So I seem to be having an argument with @davidgraeber

So, to that article about Valeant:

VRX invests little directly in drug development.

It prefers to purchase drugs already approved.

Thus, VRX acts, economically, in the same way the Ansari X-Prize worked.

The bears in Valeant (NYSE:VRX) are having their moment in the sun at present, as the stock is down 30% from its highs. The basic concern is about its business model. Rather than investing directly into pharmaceutical research, it prefers to roll up companies that have drugs already on the market. This strategy has come under attack just recently for a number of reasons, some of them possibly valid, other entirely invalid.

Some of the potentially valid reasons are laid out in the WSJ here. One of the problems with any roll-up strategy is that as the acquiring company gets bigger, the acquisitions have to get bigger and bigger in order to keep moving the dial. At some point, any such roll up just runs out of companies to buy and thus has to switch over to organic growth. That organic growth likely being rather slower than that produced by buying things in.

It’s also true that Valeant has a reputation for hiking the costs of the drugs that it purchases. At times, this might well be sensible, at others it does smack a bit of price gouging. And there are investigations starting into whether the company is quite sticking to the rule book, or at least the book of good etiquette, over such price rises.

The bears do have something of a reasonable story to tell, therefore. However, there’s another point being made which is entirely untrue. That there’s something “wrong” with merely buying the research done by others rather than conducting it in-house. This is not so: economically, the two are the same in one view, and in another, purchasing previously successful developments will increase the amount spent on research over and above what would be achieved by spending the same money in-house. That’s the sense in which Valeant is like the Ansari X-Prize.

Think of how that prize worked. The target was set and $10 million put aside to pay out if the target was reached. This called forth a number of people to compete to gain that prize. All in all, multiples of that $10 million were spent trying to gain the prize, spread across the different competitors.

So, think about the pharmaceutical development business. At one end, there’s a company like Valeant, known to be interested in purchasing drugs, and the companies that make them, after all clinical trials have been completed and marketing and sales permission granted. We would expect this to encourage interest in starting companies that might reach for that brass ring.

Now think of Valeant taking exactly that same amount of money and investing it directly into its own research. Which of the two models do we think would increase the amount of capital being devoted to early state pharmaceutical research?

As with the Ansari X-Prize, we’ve certainly got some real world evidence that offering the prize increases the amount spent on research more than direct spending of the same amount achieves. Thus, it might well be possible to criticize Valeant for all sorts of things. But the complaint that it doesn’t invest directly in research, meaning that less research gets done, is at the very least unproven. And most likely, the fact that it is there as a willing buyer of proven drugs increases the amount that is spent on trying to prove drugs.

Or, buying proven drugs is economically at least the same as, if not better than, in its effects upon capital allocation to drug research, spending the same amount of money directly on your own drug research.

There may well be other valid critiques of the Valeant business model possible, but this one, that it does little research directly, simply isn’t a viable one. So, to the extent that anyone thinks this critique is impacting the price, the stock looks a little more attractive. And it has just announced its quarterly results:

Valeant also increased its full-year revenue forecast to $11 billion-$11.2 billion from $10.7 billion-$11.1 billion estimated previously. The company also increased cash earnings estimate to $11.67-$11.87 per share from $11.50-$11.80 per share.

Many people currently believing an invalid critique, results being guided upwards by the company? I’d say that’s bullish for the stock.

Now, if you want to take that as pumping the stock I guess you can. But back in my day professors at the LSE were usually rather better at the reading comprehension than that.

85 thoughts on “So I seem to be having an argument with @davidgraeber”

  1. “I’d say that’s bullish for the stock.”

    And then the stock loses 40%!?

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Burned Worstall! Burned!

  2. If you were a stock tipster Tim you wouldn’t be rushing from one end of Europe to the other trying to make a buck flogging Scandium would you?

    If you can get them to put a sprinkle-on sachet of the stuff in every cornflakes packet your fortune is made. It is –according to Wiki– non-toxic.

    If it was toxic you could still have put sachets into boxes of “Cheerios”.

