Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brad DeLong Tries to Steal "Stupidest Man Alive" Crown from Zoellick

Brad DeLong just posted that Robert Zoellick may be the "Stupidest Man Alive", for advocating a role for gold in a new monetary system. (See: In Which Bob Zoellick Makes His Play for the Stupidest Man Alive Crown)

DeLong writes:
The last thing that the world economy needs right now is another source of deflation in a financial crisis. And attaching the world economy's price level to an anchor that central banks cannot augment at need is another source of deflation--we learned that in the fifteen years after World War.
So Brad, I'm wondering does this mean you want higher prices for cell phones, iPads and personal computers? I'm also guessing you would like to see McDonald's charge $1.25 for its dollar menu items, correct?

Is this your way of trying to steal the "Stupidest Man Alive" crown from Zoellick?

Delong pants:
Markets are using gold as a speculative asset and a hedge. They are not using it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a safe store of nominal value.
Actually, there are using it as a safe store of value, and are holding it at the ready as the likely medium of exchange once you, Krugman and Bernanke drive the dollar debasement to Zimbabwe type levels.

So Brad, I know you see deflation everywhere, so I'll make you the same offer I made Krugman:
Take advantage of me, why don't you teach me a lesson and sell me at last year's prices, gold, silver, oil, sugar, corn, wheat and cotton. Go ahead sell me as much as you want. I'm really stupid about these things. I have no idea that deflation is all around. I'll buy it all.

(Hat tip to the Gold Hater, who naturally found sound analysis in DeLong's race for the "Stupidest Man Alive" crown. Writes the Gold Hater:
Zoellick's characterization of gold is trendy, but there's something to DeLong's argument here.)


  1. To the Gold Hater,

    That something is... stupid. It's the stupid, stupid.

    New rule I am proposing: Krugman, DeLong and the Gold Hater can run their printing press experiment and destroy the economy, but after they do and the rest of the people come to their senses about sound money, they have to keep using the currency they blew up.

    (Yes, I know nobody will accept that currency in exchange for real goods and services, that's the point. If they like subsistence and barter economics so much, let them subside and barter to the best of their ability. I wonder how many farmers, plumbers, car salesmen, etc., will exchange their goods and services for the mad, defunct ravings of has-been academics?)

  2. What crackpottery... raving about fears of Zimbabwe style inflation when we've had ZERO core inflation for 3 months running. You fools have no idea how bad deflation will be but you will attack anyone who wants to take action to avoid it. Lord save us from you fools!