Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Krazy Kristol tops 2008 worst list

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Foreign Policy has published its list of "The 10 Worst Predictions for 2008." Topping the list: Krazy Bill Kristol, with this doozy:

If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she's going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then... Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I'll predict that right now.

He predicted that "right now" on Fox New Sunday on December 17, 2006 -- and, of course, it turned out, like so much of what he predicts, to be entirely wrong.

But was it really a worse prediction that this truly appalling one -- this dangerously misleading one -- from Crazy Jim Cramer?

Peter writes: "Should I be worried about Bear Stearns in terms of liquidity and get my money out of there?" No! No! No! Bear Stearns is fine! Do not take your money out... Bear Stearns is not in trouble. I mean, if anything they're more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear! That's just being silly! Don't be silly!"

Yeah, how'd that work out? Bear collapsed six days later.

Kristol was just doing what so many political pundits do, namely, making ill-informed, partisanized predictions, whereas Cramer was actually giving investment advice.

So what if you accepted Kristol's prediction? Unless you had money on the outcome of the Democratic primaries, which you shouldn't have had, what did you lose by agreeing with him that Hillary was going to win? Back then, before Iowa, many people, including me, thought that she was going to win. She was well ahead in the polls, after all, and Obama had not yet become, well, Obama.

But if you accepted Cramer's prediction? Well, you could have lost a lot of money.

In other words, what Kristol predicted was wrong, but what Cramer predicted was both wrong and deeply irresponsible.

Now, what was clear long before the Bear collapse was that you shouldn't trust Cramer with your money -- or any single investment advisor, for that matter -- and you deserve some of the blame if you accepted Cramer's word on Bear without doing your own due diligence, but that doesn't excuse Cramer from being so downright ignorant just days ahead of one of the biggest corporate meltdowns in American history.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


  • Cramer's quote was taken completely out of context. The call concerned deposits in accounts, which were FDIC insured. He was not saying to hold on to Bear Stearns stock.

    By Blogger Edward Copeland, at 10:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home