  3. Has the learned man read the article or did he delegate that task?
    Or possibly he took the word of someone who claimed to have read the article.

  4. Eh… are people just squinting at the page here or what!?

    On Oct 19th 2015 Worstall concluded that, and I quote:

    “I’d say that’s bullish for the stock.”

    The stock then proceeds to lose 40% and is today known as THE lemon stock of 2015.

    You people can lie to yourselves if you want. But the record is clear. Worstall made a bullish call on VRX on Oct 19th and anyone that listened to him lost almost half the money they put in within a week or two and will likely NEVER get it back.

    Get real people.

  5. “You people can lie to yourselves if you want. But the record is clear. Worstall made a bullish call on VRX on Oct 19th and anyone that listened to him lost almost half the money they put in within a week or two and will likely NEVER get it back.”

    Who cares? Who invests according to what someone writes on the Internet, someone whose job isn’t analysing the stock market?

    Mug.

  6. WFAIL: So you take action based on random musings from people who put their thoughts casually on the internet do you?

    You really should insert an old-fashioned lightbulb up your arse and then sit down quickly.

  7. No guys, Seeking Alpha is a stock analysis website. People get information on it to undertake investments. Authors make or break their reputations based on how good their advice is.

    Worstall claims to know a lot about economics and financial markets. He slags off Graeber for being an anthropologist and not an economist in his Forbes piece. He claims authority on the subjects about which he writes – and accuses Graeber of not having authority. But if you look at Worstall’s track record it is actually shit. He has no clue what he is talking about.

    So, yeah, it matters. But he panders to you clowns because you like “free markets” or some BS. The irony is that you’d all fail miserably if you ever put a foot inside the door of the markets.

  8. Ah, so being in favour of free markets means you should also be an expert on very specific markets, e.g. Commodities, FX or stock markets? I see.

    Logic and reason aren’t your strong suits, are they?

  9. A couple of points which may or may not put this fall into perspective:

    1. Have the markets also fallen during this period? If so, how much?
    2. Have pharma companies also fallen during the same period? If so, how much?

    I ask these merely out of intellectual curiosity. I don’t invest in stock markets, and people who do after reading something on the Internet and then cry because their investment fucked up are laughable.

    As are the trolls who seem to think this is a REALLY BIG THING.

  10. It says that Seeking Alpha has Stock Market Insights

    That means Worstall was suggesting that he has an insight into how that stock was going to perform.

    He lost people who believed him money.

    Anyone know of his track record?

  11. Not a big thing. Bobby, just proof that Tim’s not all that.

    He gets lots wrong on here too. Never acknowledges it though.

    Still, he’s your hero, not mine.

  12. WFAIL: What’s your beef anyway?

    You used to be rich and lost it all from following Tim’s advice?

    And if you don’t think much of free markets what are you doing playing stocks when you should be sucking the state’s tit via gubbermint bombs–sorry bonds.

  13. so you’re complaining about being described as “pumping” a stock when all you really did was suggest it’s a good buy?

    I suppose you can fit a cigarette paper between the two, but really it’s not much of a gripe

  14. Rob, markets were not down in this period. They have fallen since early January. But nothing compares to VRX. That was last year’s lemon. Google it. It’s well known.

    Mr, Ecks, no beef per se. I just find it amusing when people argue from authority and then their track record is exposed and it looks like a dirty old turd.

  15. Lets have your stock tips Arnie? For after all is not an informer a tipster of sorts?

    Cos you are such a financial genius you and your mate/master Murph know how EVERYBODY should spend their money.

    Yeah–all the times you’ve visited him–like Lonely calling on Mr Callan–you must have picked up some tips from a real shrewd character like Murph — “He’s got the horse right here, The name is Paul Revere”

    Don’t play things close to your chest Arnie–Mr Fail might be able to get his fortune back if you help him. It’ll be like that “Million-Pound Note” film–except without any money.

  16. “Rob, markets were not down in this period. They have fallen since early January. But nothing compares to VRX. That was last year’s lemon. Google it. It’s well known.”

