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September 14, 2008

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Brendan's phrase, "National Review Online's Donald Luskin" is the kind of spin that Brendan normally criticizes. Luskin does write for National Review Online, but that description hardly does justice to his expertise.

Luskin is Chief investment officer at Trend Macrolytics LLC, an independent economics and investment consulting firm serving institutional investors. He's a regular guest on CNBC's "Kudlow & Company" and also appears as an expert on Bloomberg TV, CNN, and Fox News.

So David, because Luskin has a typed resume and appears on the TeeVee, he's therefore brilliant and respectable?

Brad DeLong's blog makes it clear IMHO that he's very smart. Unfortunately, his quote descends to the childlishness of assuming that people who disagree with his world view are stupid. Actually, there are some very smart left-wing economists and some very smart free-market economists. The academic world includes few of the free-market type, which may be a source of Professor DeLong's confusion.

mglewis, my point was that it unfairly demeans Luskin to merely identify him as "National Review's," as if he were a pet dog owned by that magazine. Brendan's post sounds like his usual fairness has been influenced by having been insulted. Luskin's competence can be shown by his articles in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. The best measure, in my book, would be the accuracy of his predictions. I presume Luskin has done OK by this measure, or he wouldn't retain his position at Trend Macrolytics.

Paul Krugman is clearly super-smart, based on his academic writings. Yet, during his tenure as New York Times pundit, he has been wrong again and again. As the old joke goes, during Bush's tenure, Krugman correctly predicted 12 of the last 2 recessions.

> it unfairly demeans Luskin to merely identify him as "National
> Review's," as if he were a pet dog owned by that magazine

This is a typical way of referring to someone who writes regularly for a periodical (or web site), when one is referring to the work that s/he has done for that periodical.

Given that, I find your objection to the use of that phrase puzzling.

As far as Trend Macrolytics keeping Luskin on, there is always a market for people who are willing to predict that if you give tax cuts to the rich, deregulate everything, repeal estate taxes, and stop taxing capital gains, and then close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears, everything will turn out great. They never have to be correct, they just have to be quotable when it comes time to decide whether to, say, give tax cuts to the rich, or stop taxing capital gains.

He predicted that housing prices were at the bottom four months ago, he predicted a couple months ago that the financial sector was already starting to recover, he thinks that the economy is doing fine and that we are neither in nor headed towards a recession (as of a month ago), that the economic recovery is well underway (as of April), that the economic recovery is well underway (as of January), and that the economic recovery is well underway (as of last October.)

And I'm sure he got paid plenty.

-fred

I don't think Luskin will leave Trend Macrolytics as it's a three person firm and he's a co-founder.

It's unlikely that he would fire himself.

It's much worse than you think. He also has Arthur Laffer, Kevin Hassett, Phil Gramm.

http://econ4obama.blogspot.com/2008/06/other-list-mccains-economists.html

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