My First TV Review


If you missed last night’s Kudlow & Co., you can see the video here. While readers discussed the pros and cons of the appearance, Dealbreaker actually ran a review of it.


Kudlow & Co. Appearance (5/14/08) (The Big Picture)

We’ve taken some gentle shots at Barry Ritholtz before, but man, did he
outclass’em on Kudlow last night. Going up a panel of, frankly,
nutjobs, Barry was cool and logical, while the rest were, well, a bit
nutty. The most ridiculous part was when they implied he was a
hypocrite for owning stocks, while also thinking stocks might have
further to fall. That was the point it was obvious that none of them
really managed money before, or really had the slightest clue what he
was talking about. At one point, Don Luskin said: "If your FusionIQ
(the name of Barry’s firm) ever gets to 100, short it." (jerk).

Thanks, guys. I should be only be so lucky as to have such reviews all the time…


Opening Bell: 5.15.08
Joe Weisenthal,
Dealbreaker, May 15, 2008, 7:08am

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. m3 commented on May 15

    this sentiment is very common; almost excruciatingly so.

    that show is painful to watch at times.

  2. Christopher commented on May 15

    Sorry Barry, but, at that time, Kudlow & Co is against Access Hollywood. I’d rather watch Maria Menounos & Nancy O’Dell.

  3. Blutskralle commented on May 15

    I’m sure it’s shit like this that makes Buffett live in Nebraska.

    Barry, the next time you face that crew down, I would be glad to lend you my sidearm. Good work; I think the review is on target. It’s always a bad sign for your opposition when they have to resort to ad-hominem attacks and just plain making shit up.

  4. steve commented on May 15

    I dunno why people like Luskin get asked to comment on anything – As far as I can see, his major accomplishments were getting booted from and running a mutual fund into the ground!!

  5. joannaz commented on May 15

    I didn’t see the show last night bud did watch the cnbc clips this morning. I also commend you on stayin’ classy, San Diego; I mean New York. You really did outshine the rest of the guests by not getting angry and are a model guest for TV. It is a surprise to see a guest on Larry’s show actually listen to the other guests as opposed to talking over them to crowd out their opinion.

  6. blin commented on May 15

    I’m glad they gave you a decent review.

    Most of those panelists are total nutcases. All are there to push the message of the party and to gather support for the new USSA (not a misprint).

  7. Bruce commented on May 15

    I simply can’t watch Kudlow….I think the man used to ride the short bus when getting his education….he seems overmatched in the neuron department by most of his guests…and I am very much a conservative..he may well be smarter than Luskin, however.

    Bruce in Tennessee

  8. rob commented on May 15

    Having to appear with Luskin is intolerable cruelty.

  9. Nihilism commented on May 15

    Don Luskin said: “If your FusionIQ (the name of Barry’s firm) ever gets to 100, short it.”

    Isn’t this same guy who writes columns in ‘Smart-money” and said $100 oil my foot when it was trading at $55 in April 2005?!

    “…To some extent it’s based in simple animal physiology. Right now everyone in the world who has been long oil and long oil stocks is a winner, and is feeling intense pleasure. Conversely, everyone in the world who has been short them is a loser, and is feeling considerable pain. People, like animals, tend to repeat experiences that have felt good, and avoid experiences that have caused pain.

    So now the course of least resistance is to be bullish on oil. It’s animal instinct. And frankly, most of the rationales offered to support that instinct are just that — rationales. I’ve never met Goldman’s analyst — I don’t even know his name. But I’ll bet his mind was made up before he even thought about it. Seek pleasure. Avoid pain.

    But the market is an animal, too — and a particularly aggressive one. It delights in laying traps that trick investors, using the incentive of pleasure and the punishment of pain. Inevitably, the very thing that investors are most certain will bring pleasure will be the thing that causes them the most pain. Anyone who jumps on the oil bandwagon now with pleasurable visions of $105 in his head is setting himself up for nothing less than agony.

