Media Appearance: Kudlow & Company (6/13/06)


This is a special appearance:  For one segment, I will be debating Inflation and Slowing Growth with Art Laffer, creator of Supply Side Economics.

I’m scheduled to be on from 5:10 to 5:20 pm, and rebroadcast again at 8:10.


UPDATE: June 13, 2006 10:48 pm

The PC price drop was such an absurd comment that I ignroed it — Laffer is referencing economies of scale (Ram, CPUs, etc) and not inflation. He should be ashamed of himself for passing that nonsense off as economics. I guess we have no inflation cause Plasma screens have come down in price, also.

Also, I finally met Dana Telsey, a Retail Analyst/cutie pie I’ve been seeing on CNBC forever. Nice to finally meet her in person.

The funniest thing about tonite was that I walked out of the studio only to see this monstrosity parked on the street:



Screw the Ferrari, I want a catcar!

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. me2200 commented on Jun 13

    Go get’em, Barry.

    Please emphasize that this isn’t Bernanke’s doing. The current market selloff is evaporating liquidity.

  2. dak commented on Jun 13

    Listening to Art Laffer hurts my brain.

  3. Cherry commented on Jun 13

    Listening to Laffer and Kudlow is like watching Dumb & Dumber.

  4. Josh commented on Jun 13

    I’ll be listening on XM. Maybe Kudlow can re-play that bit from last week when everyone on his show was shouting at “I’m Bullish too!”.

    What a bunch of buffoons.

  5. Alaskan Pete commented on Jun 13

    Give ‘ol Arty a swift boot in the ass for me Barry. Much obliged kind sir.

    Carnage ends tomorrow on CPI data. Core comes in at expected 0.2, headline beats at 0.3, and oil inventories build.

    Or not.

  6. Brian commented on Jun 13

    Kudlow should have a special “man on the street” segment where he interviews Cody in his new home under the bridge.

  7. FliteTime commented on Jun 13

    Alright, I finally get to see you on TV! Tell the program managers at CNBC that it was about time they started re-airing that show for us “working” men!

  8. royce commented on Jun 13

    Kudlow is going to do a show on the market today? Ever since it started tanking a week or two ago, he became Mr. Politics.

  9. Uncle Jack commented on Jun 13

    You ate his lunch. Nice work!!!

    Loved the “lying eyes” line.

  10. me2200 commented on Jun 13

    Nice work, Barry. You told it like it was. I putting a 50/50 chance on a recession too. “lying eyes” ! Too funny.

  11. emd commented on Jun 13

    laffer is a dope. nice job on the show. all your points were valid… food, energy, healthcare, taxes are all more expensive.

    i like kudlow. in the next segment he pressed why companies like msft are playing the stock buy-back game rather than paying out dividends to shareholders at 15% tax rate. one of my major complaints as well. nice job krudlow!

  12. KirkH commented on Jun 13

    I almost gave up on Kudlow too, thought he was entering market denial mode. From the Kudlow Blog:

    “THE GREAT “ECONOMIC” DEBATE: Barry “The Brain” Ritholtz will square off against Art Laffer in all things economic.

    Kudlow uses Maybe “The Brain” should do blog consulting for Mr. Kudlow. Does he have a dialup modem and AOL account too?

  13. Greg commented on Jun 13

    I wonder if Laugher has ever managed an investment account in his life… if “drawdown” has any meaning for him.
    Says it’s “not a correction, it’s a mistake”- WTF?
    Laugher saying he’s smarter than the market… but I thought he was about supply side, laissez faire, and efficienct market hypothesis?
    Vapid and self-contradictory beyond belief.

    Barry won by KO in the third: when Laugher cited computers and interest rates, scoring an own goal.

    I am seeing an awful lot of dip buying commentary all the way down.

  14. Robert Cote commented on Jun 13

    You rattle off a half dozen irrefutable examples of out of control price increases (you forgot tuition which would have really zinged Reich at UC Berkley) and all Laffer could do is say his lying eyes didn’t see any inflation. “Computers are cheaper” is a response?* Talk about lame. The one guest who talked afterwards about MSFT being a mature service company that should be distributing dividends did provide new insight so even the rest of the show isn’t entirely worthless.

    * To be fair, productivity is a net benefit and IMO the underlying “mystery ingredient” that has kept us afloat for so very long.

  15. bk commented on Jun 13

    I am especially glad you got the inflation statements in, Barry.

    What’s up with Kudlow? Can’t he even pretend to address a point that carries real merit? Robert Reich [sp?] brought up the idea that Medicare/Medicaid should have the ability to negotiate with drug/healthcare providers for lower prices and Kudlow just blew it off.

    What’s up with that? We’re talking the possibility of saving BILLIONS of dollars per year here! I am all about FREE markets just like Larry, and the government should be FREE to negotiate just like everyone else – especially since WE are paying for those items when we pay our taxes!

