Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Liesman's Follies

CNBC's senior economic dunce Steve Liesman managed to substantially reduce his already-low credibility on matters economic in just a few minutes yesterday morning.

In one feeble attempt to cheer on equity markets and spread economic happy talk, Liesman held up a basketball and a coin. He then compared, I believe, the circumferences of the two objects- or perhaps the volume, it doesn't really matter- in order to focus attention on those currently employed in the US economy.

Laughably, the economic illiterate CNBC staffer tried to dismiss the (at least) 10.2% unemployment rate by claiming that so many Americans are employed that it just seems silly to focus on the comparatively fewer who are not.

This is certainly news to anyone with academic training in economics- which, of course, does not include Liesman.

But that stunt paled in comparison to Liesman's next idiotic utterance.

In a discussion of the amount of TARP funds either repaid or uncommitted, Liesman observed that it was about enough money to "repay the Chinese."

Let's recall that the TARP money was essentially printed and dispensed to rescue a diverse group of US entities with some connection, however tenuous, to banking, which were thought to be in danger of failure.

The misunderstood and largely inappropriately implemented emergency legislation, as demanded by then-Treasury Secretary Paulson, gave the impression that TARP funds were expected to be recovered, and were only a temporary measure.

So, what the CNBC economic idiot is recommending is that we take funds which were to be temporary in nature, the result of running government printing presses extra shifts, and simply buy out Chinese holders of US obligations.

If it weren't so hysterically comical, it would be tragic. How can anyone actually be this dense about economics and be employed by a cable network devoted to business news?

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