economics is limited to the Larry Kudlow school of “Bush spoke, the market is up, therefore the market loves Bush” economics.

    It is called biology. Some of us are hard wired to be the energizer bunny that won’t quit when confronted with slim, 6 foot blonds with great legs, sans apparel.

    I dunno, my biology tells me that I love curves and hips. You know the things that indicate that a woman can survive childbirth. Give me a gal like Salma Hayek over a mannish coat hanger like Coulter any day.

  32. It is called biology.

    so is rape and murder. there’s a lot of biological things under the sun; the whole point of ideology is to pen some of the more harmful tendencies (from the point of view of the ideologue, of course) into less destructive corners.

    but on with the HURR HURR HURR and NAY, NEIGH, HA HA GET IT? since it seems to nourish everyone so.

  33. “4) is coulter an archie bunker-esque clown or do people genuinely take her seriously?”

    a clown

  34. Gabe, take a breath. I never said that the Fed wasn’t insulated from political machinations. People like you and CO, on the other hand, seem to be cheering for a meltdown that would spell disaster for the entire planet because you’re beholden to worshipping at the font of Axiomatic Anarchism.

    And it isn’t Bush wielding power over Bernanke’s career; it’s Bush wielding power over Bernanke so it benefits McCain.

  35. The best thing about dating Ann Coulter is that her genetalia can keep a 6-pack cold and still have room for a couple of frozen mugs.

  36. Some males are also attracted to intelligence so that our offspring are less likely to be idiots.

    Evolutionarily this would only make Coulter appealing for a short term fling or low cost/risk engagement.

  37. “And it isn’t Bush wielding power over Bernanke’s career; it’s Bush wielding power over Bernanke so it benefits McCain.”

    I don’t understand your world view on how Bush can wield power over Bernanke? Bush won’t appoint another fed chairman(barring some kind of martial law scenario)….so how do Bush’s cojones stop Bernanke doing what he thinks is “the right” thing to do?

  38. Gabe and Dhex-

    Please, lighten up. There’s no need to fear Ann Coulter having a position in a LibertyMike administration. As for Colin and Guy Montag……

  39. In case anyone really cares, the quotation came, not from Ann’s column, but a “signed” email, with her pic, sent to me plugging a financial newsletter ($99.95 a year) written by some dude. I sent away for a free newsletter from Newt Gingrich. Apparently, Newt, Ann, and others have some sort of deal with Human Events. They plug each other’s products and split the take. The odds are very good that someone other than Ann wrote the text, but her picture and signature were on the email I received.

  40. So Ayn,

    you are admitting that your limited defense of Bernanke was a bunch of crap?

    That leaves your total contribution here as a bunch of name calling. As usual.

  41. It has long been a trope of the hard right that even though Lewinsky was 22 when their affair started, it is evidence that Bill is a pedophile.

    Ann Coulter also found Bill Clinton’s constant womanizing as evidence that he was gay. Her logical train of thought:

    1. Clinton’s womanizing was evidence of narcissism
    2. Homosexuality is essentially narcissism since your attracted to someone who looks similar to you
    C. Therefore Clinton = teh ghey!!!!

    Awesome isn’t it.

  42. do people genuinely take her seriously?

    You see her wraithlike visage on TV less and less these days so I’m thinking her reign of ignorance is coming to an end as her octogenarian Republican fan base gradually but inevitably dies out.

  43. I worked on both the sell-side and the buy-side (asset management) for several Wall Street firms for many years, first as an economist and later as an asset manager. Observations:

    1) the vast majority of those who trade in securities have only a vague understanding of economics. Most have business degrees with only a smattering of economics-related classes in their backgrounds. That’s why firms hire economists (and then ignore them).

    2) the incentive structure is based around near-term performance goals. All performance goals are benchmarked against, first, what the general market is doing and, second, how the competition is doing. For this reason there are huge incentives for herding and price chasing. If a sector is doing well one better not be against it — so everyone piles in, making the problem worse. I worked with two equity managers who refused to buy dot.com stocks and were fired approximately a month before the bubble burst for poor performance the previous two years.

    3) individuals never have to give their bonuses back. The incentive is to seek returns now, demonstrate one’s worth and get rich. Even if you know that the stuff you are buying or selling is shit, you just hope it does not crash before bonus checks are cut.

    Perfect case in point: I had argued strongly in 1998 that our trading desk should not hold positions in Russian GKOs and should never hedge positions with Russian counter-parties since I thought a devaluation and possible default was pending. Our traders did the exact opposite because the potential bonuses they might expect were far too alluring. And the big bosses did not have enough knowledge to decide between what I said and what the trader said and did nothing.