    I guess that Kudlow must be heavily invested in healthcare and doesn’t want the free [gov’t] money to end for his stocks.

    While I am on the free markets rant someone should also tell him that having a free market means that China FLOATS its currency so that the MARKET can decide what it is worth [though that was not an issue tonight].

  16. William commented on Jun 13

    Yeah, personal computers have come down in price….but most consumers don’t need to purchase a computer very often….maybe every few years. And it’s discretionary spending for the most part.

    These folks don’t get it. Inflation is in the items which must be purchased more frequently, consumer staples for example, (as well as tuition and healthcare and insurance) and energy and food.

    CNBC….fun to watch but don’t expect to learn anything…unless Barry is on of course!

  17. KirkH commented on Jun 13

    Maybe he just read this PDF from the Cato Institute:

    When computers do most jobs, human labor is relatively unimportant, and whether human wages rise or fall depends on whether owners of capital place a strong special value on services that only humans can provide. If they do, human wages can rise with the economy again, but if not, then human wages fall faster than computer prices now do.

  18. FliteTime commented on Jun 13

    “CNBC….fun to watch but don’t expect to learn anything…unless Barry is on of course!” –William

    Hear! Hear! Even a newbie (or Noobian) such as myself can recognize that!


  19. emd commented on Jun 13

    that computer comment was weak…. prices of HDTV’s are dropping too but that doesn’t mean i’m gonna run right out and buy one.

    fact is, we have inflation in EVERYTHING we NEED…. if there is any deflation it is in a few discretionary spending items we want….

    also, notice how portion sizes are shrinking?? local restaurants are cutting portions IMO as well as food companies…. same price for the item but you get 5% less.

  20. jim commented on Jun 13

    Portion sizes- last year Kingsford charcoal came in 20 and 10 lb bags. This year it is 16 and 8 lb bags. The bag price is higher than last year.

  21. Bob A commented on Jun 13

    Laffer is the Ann Coulter/Howdy Doody of economics.

  22. ralph commented on Jun 13

    You have some very funny followers. Howdy Doody. That could be true. After all, only your presence on the Larry the loudmouth (ltl) show could get me to watch it.

    Thanks for being a rational voice in the midst of all the clutter.

    A question for Barry or anyone here. A bit later on the show a point was made that I have heard a dozen times in the last couple of weeks. The S&P is cheap at its current P.E.

    Isn’t that a bass akwards way of looking at this? As in that is true only if earnings are going to at least remain constant?

    Now if the ecomony is slowing down then that is very unlikely and if one calculates the P.E based on real expected earnings it would not look cheap.

    P.S. I hope Larry follows his own advice and goes on a buying binge. I can’t wait to see pictures of him a year from now in a bread line :)


  23. C commented on Jun 13

    Regarding a slowdown in the economy, it has yet to actually happen. There is only the FEAR of a slowdown. And coming from the high levels of growth preceding it, any slowdown is not going to be such a big deal. People are still spending money and show no signs of cutting back significantly on their standard of living, if you can believe the retail data.

    What I want to know is, when does God step in and stay the hand of program trading?

  24. mentalmodel commented on Jun 13

    This may interest some of you.

    I think it’s a terrific idea.

  25. McSwiggen commented on Jun 13

    The fact that Kudlow has introduced me and I presume a few other people to such a clear thinker as Ritholz leaves me very appreciative of Kudlows perceptive ability. The majority of the (dp) wouldn’t even go to work in the morning should they be bombarded with an equal dose of negativity as Kudlow is positive. Thank You larry.

  26. George commented on Jun 13

    I agree with those of you who think that Laffer is a dope. So how come federal taxation policy has been more or less based on his ideas for a quarter century? Something doesn’t add up here. (Imagine that.)

  27. Richard commented on Jun 13

    stealth inflation has been here for quite a while. anyone remember when soda went from a 2 to 1.5 liter bottle yet the price remained the same? how long can these ”experts” keep blathering the lies? as long as we let them. without the housing ATM we’d be in a recession already, but just keep that sick patient breathing, maybe he’ll get better on his own.

  28. Dave commented on Jun 13


    Regarding the rising healthcare costs and the ideas proposed in the book on the link you posted:

    A good portion of the reason that health care costs are rising is simply because American’s really DON’T care about their health. People want to continue to turn a blind eye towards their problems.

    While smoking has declined and people are trying to make a more conscious effort towards eating healthier, that portion of the public is in the minority. No one wants to pay more for healthier food, and while that population of people is increasing (as seen by the sucess of Whole Foods, increasing organic penetration into the main stream food markets), people still eat far too much.

    In addition, far too many people smoke and do hazardous things. Then they expect it all to be covered by health insurance.

    People also are expecting miracle cures for everyone of their problems.

    In short, before government or companies provide healthcare, people should be more consistent/more serious effort into looking after their own health.