    Shrugs. As I said, who cares? I don’t read this blog, or any blogs, for share tips. People make errors. Again, who cares?

  17. Worstall was backing a stock in a stock market tipping publication. He gave his reasons for it in a, what seemed to be, well informed, economic and technologically sound article.

    By writing in Seeking Alpha, it presupposes some expertise.

    If anyone else had failed so badly, there’d be a post from Worstall with a headline like

    Is there a bigger cretin than Worstall?

  18. Rob,

    That just shows that you have a low threshold for evidence. When I follow an author I see if their claims to expertise fall in line with reality. If they do not I write that author off and say “oh, he probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about”.

    I assume that you don’t care about evidence. Like most of these Adam Smith Institute types you’re more interested in some quasi-religious cult worship of some bullshit hybrid of discredited Austrian economics.

    So we’re just coming at this from different perspectives. I like evidence and people backing their claims to expertise. You like dogma and people pandering to your political opinions.

  19. Arnald,

    EXACTLY!

    This guy calls everyone else an idiot. But he’s clearly an inept monkeyman. It’s so funny.

  20. I think this is the Murphy definition of ‘troll’ – it means ‘someone vastly better informed me whose argument I can’t refute’ and as Suggested, saves the person using it in this context from the need to actually construct an argument.

  21. WF – Like most of these Adam Smith Institute types you’re more interested in some quasi-religious cult worship of some bullshit hybrid of discredited Austrian economics.

    You seem hysterical. It’s not just about the stock tips is it?

  22. No, MC. It’s about inept losers who claim to be experts but actually pander to low information voters who are obsessed with right-wing ideologies.

    It’s like watching scientologists in action. It would be sad if it weren’t so funny.

    Now quick, I think I saw the other sheep moving toward a particularly fertile patch of grass… RUN!

  23. “That just shows that you have a low threshold for evidence.”

    Non sequitur. I said I had no interest in share tipping.

    “I assume you don’t care about evidence”

    Again, a non sequitur. I said, numerous times, that I have no interest in share tipping. I don’t care if they are good tips or bad. You have taken this and constructed an absurd statement that “I don’t care about evidence”.

    Are you Arnald under a different name?

  24. “No, MC. It’s about inept losers who claim to be experts but actually pander to low information voters who are obsessed with right-wing ideologies.”

    It is Arnald.

  25. Wow Rob, looks like you’ve taken ‘Internet Debating 101’. Do you know any other Latin rhetorical phrases? Ad hominem, perhaps?

    I know you don’t care about “share tipping” (is that a phrase?). But here’s a wild idea. I’ll lay out in philosophical style because with all that High Latin you strike me as the philosophical type.

    Proposition I: Tim Worstall claims to be an expert on economics despite the fact that he does not seem to publish academically.

    Proposition II: Tim Worstall claims to be a stock expert and publishes analysis on Seeking Alpha.

    Evidence II: Tim Worstall appears to have promoted the worst stock of 2015 while it was in the process of crashing.

    Conclusion II: Tim Worstall likely knows absolutely nothing about stock price analysis and is totally faking it.

    Provisional conclusion I: Therefore it might also follow that Tim Worstall has absolutely no idea about economics or economic analysis and might be faking that too.

    I could have tried to write that in Latin. But I thought that a bit much, my philosophical pal.

  26. MC–Well that’s Moe and Curley and Arnald=Larry so we have all Three Stooges. Just no laughs..

    All fuckwits.

    Stocks can go up as well as down –ever heard that dickheads?

    A stock tip is not a contract –you are supposed to filter it thro’ your own intellect ( bwahhaahhh) you stupid twats. Almost all the great investors have got it wrong as well as right.

    But Tim getting a stock call wrong means he is the Anti-Christ?

    Which of you arseholes is a millionaire via your investment genius ?

    Tim owes you money now does he?

    Sue him you dozy cunts.

    Anyone else on here want to start a pool that all three of the idiots are Arnald?

  27. > “I’d say that’s bullish for the stock.”

