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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sucker Bet

Take a gander at the grinning pundit fool that arranged to make a bet with Matthew Simmons over the price of oil in a few years. John Tierney low-balled the price, showing his "faith" in the "market". He apparently knows the ways of rhetoric, having plainly stated his experiences mentoring under Julian Simon (Population Bomb-denier and anti-ecologist).

NYT op-ed columnist Tierney will not lose the bet, because his trade-craft involves only the continuous investment in his popularity as a bloviating right-wing pundit and John Stossel-like cynic. So it doesn't matter if he actually "loses" the bet in terms of Tierney paying out to Simmons; his faithful legions will look at his strength and resolve in facing up to the unhinged progressives who spout off about Peak Oil. They will continue to reward him in readership either way it turns out.

Kind of like BushCo to the true-believer minions.

Of course, if I inhabited Simmons shoes, I wouldn't have made the bet. Instead I would have mocked the living hell out of Tierney. Certainly, Simmons does not have the same media outlet as Tierney, so no one would likely listen to such an outburst, but no one will remember about some poor NYT fair&balanced columnist's mistake in a few years anyways.

I made a bet with mine own self when I postulated this prediction back in March when Tierney took over William Safire's OpEd position at the New York Times. He clearly has lived up to his reputation as the modern-day CEO of the Good News Industry.
Watch Tierney carefully, as he will likely cover energy issues in his column while sounding positive about our future prospects, kind of like a John Stossel in print.
So, how much do I win?

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Update: I remain blameless in naming my post exactly the same as monkeygrinder's. He has a different take that I whole-heartedly agree with.

9 Comments:

Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Not to worry!

Check out this piece over at econbrowser:
http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/08/the_pr_of_po.html

In a sense, the author is using a similar mode of argument as you are...

but to much weaker effect, casting Simmons in the role of the Attention seeking Huckster, a positively Kunstleresque character, riding into town and playing his flute, rustlin' up the children.

Thank goodness the economists are keeping their gimlet eyes on suchlike varmint troublemakers.

1:14 AM  
Professor Blogger ed said...

WHT: I'm wondering how much money you personally have invested in futures and options markets betting that the price of oil will rise? If you're right, you should be able to make a ton of money. Please share.

8:35 AM  
Professor Blogger Matt said...

Not to take the absolute lowest road, but you guys covered the important stuff... That picture really is the worst ever. What a twit. I really love that mid-80's, school photo, chin on the fist pose.

9:02 AM  
Professor Blogger Matt said...

Everyone knows that you have to do the thumb and forefinger pose to get the right "thinking" effect!

9:03 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Me, personally? Nothing in oil apart from the usual broad-spectrum mutual funds. I fully expect that the whole market will go down together. Investing in oil futures is like wearing a life jacket as you get swept into a sewer drain. You will stay on top for awhile, but in the long run...

10:19 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

mg:
So there are three sides to every story.

10:27 AM  
Professor Blogger ed said...

Hmmm...so, you put your money in broad-spectrum mutual funds, which you think will go down in value, and not in oil, which you think will go up in value. Curious strategy, but hey, to each his own!

Or do I misunderstand you...when you say it will "all go down together" do you mean that oil prices will also go down? Then it sounds like you would want to take Tierney's side of the bet.

10:36 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Ed. You sound like an extractionist.

I have one strategy in life: not to become a crazed insane thug, pushing somebody else under water while I try to stay afloat.

How many more analogies do I need to advance for you to get it?

6:57 PM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

Hey Ed - If you think its a scam and the oil price will fall again, then you too can put your money where your mouth is and clean up - go short futures or sell puts / buy calls and you'll soon be rich.

Personally I'm long all forms of energy (like a lot of hedge funds, I might note) but will try hard not to push anyone else down as we sink. However those who are paddling hard towards the centre of the whirlpool won't get a lot of sympathy from me...

6:20 AM  

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