    If such a large fraction of the rise in the dollar price of oil is really the dollar’s fault — and not oil’s — then to think that the oil price will double from here would seem to require that the U.S. dollar collapse to catastrophic lows. For that to happen, we’d have to have significantly more inflation than we’ve already had over the last two years.”

  10. CPJ commented on May 15

    Well done Barry. He’s a clown.

    It would be hilarious to assemble a media montage of the different talking head soundbytes and “sure things” over the past few months, when and if your “haven’t hit the lowest lows” position is realized…

  11. Kp commented on May 15

    Barry, when you get your own segment on Bloomberg…I’ll put batteries in the remote and tune in.

    But there’s NFW I am subjecting myself to CNBC….especially not the Kudlow and Company propaganda hour.

  12. Karen commented on May 15

    Watching that segment was painful. DealBreaker certainly called it well. Barry was very impressive under the barrage of adolescent talking heads. (No offense to youths intended.) A big sigh that those men are even televised; it bodes yet more ill for this country. Well, perhaps we can take comfort if Luskin put his “margined” money where his mouth was…

  13. JMH commented on May 15

    Luskin is sort of like Kudlow’s Stuttering John ( He says outrageous things, which is likely good for ratings. I have to admit, I find Luskin interesting to watch, just wondering what he is going to say next. I always wonder if he is as obnoxious in reality as he is on TV. Maybe someone will run a tell-all book about the Kudlow & Co. and we will all find out.

    Luskin may be fun to observe, but he has demonstrated he does not have the ability to run money. This is the critical distinction to make when watching. I factor what the money managers say for trading decisions, I watch the financial commentators for entertainment and as foils for the money managers. Controversial maybe, but K&C is still a good show.

  14. Flic commented on May 15

    I watched the clip and yes, that was painful. Listening to those guys is worse than listening to Mike Norman and that Michael Bolton look-a-like Re/Max guy on Fox. Barry, great job staying professional which cannot be said of the other jokers. I now recall why I stopped watching CNBC and Fox……and pretty much all TV media for that matter….

  15. Scott commented on May 15

    I admire your stones just for stepping into Larry’s echo-chamber. Unless an admirable guest is coming on (that’d be you, ya big lug), the only time I watch Kudlow & Co. is if I am in a good mood and need to get out of it fast. Yelling at guys like Luskin through the screen will do that. Larry seems married to his goldilocks agenda driven worldview. The real economy is no longer meaningful to him. But Larry is polite in his delusional thinking and seems like a decent sort. Luskin, on the other hand, is a pompous boorish dandy. I’ve seen him pull the same B.S. with Schiff. Now Schiff himself lacks the social graces of our own Mr. Ritholtz, but again, Schiff at least bases his ideas in reality and puts his skin in the game. All in all Barry did a fine job standing up to a wall of supply side agenda driven drivel. Though the occassional bucket of reality cannot douse the fire of four who will twist the facts to their agenda rather than follow the facts to their logical conclusions.

  16. Matt M. commented on May 15

    Luskin couldn’t run money if he had tomorrow’s headlines. That’s been proven. Its’ almost fraudulant to run a guy like him out there under the banner of intelligent market talk…..but most of these guys live under the old phrase…”fake it till you make it.”

  17. KnotRP commented on May 15

    Watching Kudlow is like waiting at a stop sign for it to turn green.

    And then you show up with a bucket of green paint and a brush.

    I’m pretty sure the audience is red/green color blind, though,
    so I’m not sure that bucket of paint will make a diff.

  18. stuart commented on May 15

    Kudlow is like listening to a speech from David Lareah, Lawrence Yun, Angelo Mozlilo or … Baghdad Bob. Simply no value and stopped a while ago…got nothing, absolutely nothing other than shill spew.

  19. Hoppy commented on May 15

    Well done Barry. I would have blown my cool and gone off on those blind idiots.

    I think Kudlow was relapsing into his 80’s drug abuse.

