By Barry Ritholtz - September 14th, 2009, 11:08AM
While everyone is so focused on the anniversary of Lehman Brothers (9/15) and AIG (9/16), today is a different sort of anniversary: Its been exactly one year months since the single dumbest column ever published in The Washington Post appeared: Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line.
Breathtaking in its ignorance, shocking in its fallibility, astonishing in its author’s perversely misperceived world view, it stands as a monument to sheer cluelessness in a single person:
“There have been 11 recessions since the Great Depression. And we’re nowhere close to being in the 12th one now. This isn’t just a matter of opinion. Words — even words as seemingly subjective as “recession” — have meaning.”
-September 14, 2008
It turned out that we were already in a recession for 9 months — and it was about to get a whole lot worse.
The article goes on to deny the Housing slump, misreads the debt markets, recommends equities, states that bank capital was more than sufficient, looked at employment trends as proof there was no recession, applauds economic growth levels, decried the use of the terms crisis” and “meltdown” — and gets every single one exactly wrong.
If you had a time machine, knew the future, and purposefully tried to write something where every word was literally wrong, you could not have done a better job.
Be sure to read the whole embarrassing thing if you want to enjoy a good chuckle.
Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line
By Donald Luskin
Sunday, September 14, 2008; B01