Tuesday, July 15, 2008<

Larry Kudlow: Hack

I enjoy reading the Corner on the National Review Online because it's always good to get the other side's perspective, and they have some intelligent and thoughtful writers working for them.

Larry Kudlow is not one of them.

Kudlow's specialty is linking economic news to political events in such a way as to prove the correctness of conservative ideas about the economy.

Here's a classic example:
after Obama’s big North Carolina win, a night he nearly carried Indiana, stocks opened way down. . . Markets don’t like Obama. If he wins alongside Democratic gains in the House and Senate, taxes are going up big time.
I see, so markets don't like Obama and therefore they go down when he does well. I guess the markets going down on May 7 (the day after the NC primary) didn't have anything to do with this:
On Wednesday, stocks ended sharply lower as fresh record highs for crude-oil prices touched off concerns that the stock market's recent gains might have been premature as consumers grapple with rising energy and food costs.
Kudlow is smart enough to know that the movement of the markets aren't so easily explained by a single factor (be it movement in oil prices or Obama winning the NC primary) - if they were, I would be a much better investor. That leads me to believe that Kudlow is being intentionally disingenuous and trying to use his label as a financial expert to push a political agenda.

The Corner is filled with a bunch of very smart political commentators, so I find it hard to believe that they can't see through Kudlow's rhetorical tricks. So I would appeal to them from a self-interested standpoint: Kudlow makes you all look like hacks, and he shouldn't be allowed to blog about politics.

Anyway, here's Kudlow's latest foray into political commentary:
In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling . . . Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136. . . Now isn’t this interesting?
Here's the Wall Street Journal's take:
Crude futures were recently down $8.14 at $137.04 a barrel in New York, weighed down by several factors. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries gave a downbeat outlook for world oil demand in coming months. Traders also said it appears that some funds are unloading positions, either to book profits from oil's hefty long-term rally or to raise money to cover soured bets on credit securities that can't be unloaded.
Not to mention the fact that the news about Bush lifting the offshore oil drilling ban was known to the world at least by 3:35pm EST yesterday (July 14), yet the price of oil only went down $0.10 from 3:35pm until the market closed, and it opened up this morning about $0.60.

Does this guy even look at the data before he starts writing?

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