    It’s not “pumping”, but it’s definitely saying you expect the stock to rise. Tim got it wrong.

    But markets are made up of millions of different views. The average tipster gets more wrong than right – that’s why they don’t invest their own money. Only 2% of individual day traders make a profit after fees [link: https://www.quora.com/Do-90-of-day-traders-lose-money ].

    Let’s try pairs-trading. What is David Graeber’s predictive track record? Hmm, he doesn’t seem to have made any predictions. At least Worstall tried.

  28. No, I was just using a common phrase to describe a basic logical fallacy. It doesn’t imply fluency in Latin, or an expectation that others should communicate in Latin.

    You took it badly, by the looks of it.

  29. “At least Worstall tried.”

    LOL! If THAT is how you manage your savings then you are a fucking pillock and you’d better thank your Socialist Overlords that there is welfare in place for losers who couldn’t maintain solvency into their old ages.

  30. No I read MC wrong. My mistake–apologies to MC.

    It is Arnald and Fail.

    And I will insult neither Laurel Nor Hardy ( who were nice blokes) by comparing them to Fail and Arnald.

  31. If VRX is such a famous lemon, doesn’t that imply that other people thought it was going to perform better?

    Also: this article reads to me more like a review of the criticisms of Valeant and it’s strategy and business model, based on the fact the stock was 30% down at the time of writing. It’s not exactly a tip or a recommendation to buy, just an economic analysis of the actual company, not a dissection of the markets pricing opinion.

    But I may be wrong.

  32. John, if you want to know VRX was a roll-up company that was structured like a pyramid scheme. It relied on taking on ever more debt to pay off investors in dividends. The whole thing blew up when a short seller exposed corrupt practices.

    Worstall the Twit was presumably in on the pyramid scheme so he started pumping the stock on Seeking Alpha when it was halfway through crashing — as did many of the barely civilised apes that were tricked into investing in the scam.

  33. “failure”

    “But he’s clearly an inept monkeyman”

    Odd analysis!

    Even it was advice (not), no one gets stocks right all the time, even if committing their own money. Stocks aren’t like that – some win, some lose, some big time, and in either direction.

    The key is simply more right than wrong over time. And diversify / spread the rsik. Even Warren loses money on individual investments, but no one (ignoring the left) thinks he’s a failure.

    Looks like WF either had skin in this or it’s just more SJW politics.

  34. “Worstall the Twit was presumably in on the pyramid scheme so he started pumping the stock on Seeking Alpha when it was halfway through crashing”

    Oh dear…

  35. Yeah, libel’s really not all that attractive.

    However, I guess I’m reading a different article. I think it discusses one specific complaint about Valeant’s business model and the economic effects of it. And then says “if so, then”.

    Having actually been a stockbroker, many decades ago, I know enough about sharetipping to make absolutely certain that I only ever do say “if so, then”.

  36. At what point did our genial host’s article say “This stock is going to go through the roof”, or that it was bound to make money, or even (as per the claim by comrade Graeber repeated by WF and Arnald) that they should buy it, in the quoted article? He merely pointed out his belief that one of the arguments being used to talk it down was invalid and that, if you though that that reason was depressing the price you might consider it underpriced – “to the extent that anyone thinks this critique is impacting the price, the stock looks a little more attractive” is hardly a wholehearted buy recommendation. And one would expect over the course of a year that more people would clock a dodgy argument, so the effect to decrease.

    It wasn’t an analysis of the stock’s underlying worth – indeed, the article specifically said that other critiques may well be valid. To say that pointing out a short-term effect a year ago is in some way “pumping the stock” and shown to be entirely wrong by the outcome a year later is clutching at straws somewhat.

  37. So if we can find just one prediction or statement Murphy has made which turned out to be a lemon (a task equal to finding a haystack on a needle) we can say he knows nothing about anything?

    A fallacy, but I thought I’d join in.

  38. Investing in stock is a risk in itself. You cannot get mad at others for a wrong choice you made. If you made the choice to buy it then, tough. It’s not like someone forced you to do it. If they did, then that’s another story.