    So Coulter has a point. But I still think she’s freaking ugly as hell.

  44. “Yeah- a slim, 6 foot blond with great legs is ugly. Oh, but physical beauty we are told is “all in the eye of the beholder.”

    You forgot to mention her sexy Adam’s apple.

    Okay-but we all know that if Ann showed the slightest bit of interest, most of you would want her to hold a certain “eye”.

    Sorry. I prefer my woman to be penis-free.

  45. you are admitting that your limited defense of Bernanke was a bunch of crap?

    That leaves your total contribution here as a bunch of name calling. As usual.

    No to the first question. Learn to read.

    Secondly, who did I call names, again?

    Please address the argument that it is, in fact, the Republicans who are directing the action on this temporary economic setback and not Bernanke. That’s my take. Try to refrain from ad hominems.

  46. “It is called biology. Some of us are hard wired to be the energizer bunny that won’t quit when confronted with slim, 6 foot blonds with great legs, sans apparel. ”

    She’s not slim, she’s built like a condom filled with wire hangers.

  47. the foreclosure rate on these things is being artificially held down by rising real estate prices.

    The trend is your friend. Until it isn’t.

  48. Is it even near the truth to say that the “entire” economy has been bet on subprime loans? Last I checked, there were many, many other areas that the financial sector was invested in.

  49. Ayn, take a deep breath…this might not have been name calling exactly…

    “because you’re beholden to worshipping at the font of Axiomatic Anarchism. ”

    but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a compliment.

    Your started off by saying that you are “sure” that Bernanke would do a Volcker but Bush won’t let him because he doesn’t have the “cojones”.

    This made no sense. So then you said:

    “And it isn’t Bush wielding power over Bernanke’s career; it’s Bush wielding power over Bernanke so it benefits McCain.”

    How are the republicans/bush/McCain controlling Bernanke? Bernanke has already been appointed. For someone who doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories your arguments make no sense…what the hell can republicans do to Bernnake that would make him deliberately do what he thinks is wrong?

    ayn randian then told cracker to
    “Learn to read.”…which is kinda like calling someone illiterate….then ayn randian tells cracker not to call anyone names.

  50. Oh to have the faculty of hAVARD MANAGE A PORTFOLIO OF STOCKS. Why is it that Havard doesn’t entrust their portfolio to members of their august business school?

    For that matter can someone explain to me how anyone could lend money, I mean mid 6 figures to someone with no job? Do you suppose this was done at the direction of graduates of these business schools and our political wonders?

    Ann gets it while so many act like metrosexuals.

  51. I’d say that the government bet a large portion of the economy on taking over Iraq and “securing our oil supplies” except that Sadam was producing more oil than we have so far. No it seems they bet their carlyle capital and halliburton shares on rising oil prices.

    The truth is that the U.S. military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world. But as a wise man once said, don’t confuse facts with reality. The reality is that even U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) does not know precisely where and how much energy it consumes. This is my Fact Zero.

    Below I give some facts and figures on U.S. military oil consumption based mostly on official statistics.[1]

    FACT 1: The DoD’s total primary energy consumption in Fiscal Year 2006 was 1100 trillion Btu. It corresponds to only 1% of total energy consumption in USA. For those of you who think that this is not much then read the next sentence.

    Nigeria, with a population of more than 140 million, consumes as much energy as the U.S. military.

  52. She’s still hot:P

    Coulter has cigarette skin. I’ve never been one for finding the prematurely aged that attractive.

    Trusting them with your money is like trusting Bill Clinton to babysit your underage niece.

    Bill Clinton is a chronic philanderer, but I see no reason to call him a child-molester.

  53. “People like you{gabe} and CO, on the other hand, seem to be cheering for a meltdown that would spell disaster for the entire planet”

    Ayn Randian, you seem to have some supersticious worry that my psychic energy is causing a global meltdown. Trust me I don’t have that power. I also haven’t enjoyed having to worry about what the Fed is going to do to destroy my ability to raise a nice upper middle class family.

    However, upon coming to the conclusion that the dollar was in big trouble I did switch over to a career in the energy industry about 7 years ago and yes I have accumulated silver and gold mining shares over that period so yes I am rooting for Bernanke to continue to inflate away. That doesn’t mean I want the world to end, it means I want people to wake up and demand a better monetary policy. For the good of humanity, for the good of my children’s children. This would include getting rid of the federal reserve bank all together…or at least like Milton Friedman advised…..having a computer that just increases money supply at 2% a year come hell or high water. Reasonoids still like Milton right? or is he considered a racist now?

