I have spilled a great deal of pixels and time in these pages discussing the importance of not letting your biases get the best of you as an investor. (See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this). Further, when you are wrong, you must do more than merely acknowledge it: Embrace the error, understand it and learn from it. Traders who don’t learn these lessons very quickly become ex-traders.
If only the same were true for the pundits and politicians who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. Instead, they double down on the same bad philosophy and belief system that led to the error in the first place.
The latest example of this is former Vice President Dick Cheney. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed — one that isn’t even worthy of a link — he blames the entire Iraq fiasco on the current president, stating “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”
I did a double-take when I read that: I wasn’t sure if he was discussing the current president or the man Cheney ostensibly worked for, George W. Bush. Regardless of what you think about the current sitting president — he has been an enormous disappoint for many, and his poll numbers reflect that — invading Iraq was a choice made by the Bush administration. And the only person more wrong about Iraq than Bush was the invasion’s chief advocate and architect, Cheney himself. Continues here