Category Archives: ben stein watch

Ben Stein Watch: March 29, 2009

Ben Stein counts Jim Cramer as a friend. And millions of people watched the showdown between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer on The Daily Show. But judging by his column this week, Cramer’s friend Mr Stein wasn’t one of them: … Continue reading

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Adventures in Flackery, Private Jet Edition

Two high-profile financial columnists filed two strikingly similar opinions on corporate jets today: A private plane is really a flying office. It is a way for a busy executive to get from one place to another as efficiently as possible, … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: February 8, 2009

What year does Ben Stein think that he’s in? On the one hand, he talks about "President Obama" in his latest column, so he must have some inkling that it’s 2009. But his overall message is very mid-2007: there’s a … Continue reading

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The University of Vermont Uninvites Ben Stein

The good news is that Ben Stein is not going to be the University of Vermont’s commencement speaker after all: the choice of Stein caused such an uproar that he withdrew. The bad news is that the uproar seems to … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: January 25, 2009

Ben Stein devotes his latest column to the subject of profligacy. It’s a subject he knows a lot about: he has filled previous columns with paeans to expense-account temples like Morton’s and Mr Chow, and he regularly talks lovingly about … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: January 11, 2009

Ben Stein sat in on some cabinet meetings in 1974, and learned that high-ranking political officials aren’t always super-smart. This, he seems to think, was not a good thing. He then says that since even very smart people have been … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: December 28, 2008

Ben Stein is some kind of seer: About two years ago, a little delegation from a major investment bank arrived at my home in Beverly Hills. These nice young people were from the bank’s “wealth management division.”… They told me … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: Now on NYTimes.com

The NYT has a contributor’s page for Ben Stein; I go there at weekends to see whether he’s lobbed another softball in my direction. What I never dreamed, however, was that I could hit those balls straight back onto nytimes.com, … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: December 14, 2008

Are you worried about the state of the economy? Fear not! Ben Stein has a solution: "the federal government," he says, "has to guarantee loans made by lenders". This looks like English. It has English syntax. But I don’t think … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: November 30, 2008

Ben Stein, last week, was all in favor of the government spending vast amounts of money. A truly serious stimulus package is very much in order. It has to be big enough and last long enough that Americans do not … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: November 23, 2008

I think it’s fair to say that Ben Stein has officially capitulated. In his panicked and unhelpful column this week he says that the economy is "shot through and through with fear, even terror", and that things could get much … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: November 8, 2008

Just how much does Ben Stein love his "mighty Cadillac STS-V"? So much, it seems, that he considers its survival a matter of national security. Srsly: The national security considerations make saving General Motors, Ford and Chrysler a life-or-death matter. … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: October 26, 2008

Here’s a quick pop quiz for you, to see how well you understand the credit crisis. There’s only one question: What makes a bank insolvent? (a) When it doesn’t have enough money to pay all its obligations, because the loans … Continue reading

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Idiotic CDS Proposal of the Day, Ben Stein Edition

On Sunday, I was quite rude about Karen Shaw Petrou, who thinks it would be a good idea to ban all CDS trading in the future: I explained that total CDS losses would skyrocket as a result, since no one … Continue reading

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Great Moments in Punditry, Even-A-Stopped-Clock Edition

Which prescient commentator wrote this, all the way back in January? The Fed is still behind the curve. There is a real solvency fear out there right now — a fear to lend at all, even at apparently advantageous rates. … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: October 12, 2008

Ben Stein, October 2007: If you are a smart long-term investor, do not pay any attention to short-term developments. They are often reported by people whose motivation may be to scare you (screaming about the subprime “crisis”)… In the very … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: September 28, 2008

Faced with Hank Paulson’s request for $700 billion to bail out troubled banks, everybody has their own idea which they think will work better. Including, heaven help us, Ben Stein: If we are actually thinking about tossing the Constitution out … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: September 14, 2008

Ben Stein this week has decided to tell us that it’s easy to overestimate (a) the amount of harm that government does, and (b) the amount of good that government can do. Being Ben Stein, of course, he’s a little … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: August 31, 2008

Of the two candidates for president of the United States, one has an intelligent, coherent, and sophisticated economic policy. The other is quite open about the fact that he has almost no grasp of economics and that he is utterly … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: August 24, 2008

Would you rather sit on an airplane than talk on a cellphone? Do you stare openly and voraciously at New Yorkers when you walk down Sixth Avenue? If your answers to both these questions are yes, then I highly recommend … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: August 10, 2008

I hope you’re sitting down for this one: Ben Stein has written a perfectly good column this week. It’s about fiscal responsibility: he says that the US needs to raise taxes, not cut them, and that if we’re going to … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: July 27, 2008

Ben Stein has some news for you, this week. "The economy isn’t at its best," he concedes. "But over all, it’s not all that bad." Yes, little Benjy Sunshine is back, and he’s up to the same old tricks, especially … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: July 13, 2008

I’ve spent an absolutely wonderful weekend celebrating my sister’s wedding, so I have no appetite whatsoever for addressing at any length Ben Stein writing on "the economics of love". Trust me, the column is just as as unpleasant as it … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: June 29, 2008

Shorter Ben Stein: High gasoline prices don’t much affect me, or my dentist, or other people earning more than half a million dollars a year. Now it’s true that people on lower wages feel the oil-price rise more keenly. But … Continue reading

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Ben Stein Watch: June 22, 2008

Ben Stein "got a queasy feeling a few weeks ago" when he "read about a talk" given by Ben Bernanke. Thus was this week’s column born, if you’ll be kind enough to permit him: Please let me explain why I … Continue reading

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