  20. Bearnanke commented on May 15

    At least Kudlow acknowledges the inflation threat. But… he can’t have it both ways. Cinderella won’t be able to afford her glass slippers nor a ride to the ball…not to mention the lump of coal she needs to cook her bread.

  21. Fear the Data commented on May 15

    Watched it live and it was painful. Do you need pharmacological help to stay so calm whilst being surrounded by such braying ninnies?

  22. johnnyb commented on May 15

    You can tell alot about the character of the individual that appears on Kudlow by how they dress.

    Someone tell Luskin to stop throwing a suit jacket over his AC/DC concert shirt. While Kudlow’s at it please for everything good flip Jerry Bowyer a $200 to get to Men’s Wearhouse and by a new suit. That tweed sport coat thrown over a mock turtle neck is horrid.

    You manage or advice on other people’s money! Start looking like you have seen more than a few hundred dollars in your life before. Geesh.

  23. scubajwd commented on May 15

    For the life of me I can’t understand why you continue to frequent this show; LC rarely lets you complete a sentence let alone develop a thought! I realize you have to keep your mug in public but how much humiliation is it worth? Anyways keep on truckin; for the most part I think you are right on message and your blog is a must-read for me daily..Thanx..

  24. VoiceFromTheWilderness commented on May 15

    True, it is awfully lucky to get nice reviews, but…

    You do deserve it. First you give pithy and useful insight into markets generally. Second, to stand up against those guys on their turf, in what is effectively a rigged game (the point of the game isn’t truth, the point is selling ad space which you do by keeping the mob entertained), is truly impressive, and very, very rare.

    Enjoy it!

  25. Eric Davis commented on May 15


    You showed some great Character, and maturity last night… When Luskin said that I was surprised when Kudlow prompted you you didn’t say…”What am I 12 years old?… how about “I’m rubber you’re glue””.

    I loved when Gasparino threatened to tear him a new asshole a few months ago.

    Luskin, I would be surprised if he pulls on 107 on the ol’ IQ test.

    Thanks Barry.

  26. hawkeye commented on May 15

    Good job Barry, it is incredible that some people can become so detached from reality.

  27. Banker commented on May 15

    I am sure it isn’t easy being in the eye of the storm…..Good Job.

  28. Robert Beatty commented on May 15

    That was some vicious TV…

    They attacked you repeatedly with absurb “straw man” arguments and then interrupted you when you attempted to rebut them. Then they accused you of attacking them! They make true hypocrites look holy.

    In regards to the 1933(alleged) and 1973 comparisons…
    They didn’t give you much of a chance to support your point. But I would have responded that if you measured the economy today using the same metrics of 1973,(i.e. inflation, unemployment, etc.) the numbers would be comparable.

    P.S. Luskin has to be the most smugly arrogant person on the planet… and for no discernable reason!

  29. BG commented on May 15


    I never understand why you guys even go on his show. He’s a political ass-hole. He only has one opinion, his own.

    You guys should just quit showing up and let them all have a big ole Republican circle jerk.

    To Hell with ’em. Any idiot can see what’s going on there. While we are on this…I am getting more and more disappointed in Vince Farrell. He’s just becoming another Republican mouth piece.

    Just remember these guys who spend their time in front of a camera are not doing their investment due diligence and they too will be handed his own heads some day for it.

  30. Eric commented on May 15

    Is anyone else here familiar with the Luskin nod? It’s when Krudlow is making one of his many long speeches from a junior college econ textbook, and you can see Luskin on the split screen thrust chin out and then to the side, and pucker his mouth in a smug grinning nod. They could use that as the final exam in a course for rage-a-holics. If you can watch it without kicking the screen, then you pass the class.

  31. BG commented on May 15

    It absolutely amazes me how they beg for lower Corporate tax rates at the same time the National debt has gone to $9T, crime across America is increasing at unbelievable rates and Exxon is embarrassed to even admit how much money they make each QTR.

