The Wisdom of the Crowd

Friday, November 21, 2008

I know I'm late getting to this, but after seeing several different blogs point to this video, it finally dawned on me that it must be pretty good.

It is.

This is coming from someone who tends not to watch video clips since you can't skim.

Observe in only ten minutes how Peter Schiff stood his ground, often in the face of open ridicule, on a series of national television appearances as he accurately predicted the collapse of the Housing Bubble.

His arguments are solid. If any of the idiots who pooh-poohed his contention that market fundamentals were lacking had had any sense, they would have been unnerved by his calm, certain demeanor -- and then checked their premises at the first opportunity.

Plus, the video is funny. Schiff -- with some help from a thing commonly known as "reality" -- has made complete asses out of the whole lot of them.

I think I'll follow Mike N's lead by making a list of Schiff's opponents for future investment reference. It is worth noting that the Dow, which hit something like 7,500 yesterday, was about 13,000 during at least one interview on the clip, and one economist was predicting that it would hit 16,000 within the year.

My thanks to all who recommended this video. You have dispensed justice and investment advice at the same time! Who says morality isn't practical?

-- CAV

PS: Kendall J posts more on "The Continuing Collapse" over at The Crucible and Column.


: Corrected an error and added a PS.


softwareNerd said...

There are three guys who have been predicting a big fallout on CNBC etc. -- Peter Schiff, Marc Faber, and Jim Rogers. Interestingly, they're all fans of Austrian economics. Unfortunately, they're also Ron Paul fans!

I just checked Schiff's web-site, and he has Rand's CUI fourth on his recommended reading list (if you don't count his own books).

Galt needs to visit Schiff, Rogers and Faber, to see if they're open to Objectivism, rather than simply Libertarianism. ;)

Gus Van Horn said...

Good point. I also recall, probably through HBL, that Schiff recommended something by Rothbard, who is an anarchist.

You can't have capitalism without a PROPER government. That is a crucial point.

Daniel said...

The GLD ETF is lower now than it was when Schiff recommended it. As the fed continues to devalue the currency, it might be a good time to get in.

Jim May said...

You can't have capitalism without a PROPER government. That is a crucial point.

Yes. I like to make that point by explaining to people that free market capitalism is not a "system", it is a space -- a legal space established and maintained by a government in a given geographical area. The defining attribute of this particular space (as distinguished from those found in the various non-free societies) is the ban on the initiation of physical force.

All the things that we normally mean by "capitalism", from stock markets and corporations to competition, were freely created by people within this space -- not imposed from the top down by government, as with all other political ideologies which ARE systems in that sense of the word.

Not only does this focus attention on the essential trait of capitalism -- freedom -- but it also helps explain why the concept of "competition" in the use of force, as suggested by anarchists, is absurd.

z said...

I don't know why people think that people who are good on financials are prime targets for becomming objectivists. I'm not saying they necessarily aren't but, there is a a strong possibility that they are irrational in other areas. Glen Beck would be a good example. So close, yet, so, so far away. I know that Schiff has spoken on several shows with Yaron and they agreed with each other a lot. Someone should ask Yaron about that.

Gus Van Horn said...

That is a good way to take care of explaining both of those aspects of capitalism.

Matt said...

While he does recommend Rothbard, he recommends two of his less, shall I say, *foolish* works. He does, however, recommend Hazlitt and Say on top of his recommendation of CUI.

As for the video, it is certainly making it around. I've seen it on seven Objectivist blogs now (counting my own) and it has over 400,000 views. There are a couple of other similar videos that have over 100,000 themselves.

Jim May said...

An addendum to my "space" concept: The government's role is a negative one, in that is "clears a space" of the threat of coercion. By its nature, it is constrained to that negative purpose.

All positive things -- the origination of ideas, the creation of wealth, and the construction of systems, organizations and cultures towards those goals -- are performed by sovereign individuals. The government is barred from any such thing except as is necessary towards it goal of maintaining the space of freedom.

Gus Van Horn said...

Capitalism does remain, at the end of the day, a system, albeit one that permits individuals to self-organize within a space.

z said...

Well, if Schiff becomes an Objectivist, at least he has a lot of experience going on tv, telling the truth, and getting laughed at.

Gus Van Horn said...

Good one!

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to an interview with Schiff. Lew Rockwell conducts the interview but anarchy is not mentioned. Its an awesome interview. Schiff shows the difference between now and the 1920s. His predictions are scary.

John Kim

Gus Van Horn said...

No time for it now, but I'll post this for reader interest despite my low regard for the Lew Rockwell site on the strength of your past comments and recommendations.

I look forward to viewing/hearing it later.

Anonymous said...

I was put off too when I first saw that Rockwell was conducting the interview but Rockwell just asks questions and Schiff does all the talking. I would also suggest listening to the earlier interview with Schiff that Rocwell links to on the same page. That one is excellent too.

Its clear that Schiff is an advocate of limited government and not anarchism. He doesn't get to the moral level but he does know the corruption inherent in a welfare state. Its clear he has read Atlas Shrugged. I'm no fan of Lew Rockwell but I highly recommend these two interviews with Sciff. They are much more in depth than the ones he gave to the MSM.

John Kim

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for that further recommendation.

Gus Van Horn said...


RE: Your previous comment starting with, "I don't know why people think..."

Blogger failed to notify me of the comment via email, so I was unaware of it until today.

I think that such people are just as prone to be compartmentalized as anyone else. As to why people think economists like Schiff are good "candidates" for becoming Objectivists, it's probably a combination of the fact that the most obvious ill effect of modern philosophy on our lives is economic, coupled with the fact that Objectivism, unlike any other school of philosophy (or religion) upholds capitalism as moral.