Friday, October 30, 2009

Bob Murphy Saves My Career

Yes, there I was after a near death experience shaken and confused.

Perhaps, I had chosen wrong.

I had recently posted on the lives of some great economists and the fact they all lived into their 90's, but I also noted that the great comedians, such as Hope and Burns, made it to three digits before punching the clock.

Perhaps comedy should be my direction. Sure, nobody has ever laughed at my jokes, except for an Ethiopian girl, once, at Hollywood's Skybar, but, if there was one, there are probably more.

In this confused state I turned to the one place I knew would give me direction. The blog of Bob Murphy. Yes, the Bob Murphy who has written so many books, that a mere mortal, such as I, could never hope to list them all title by title, never mind read and comprehend them all. It would be he that could set me straight. And so with nervousness and anticipation, I turned to the words of the one named Murphy.

And then, yes, as if by Divine intervention he had directed a post directly at me and wrote of me as an economist, "...the lad has promise."

Not since the day I sat in Brandy Ho's restaurant in the middle of San Francisco's Chinatown, and, having finished a meal of mu shu pork, I sipped tea while reading from my fortune cookie that said "You are handsome, charming and have a unique ability to understand the world. Go forth and spread the word," have I been so moved and motivated.

But, alas, the Great Murphy does not deliver his great and powerful words without a bit of a bitch slap. He chides me for the section of a quote I had chosen to use from an earlier post.

The point of using the quote was to reinforce the fact that you needed to watch money flows, and at the time that I originally wrote the quoted words, Bernanke was pumping money at 15%. And it was also quite obvious that the money was going to investment banks and the auto industry. Now, I could have included the part where I wrote:

I continue to believe that Bernanke's huge money drops will impact the economy to the degree that the official unemployment rate in 12 months will be lower than it is right now. Murphy expects the exact opposite.
But that would have then required my explaining the change in Bernanke's money printing stance and made the post much longer and complex than I usually try to make them, especially becasue I would have to go into heavy detail about unemployment.

But I didn't address it mostly because I, again, wasn't dealing with the unemployment situation, but more so GDP, given I was discussing this in the context of the positive GDP numbers that had just come out. Which I had correctly expected, though I quote again, I also said, "The real economy will be a mess." I actually now have some unique reasons on why I think unemployment remains high and plan on putting them in a separate post, which is another reason I did want to deal with it in that post.

I do admit that my selected quote does put Bob in his most unflattering pose, but that really wasn't the intention. I actually noticed it after I copied and posted the quote. But I left it anyway.

For those of you that aren't wordsmsiths, writing is a lot like putting up a Christamas tree, you trim a branch here and add an ornament there. I thought about trimming Bob's name out, but no words came quickly to mind that would fill the hole left by Bob's trimmed name, so I went with the tried and true, better to be selectively quoted (with link), than to not be quoted at all.

All of which means that I see Bob is still playing with his GI Joe set when he really needs a James Bond action figure, which I guess I will now have to buy him for Christmas.


  1. I don't know I think you could just as well be a comedian having read the article about you in the storage locker lol no disrespect intended your columns have been very colorful lately. Seriously though I think your work is great.

  2. You can add me to the Ethiopian girl. I laughed several times while reading this post.