    They are (and privately consider themselves as) elitists and are in large part what’s wrong with the America. They spin their views as patriotic when actually it’s nothing more than pure selfish greed.

    I also saw somewhere today a headline about “Time to get out of Bonds” or something to that effect. I’ll tell you one thing, the Wall Street crowd will throw a fit if Bernanke starts raising interest rates. They will be wimpering like a bunch of little babies, who just lost their all-day sucker.

    They want it both ways: Goldilocks and all that she entails, i.e. financial nirvana AND at the same time – cheap money. In addition, they want free markets until they fall into their own bucket of shit and only then do they insist on a government bailout.

    Low interest rates work wonders for the Wall Street crowd; it forces everyone to enter THEIR little world of lies and deception and eliminates any other means of getting a decent return on available capital.

    You damn right we need change and I think we are going to get it come November. That is the one thing that I enjoy most is watching Larry squirm around knowing full well, there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it and HE KNOWS it’s coming!!

    Larry absolutely HATES working-class America with a passion. I remember when they almost crucified Robert Reich some time back when they were debating the merits of a minimum wage increase. You see, greed is so rampant they cringe at the thought of even throwing a crumb to the working class while begging for lower corporate tax rates. It’s nothing but pure greed.

    One last tidbit and I’m done. I always thought we had usury laws in the US that prevent loan-sharks from praying on people needing a loan. If that is the case then how in the hell can a credit card company charge someone 23.99% on a credit card balance? I mean that is bullshit, you know? (And I don’t have any credit card debt; but, it is still bullshit.)

  32. Strasser commented on May 15


    thanks for posting the clip… great stuff from you… holding your own. We used to watch Larry but stopped after he got so dominantly crazy with his all-in-one breathe: “I know the answer the viewer must hear and here it is in question form”.

    Of course he was doing his joyful best to pull your chain, but you wouldn’t be swayed. Great adversary!

  33. Alaskan Pete commented on May 15

    See Ritholtz? It’s not just me that can’t stomach Kudlow and his clown show.

    Early in the life of this blog I made quite a few disparaging remarks about Kudlow and his checkered past, questioned why you would lower yourself by lending any legitimacy to Kudlow or his supply side minions/guests.

    To his credit, Barry didn’t ban me even though I use fake email addys in the post box (for personal security reasons, not to be an anonymous asshat), and probably some salty language.

    And I can understand the need for self promotion. But at this point, having established himself in the financial MSM booking lists, why continue to lend credibility to Kudlow by gracing his program? And NO, it doesn’t matter that you are countering his or other guests’ arguments, simply agreeing to appear legitimizes the clown show as something real, important, accurate, or serious when it is nothing more than a sounding stage for hard right ideologues.

  34. Larry Kudlow commented on May 15

    Big Picture Ritholtz
    My friend Barry Ritholtz, author of the excellent Big Picture blog, did a great job last night defending his recession views on Kudlow & Company. The guests were stacked against him, but armed with his good humor and incisive economic analysis, Barry made his case. It was an impressive performance. Barry has been predicting recession for nearly two years. And while he hasn’t been exactly right, he hasn’t been exactly wrong either.

    Incidentally, this morning’s drop in industrial production supports his recession case (even while many other indicators run counter to it). But one thing is certain: Barry’s warnings about rising headline inflation have proven most prescient. In fact, a populist election revolt against high food and gasoline prices is occurring right now.

    Mr. Ritholtz is a political moderate – probably a moderate Republican when it gets right down to it. He is a capitalist. He is not a supply-sider. But he is a very smart, good-natured, good guy. For those in the political world, interested in following the hot topics debate in the financial world, you can do no better than reading his Big Picture blog. I read it everyday.

  35. Jdamon commented on May 15

    Let me try to take sides with Larry and his crew on a couple of points I think they did make.