  29. akram commented on Jun 13


    Next time you should recommend that laffer pick up a copy of the Innovators Dillema so he can understand what happens in consumer electronics when a product becomes commoditized. Electronics is a constantly developing industry in which products become increasingly productive. Generally speaking the theme in the industry is more for less….so logically prices will always trend downwards until we reach a saturation point at which people no longer need the ‘more’ whether that’s memory, speed, thinner screens or whatever is more efficent…and thus companies will no longer invest in providing them with this ‘more’….and the price declines will disappear. Of course that will never happen or we would all be using apple iie’s. It is amazing that he would try to confuse economies of scale and the efficiencies achieved by mass production with the absence of inflation.

  30. Cherry commented on Jun 13

    C, your not seeing things clearly: things HAVE slowed down since May. Clearly, deal with that fact. When you start seeing sluggish labor numbers and less possible avenues for growth, that is a slowing economy. I bet in Augest of 2000, you would have said the same thing. Consumer spending will taper off during the intial phases of the recession which will enhances the recession, which should be the worst since the early 90’s.

  31. Robert Cote commented on Jun 13

    “Screw the Ferrari, I want a catcar!”

    Bearcar with with working claws?

    Kudlowmobile? You know the kind you drive through the rearview mirror and runs on sunshine?

    Sorry, its been a long day.

  32. toddZ commented on Jun 14

    Dana Telsey is sooo cute! Didn’t she just quit Bear to go do her own thing? She looked a little rattled today… Tough month to strike out on your own!

  33. Kris commented on Jun 14

    I’m feeling better now that I see there are many others that can hardly stand to watch CNBC and wonder how they stay on the air or don’t hire some smart people to actually do productive work for investors trying to understand investing int he market.

  34. Barry Ritholtz commented on Jun 14

    They have been trying to broaden the voices on air —
    They add a bunch of new reporters over the past year: Becky Quick does nice work; Charlie Gasparino is a true muckraker in the old school sense of the word; Dylan Ratigan has a strong technical background;

    The station straddles financial news & entertainment — they become too easy a scapegoat for people. I can’t tell you how many people blamed CNBC for their dot com losses.

    Go read: Lose the News. I think the value of the financial news complex seems to be hugely misunderstood by investors.

  35. snb commented on Jun 14

    why do you go on that show if you have nothing but contempt for all of the other guests ????????????????????????????

  36. royce commented on Jun 14

    “I think the value of the financial news complex seems to be hugely misunderstood by investors.”

    Right on. CNBC approaches financial news the way Fox approaches political reporting. Which is going to be enjoyable provided you share that outlook.

  37. emd commented on Jun 14

    i really favor the morning crew at cnbc.

    becky quick is great… she’s been all over inflation for months. i like Gasparino as the tough guy, Mark Haines makes a great curmudgeon, while joe kernen provides comic relief.

    kudlow is fun too.

  38. alan commented on Jun 14

    When Liesman joined CNBC, I stopped watching. His reality is not what most of the people at this blog site perceive. Maybe he can set up an economic advisory service with a supply side economics bent called Laugher & Lies-mon.

  39. B commented on Jun 14

    That is quite hilarious. Lies-mon and Laugher. Although neither are dummies. They just aren’t who I’d turn to for investment advice or economic advice.

    I do blame CNBC for people’s losses. The average joe now is responsible for nearly their entire financial future thanks to the criminal activity of corporate America trashing pensions while making record profits. And the f**king morons in Washington are too busy lining their pockets with “””””donations””””” to stand up for citizen rights. So, where are they supposed to turn for advice? Well, naturally, you’d turn to the experts. And where do you find those experts? On the financial channel.

    I also blame people for listening to them but time will rectify that as well. And so will the internet. The great equalizer to Washington’s idiocy, Wall Street bulls**t and attempts to feed us pablum in the mainstream press now controlled by a handful of large comglomerates thanks to Washington’s repeal of anti-competitive laws in media.

    CNBC “business news” moniker is a feint for what their real purpose is. To make money. And they will do whatever they have to do for one thing. Ratings. Because ratings drive ad revenue regardless of how they are achieved. Could you actually see Mad Money on Bloomberg or Robtv?

    I think the SEC ought to step in and require a continuously running disclaimer at the bottom of CNBC’s screen. “Our primary mission is to drive ratings and, thus, advertising revenue. For entertainment purposes only. For investment advice see a professional.”

  40. me2200 commented on Jun 14

    ROBTV is worse than CNBC, way worse.

    Every day they interview a fund manager for an hour and have people call in and ask about various stocks. Those managers are just puppets for what the general market is doing. Last year it was oil, oil, oil. There wasn’t an oil stock that they didn’t like. This year it is mining, mining, mining. ROBTV wasn’t around during the dot com days, not that I know of anyway.

    The calls on ROBTV have been hilliarous recently. The callers are complaining about losing 15-20% on some hot Canadian mining play.

    I like to watch the first 5 minutes of Squeeze Play with Kevin OLeary. He is pretty good. A realist. Not always right, but not afraid to dis the market or a stock.

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