  39. Libel? Cool your britches kids. Saying Worstall put out a bullish note on a stock while it was halfway through crashing is not libellous; it’s fact. I’ll admit I have no idea whether Worstall was long though. Typically Seeking Alpha bloggers are talking their book. But I’ll admit I have no idea on that one.

    As for the “conditional” defence. It means you missed the bigger picture. That’s on you bro. Personally I don’t see how you could have missed that on VRX in October.

  40. “If anyone else had done that, though.

    One rule for Worstall, another for everyone else”

    Guessing it’s shit weather…:)

  41. “Typically Seeking Alpha bloggers are talking their book.”

    Do you know that, or is that another “I’ll admit I have no idea”…

  42. About talking our book. They do ask us to declare that. As I did. It’s actually at the top of the piece. Reading is hard, eh?

  43. Fair enough Tim. You didn’t lose your shirt. Congrats on remaining fully clothed. Graeber is still right though. Bullish note on a stock that was in free fall. Maybe you should ease up on saying Graeber doesn’t know his shit.

  44. Actually, WF is quite amusing. He must have failed every comprehensive reading test in his life.

    Tim’s article opens with the statement the stock is *already* a slaughterhouse. He proceeds with making a valid point about why the basic setup of the company guarantees the stock won’t reach the pennies stage: they’re prospecting aggregators, gold-buyers. They’re not doing the prospecting *at all*, so don’t run the risks/expenditure associated with it, but they do end up with the IP, and the choice of either licensing it, or producing themselves on the market.
    This means the company does hold actual value, and that the stock should eventualy settle, and might be looking into if you’re looking for a gamble.

    If there was a buy recommendadtion, the article most definitely doesn’t state: Buy Now!. It states: If you time it right, you may catch this one on the rebound.

    Even a cursory look in the nice graph thingies the site itself provides shows that the stock at the time of writing was “readjusting” after being overvaluated, plus indications of heavy fluffing/shorting, and general nervousness.

    Not a nice playground, but one that could have been potentially quite profitable with the right timing *at the time of the article*. And by the looks of it it has done, for some people. Other than WF, of course….

    Incidentally, Tim.. I think you should keep WF as a pet.. He has that rare Eadonesque quality in his rants that’s so hard to find these days.

  45. Grikath,

    An author on Seeking Alpha saying “that’s bullish for this stock” about a stock that then fell more than 40% and went down as 2015’s biggest losers isn’t a bad call?

    Ahahahaha!

    It would be quaint if people who invest were as forgiving as you. As for keeping me as a pet no need. He’s already clearly got a dewy-eyed little lapdog in you. Loyal and not that bright. Everything a man needs! 😉

  46. Worstall’s FAIL clearly does not know what “pumping” means.
    DFelete all comments referring to his sneer as totally irrelevant.

  47. *grin* I doubt the missus would sell my Lapdog status to Tim, or anyone else for that matter. Then again, she can be quite…mercenary.., so who knows? 😛

    As for the stock.. yup.. It droppped like a brick. Not surprising as well if you look at the 5 yr development.
    Which only left the One Question: When Will It Bounce? This kind of stuff is very Thradithional, y’know.. Pretty predictable if you know what to look for.

    Tim’s article pointed out that the speculation about the bottom value before the inevitable rebound may well be too low, and that the actual value of the company might well be worth more than people gave it credit for, indicating an expected higher level of *rebound* once the crash has run its course.
    And he was right.. A carefully chosen short-term position could have netted you anywhere between 10%-30% pure unadulterated profit, as the graph shows.

    And yes, you can only play Cowboy like this on a “lemon”, and if you do choose to hint people about the potential for profit you do it right in the middle of the downslope. Because early bird, and all.
    I can only assume Tim expects people who do wish to gamble this way to do their Homework before committing, but I feel that’s a pretty safe bet.

    So yes, Tim was correct in his assessment of the valuation of the company, and in his timing.
    I’m afraid it’s you, dear WF, who has made a crucial mistake, and have shown up at the wrong party in a Bunny costume, Bridget Jones style.

