Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Barry Ritholtz: Ideological Idiocy

Barry Ritholtz lashes out at the people who caused our current mess but seem incapable of realizing (or at least admitting) that they were completely and totally wrong. Or in Ritholtz's words, the "ne'er do wells, clueless dolts, political hacks, and oh, let's just be blunt and call them what they are -- total Idiots." It's a great post. What's most frustrating isn't the lots of people made gargantuan mistakes (although that is frustrating), it's that those same people refuse to admit they were wrong, engaging instead in revisionist history and ex post rationalization of the worst kind. This is related to something I touched on a few months ago, when the fad was to blame the housing/credit crisis on the Normal Business Cycle. Instead of admitting that their stupidity got us into the crisis, people adopt a deterministic "this is just a normal business cycle" argument because it allows them to excuse their own malfeasance. That is, they can say to themselves, "It wasn't my actions that led to this recession, it was the unstoppable forces of the normal business cycle. I had no choice."



Theirs nots of dummies.