Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Aw heck. I don't normally do this, but I thought I'd post a little red meat I found on the Eschaton comment section about your friend and mine, Donald Luskin.

(This is after Luskin was thoroughly dissected for attempting to discredit a Column by Prof. Krugman for the NRO's increasingly inaccurately named "Krugman Truth Squad", whereby he tries to rebut a column by narrowly analyzing only the first two paragraphs, and mixes up foreign ports and domestic ports. No, I'm not making this up.)

Anyway, it's storytime kids, courtesy of one anonymous commentator:

I worked with Luskin several years ago. At our company he was pretty much universally disliked, and 100% not trusted. Still, no one thought of him as an idiot.

We worked in asset management, where liquidity of the stocks (or whatever) you are trading is important. If you have a reputation for picking good stocks, you don't want the competition to know what you're buying, because they'll start buying it too, bidding up the price of whatever you're trying to "buy low."

Anyway, Luskin's great idea in late 90's was to start a completely transparent mutual fund. Every day, every trade would be posted on the company's website.

Why? I don't know. There is no investment rationale for this structure. It's every inch as stupid as it sounds. But remember, kozmo.com got funding back then.

After setting up the fund, Luskin and his associates would publish regular commentary and sponsor discussions on the company website, using a number of unmoderated bulletin boards. I think this is the Genesis of Luskin as pundit.

As the new economy tanked (i.e., as smirk's pre-election poll numbers improved), Luskin's fund performance went real south real fast. I used to amuse myself by watching his readers tell him, again and again, what an idiot he was, and wailing to him about how he had lost all of their money.

But all good things come to an end, Luskin's stupid idea couldn't be sustained forever, and the fund was closed.

He then started "The Luskin Report" providing general market commentary, but apparently that didn't have a lot of takers.

Now he's figured out what Dennis Miller knows, and he's spouting his dandified, semi-ivy-league, subcoherent "economics" deliria, kicking desperately against the inevitable, swift tide of oblivion.

Just remember: Bush himself was smart enough to finish Yale.
I think the one line that best sums up Mr. Luskin's warped and increasingly amusing take on reality:

"To be that stupid you have to be an economics professor."

No, friend Donald, you just have to be a know-nothing critic. Or maybe, considering the bodyblows this has to be dealing to NRO's reputation, you have to be the guys who pay him.

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