  48. One of the first rules of gloating is make sure you don’t gloat too early.

    I do invest in the stock market. Half of them go up, half go down by the same amount (and if your maths is strong you will know that equates to an overall gain) but I mainly reap dividends, so stock price tends to be irrelevant.

    You don’t measure your success in stocks on weekly or monthly movements. I trust that, should the stock turn, the gloaters will be back to apologise.

  49. Delete all comments referring to his sneer as totally irrelevant.

    I knocked up a Chrome extension to filter out all the comments from the windowlickers. I can share it if anyone wants a copy (I won’t be uploading it to the Chrome extension store, it’s far too esoteric for that!)

  50. Grikath,

    You should go long in this stock. Leverage up your position there and post a screenshot of your position. I’ll give you a doggy treat if you do it. Promise. Best not to tell the wife though she won’t understand how this mad stock picking business works. *Wink*

  51. What a lot of hot wind.

    TomJ gets it almost right at 3.23. The only place he is wrong is when he says’ is hardly a wholehearted buy recommendation’.

    There is no recommendation to buy.

    What there is is an argument to say that one of the arguments against buying is invalid. That is the whole thrust of Tim’s article.

    As a very ocasional investor in stocks, my reading is that Tim is saying, to those that know the market and the stock, one thing people are knocking about the stock is not true and if that is written into the price, then it is undervalued.

    I also read that it has dropped, that it is taking a hammering but part of the hammering may be mistaken. I even went to the WSJ.

    As I know nothing about the sector and nothing about the company, the rest of the information that Tim supplies or points me to is enough to make me run a mile.

    People go to a lot of sources for inteligence. Merely because an article talks about a stock and says that something supposedly bad about it isn’t actually bad, it is not a recommendation. There are so many caveats in the article only somebody who invests, shall we say, on belly feeling, would take it as a buy.

    It is however an interesting point for a serious risk-taker who really knows the sector and the business and the model to take into account when looking at the stock and deciding whether money can be made one way or another.

    If you are an investor with no knowledge of the stock and you invest on the basis of that article, you deserve to lose your shirt.

    But never mind, speech is free and I would like to keep it that way.

    For what it is worth, it was libel and stupid libel because the disclaimer is there. But to see it, one has to read the article slightly carefully. Still there was a quick bit of backtracking although not in a very gentlemanly manner. But Tim has never been rancorous.

    A little bit of fanciful bandwaggoning there, don’t you think chaps.

    Tim, you seem to be getting up a lot of people’s noses recently.

  52. Yes, quite so.

    Stocks are fiendishly complicated to read, and the very short-term is particularly opaque.

    Early January was a good example: plenty of good calls going south at speed, just as 9 months before a load of old bangers were sailing serenely upwards.

    Just look at institutional notes: the range of opinion is usually wide to say the least, and they can’t all be twats.

  53. You’re still wearing the Bunny costume, WF…

    My remarks were, quite specifically, on the events as they played october 2015 and the months after. The events that could have netted you a decent profit, as and when, are Past Tense. Window of Opportunity and all.

    If you’re talking taking a position *now* , present tense into the future, you are looking at a host of different considerations, given that the stock is post-crisis. Apples, oranges, stuff…

    I could tell you if I would take a position, and my considerations for any actions and reservations regarding this I may have, but TANSTAAFL and all…

  54. Yes. Investing in Valeant when it bottomed out would have been a great strategy. I wish I’d thought of that when I was watching it in real time.

    Say, you ever thought about doing this for a living? Some of the stuff you say is definitely ripe for big profits…

  55. Why would I? It’s a Mug’s Game nowadays.
    For the cowboy stuff you’re competing against the Datacenter Jockeys, and the more sedate forms of investment have their own and quite glutted market of crystal ball gazers.

    Plenty of more pleasurable things to do than jump in a shark pit.

  56. Yep. It’s almost like modern capitalism is locking out the little guy and making him eat dirt. But don’t tell Tim or any of his free market buddies.