    First, it is obvious that they (at least Larry) reads The Big Picture quite often. That tells you they think some of what you say has credence. Second, I think they called it correct when they stated you are more optimistic on TV vs here on the blog. You almost never post any positive articles or data. Most data is spun here towards the negative. I think that is fairly factual.

    I do think you have to try to see the other side of the equation sometimes are you tend to lose credibility (i.e. see Kudlow, Neal, Luskin and others).

    I find guys like Kass a little too bearish (but he does run a short only fund) and others like Fleckenstien, Schiff and others sing the same song over and over.

    The best are the ones who can flip and move with the trends (Jim Rogers comes to mind) or even Stefan Abrams who does make some pretty good calls from time to time.

    Barry, I think you should try to view the bull case and make some concrete predicitons about the market. Then you can go back to them with ammo/facts instead of them calling you wishy/washy and as tough to get a hold on as punching clouds.

  36. BG commented on May 15

    The impression this blog site is always negative is total BS.

    We are in search of FACTS. WE are REAL. We want truth and honesty in reporting so people outside Wall Street has a REAL shot at making an informed decision in their stock market investing.

    Quit insulting our intelligence. Most of us have half a brain, two eyes and two ears. That is more than enough to know what is really going on in this Country; so quit pretending we are a bunch of imbeciles, OK?


  37. Diarmuid commented on May 15

    Is Kudlow not fit for retirement? It must be said he led the dissent. At least Don prefixed his remark with “I don’t know what Fusion IQ is….”

    Must beg the question why bother with his show (other than the free publicity and extra $ in the packet!)

  38. D. Park commented on May 15

    I am not surprised to see Larry’s post above. He should feel bad for the way he treated a guest on his show. Larry and Company piled on like a gang of thugs. I only wish that Barry was as good an orator as he is a writer.

    As far as Larry goes, I made the mistake of valuing his analysis back in the late 90’s when then Kudlow and Cramer first started. That guy was a bull all the way through the implosion of 2000-2002.

    And in case Mr. Kudlow reads this, may I just say Sir, it is proper etiquette to apologize when you show up a half hour + late for a keynote speech like you did on Tues. Traffic kept you late? You’re a New Yorker and you don’t think enough of your audience to allow for traffic???? Give us a break please.

  39. Arthur commented on May 15

    ohmygawd I’m agreeing with Larry Kudlow!

    BP is great because it employs info, facts, wit and elegance while asking good questions and promoting dialogue.

    I’ll say this for Larry, he writes a nice “I was a lousy host” note; maybe he apologized in private.

  40. lpi commented on May 15

    I’m happy to read that most of you dislike Luskin too. What a fool.

    Have you noticed that during periods of market turmoil he’s rarely on? It’s when the market is improving that they roll out the perma-bull.

    He doesn’t seem to do any actual analysis, other then look at the stock market performance and say “hey, the stock market suggests that things are improving.”

    And yes, he comes across so arrogant, rude, and unprofessional. I’m surprised they continue to invite him back. There’s a lot of other perma-bulls on the show with better personalities.

  41. GDK commented on May 16

    Kudlow’s show, like all television programming, is first and foremost about entertainment. Facts and analysis take a back seat to conflict and personality. Barry, I thought you handled yourself very professionally. Anyone watching television and hoping to find informative content is fooling themselves.
    I am not arguing that television is wrong. Entertainment has value, and that is the raison d’etre for television. However, a line between factual information and entertainment needs to be drawn. The old joke, “It must be true, I saw it on TV,” is becoming all too real.

  42. howard commented on May 16

    i first became aware of luskin when he surfaced as a self-appointed truth squad “fact-checking” paul krugman. time after time, luskin made a complete ass of himself, often demonstrating that he didn’t have the slightest idea of what he was talking about (for those who haven’t seen chris matthews eviscerate kevin james on “appeasement,” luskin has the same problem with knowing what he was talking about as james did).

    so it came to no surprise to me, as i learned more about luskin, that the man is a complete clown.

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