NYT Hits ‘TV Commentator’ Kudlow for Faulty Predictions...But What About Krugman’s Awful Record?

March 16th, 2018 11:10 AM

In Friday’s New York Times, Deborah Solomon and Kitty Bennett continued the liberal paper's mocking of President Trump’s new chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, the conservative economist who will be the next director of the National Economic Council.

There was yet another insulting NYT headline: “A TV Commentator Becomes a Presidential Adviser: Go to the Videotape.” The online headline was more blunt: “6 of Larry Kudlow’s Not-So-on-the-Money Predictions.”

At least The Times put Kudlow’s service in the Reagan administration in the first paragraph in the Friday story.

President Trump has a new chief economic adviser. Larry Kudlow, the CNBC commentator who served in President Ronald Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget, will become the director of the National Economic Council....Mr. Kudlow, often on-air and with a flair for provocative punditry, has prognosticated on many economic and political issues in a way that mirrors his future boss. His predictions, which will soon carry new weight as the president’s top economic adviser, have not always been on the mark....

The reporters, either showing a lot of nerve or just stirring up Trump-Kudlow controversy, even criticized Kudlow for his criticism of candidate Trump’s policies in August 2015. Kudlow wrote, or said (the paper's methodology is unclear):

And let’s not forget: The stock market, which is a leading indicator of the future economy, is in a wee bit of a correction. Given the recent rise of presidential candidate Donald Trump, we should all be thankful that stocks haven’t plunged. Trump’s agenda of trade protectionism, dollar devaluation, and immigrant deportation is completely anti-growth....”

Hmm. What other economist was more recently wrong (and in a far worse way) about Trump’s effect on the stock market? The morning after Trump’s election victory, Times columnist Paul Krugman predicted, "It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? A first-pass answer is never…So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight."

Though smug Krugman remains ever confident in his own infallibility, his forecasting record is dismal, colored by partisanship. Krugman won a Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008, but any respect he may have accrued for economic analysis has flown, in the face of his unshielded loathing of all things Republican, and inability to let a tragic anniversary pass without saying something ignorant and offensive.

Liberal columnist Michael Kinsley snarked in 2013: “Paul Krugman takes credit for good economic news whenever it happens....He has been, in his own self-estimate, a lone, ignored voice for reason crying out in an unreasoning universe.”

BizPacReview’s John R. Smith rounded up some of Krugman’s greatest misses in January:

Krugman predicted in 1998 that the Internet would have little effect on the economy and commerce, with “no greater impact than the fax machine”....In 2003, he claimed California’s taxes are “now probably below average”, when California’s taxes were then ranked eighth-highest among 50 states, and headed higher. In 2010, Krugman falsified a quote by Newt Gingrich, deceived his readers about Obamacare by misrepresenting data contained in a report he quoted, and in 2011 praised Veterans Affairs Administration as a triumph of “socialized medicine.”

Noting Krugman’s bad predictions is a cottage industry: Historian Niall Ferguson entertainingly nailed Krugman constantly and incorrectly predicting the breakup of the euro market.