  57. I enjoy reading brontecapital.blogspot.co.uk

    It has plenty of interesting coverage on Valeant for anyone who wants another opinion on Valeant

  58. Holy shiteballs, Tim.

    That’s the worst stock pumping I’ve ever seen. You’re supposed to make grandiose predictions and then urge readers to buy, buy, buy NOW – before the price goes through the roof!

    Reading that article… well, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were just doing a bit of deductive reasoning, the conclusion of which didn’t happen to pan out in this instance. Sad.

  59. So Much For Subtlety

    Is this Graeber the one who wrote Debt

    In which case TW is not merely a vastly better economist than Graeber is an anthropologist, TW is likely to be a better anthropologist than Graeber is an anthropologist.

  60. Lol support group time…

    Everyone feeling good? The poor? The unqualified?

    Good. That’s what this is here for.

  61. So Much For Subtlety

    Worstall’s FAIL – “Lol support group time…”

    If that is referring to me, I am agnostic on TW as an economist. I am not qualified to judge.

    But Graeber is a sh!t anthropologist in the traditional (that is, a rigorous discipline, not Social Activism dressed up as Academia) sense.

  62. I know. Bestselling author. What a FAILURE. Worstall is way more legit even though the markets don’t recognise it.

    But we’re all free market types here right?

  63. So Much For Subtlety

    Worstall’s FAIL – “I know. Bestselling author. What a FAILURE. Worstall is way more legit even though the markets don’t recognise it. But we’re all free market types here right?”

    J. K. Rowling has sold more. Jackie Collins more still.

    The question is the market for what? After all the best selling book of all time is the Bible.

  64. Wow… I’ve never heard this argument before…

    Are you saying that quantity of goods sold times price does not determine optimal allocation of resources?

    No! I won’t hear it! You’re obviously an elitist that doesn’t respect the wisdom of the market!

  65. So Much For Subtlety

    Worstall’s FAIL – “Are you saying that quantity of goods sold times price does not determine optimal allocation of resources?”

    No. I am saying that market outcomes are determined by customer preferences, not by academic rigour. The fact that David Graeber has failed to out sell Jackie Collins is not proof of La Collins’ academic credibility.

    “No! I won’t hear it! You’re obviously an elitist that doesn’t respect the wisdom of the market!”

    Jackie Collins is actually surprisingly readable. Once you get past what it is you are actually reading. The same, alas, cannot be said for a great many academics.

  66. So are you saying we should allocate resources in line with “academic rigour” rather than through market preferences?

    If so who determines what is and is not rigorous?

    I’m sorry but this sounds like a system where people will just reward their mates by saying they’re more “rigorous” than one another.

    I think I’ll trust the market. Stop trying to regulate ideas. You filthy ignorant communist. Read an economic textbook you ape.

  67. So Much For Subtlety

    Worstall’s FAIL – “So are you saying we should allocate resources in line with “academic rigour” rather than through market preferences?”

    I am enjoying your semi-coherent stream-of-consciousness rant. I assume you have had a couple of pints. Good for you.

    All I have said is that Graeber is a [email protected] anthropologist. Which he is.

    Your brilliantly insightful response that he has sold a lot of books is not a rebuttal of that. Because, obviously, Jackie Collins.

    So off you go. Rant away. It will not make Graeber’s book any less undergraduate.

  68. So Much For Subtlety

    Worstall’s FAIL – “Haha! You a bit confused bud? It’s fine. No big deal. Keep that elitist communist flag flying.”

    Will do. Remember, being the Jackie Collins of the anthropological world is still pretty good.

  69. Graeber acknowledges his mistake and the journalist gives him some slack.

    It seems obvious that there was no editorial process, and the journalist suggests a second edition…

    WF

    This blog often has the feel of a support group. Timmy can do no wrong, and when he makes obvious errors that are picked up by some technical dissenters, there is never an admission.

    Or there was once when he was forced to. But not on here.

    Even Murphy has a better track record.

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