    As long as the majority of people who call themselves Ayn Randian still cling to the idea that the Federal Reserve is wholesome capitalism apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream then yes I hope that people like you get poorer…you should know better.

    How is that someone who calls themselves Ayn Randian becomes so attached to defending one of the main planks of the Communist Manifesto, a central bank?

  54. “””What the hell is wrong with letting Bill Clinton babysit your underage niece?”””

    I would trust him more with my underage niece than my wife!

  55. Coulter has made a living out of whining about people whining.

  56. where did I defend a central bank? My points have been:

    – Don’t blame Bernanke. Blame the government for whom he works.
    – Don’t worship Austrian economics as “THE LONE TRUE WAY”; it makes you sound all cult-like and, funnily enough, like an Ayn Rand worshipper.

    As long as the majority of people who call themselves Ayn Randian still cling to the idea that the Federal Reserve is wholesome capitalism apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream then yes I hope that people like you get poorer…you should know better.

    Feel free to quote me all day long where I said anything even close to reflecting that sentiment. I haven’t and I won’t. So now you can feel free to quit yapping.

  57. She’s still hot:P
    No. Just no. She’s built like Olive Oyl, looks like a West Hollywood transvestite and is crazier than a shithouse rat.

  58. This just in: Ann Coulter Attributes Problem to Leftists, Atheists, Girly-Men.

    But now, Sports.

  59. I’d just like to know how you believe Bush is putting pressure on Bernanke to not raise rates?

    Austrians say we should get rid of the federal reserve and have a sounder monetary policy, one that is not dependent on socializing the risks of fractionalized banking. Putting the taxpayer on the hook for giving corporate welfare to irresponsible banks is not soemthing austrians are in favor of.

    Austrians say we should have a currency that can’t be inflated at the whims of certain powerful people who wish to increase government borrowing for whatever purpose.

    Some portion of the austrians(like me) generally don’t trust that the people raising and lowering interest rates …which tend to whipsaw the economy…can do so without regard to the financial interest of a small group of politically powerful people. We think it is a good bet that they will whipsaw the economy in ways that create a serious strategic disdavantage for the majority who have no idea when the strings and levers are being pushed and pulled.

    Never mind the historical facts regarding who created the fed and why they wanted it created and why that gives credence to these fears.

    The people who dislike the austrians tend to claim that these fears are the product conspiracy nuttery or anti-semitism.

    Given that you seem highly critical of the austrians and supportive of Bernanke…I’d really like to understand why you think it is that Bernanke is not free to do what his economic training tells him would be the right thing to do. It seems you think he should do a volcker and raise rates….yet you avoid the question about how/why he would be afraid to do the right thing.

    And if he is afraid to do the right thing it should be his cajones you are critizing …not Bushes.

  60. It seems you think he should do a volcker and raise rates….yet you avoid the question about how/why he would be afraid to do the right thing.

    Didn’t I just say that the Fed is subject to political pressures as well?

    The White House, the Hill and Wall Street all have a strong incentive to pressure the Fed to keep interest rates low. If I were more of a crank than I am, I’d say it might have something to do with being able to point to the unemployment rate and go “See!? The economy’s doing GREAT!”

  61. never let ideology interfere with biology.

    Words of wisdom, gentlemen. Words of wisdom.

    The central lesson of our time is that actions that have short term benefits can have disastorous long term consequences.

    You want to rethink that wisdom again, chief?

  62. [to myself] you want to check your tags before posting, sport?

  63. Ayn, I am kind of confused;

    Exactly how can George Bush pressure the Fed to do anything?

    What’s the mechanism?

  64. “austrian” = “major school”
    “austrian” = “predict”

    giggle.

  65. Rand says:

    “Didn’t I just say that the Fed is subject to political pressures as well?”

    yes, we saw you say that, political pressure in the accidentalist view means that a politiican fears not being re-elected so he does what he thinks will get him re-elected. Bush and the republicans don’t have much of a chance of having much to do with the next appointment decision…so how could they be putting political pressure on him? and if he is so easily pressured into doing what you think is the wrong thing then doesn’t that imply the institution is a horrible idea to begin with? and since the austrians are the only school of thought saying this…how can you be so defensive of the more socialist/fascists economics theories and so vengeful towards the one school of thought pointing some serious fundamental problems with the politicians favored monetary systems?

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