Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For One Low Price

Megan McArdle blogs about infomercials:

I can't explain why the raw hucksterism so appeals to me, but there's something in the combination of honest greed and mutually acknowledged prevarication that is deeply compelling.
I know. I read your blog, and "honest greed and mutually acknowledged prevarication" describes your relationship with your world perfectly.

Megan pretends hindsight is just as good as foresight.

...Who is there with the capital to absorb the struggling operations of BofA and Citigroup?

That leaves nationalization, or liquidation. And a fire sale of two of the country's biggest banks would be, she said with dramatic understatement, very bad for the health of the financial system. It's simply not strong enough to absorb the losses.

In the past few days, I've spoken to a few economics people who are feeling a little perkier about the economy's prospects. I tend to think we're in a lull before the storm gets a second wind.
Before the storm she thought something completely different.

First, the American economy is simply amazingly resilient--1.9% is cause for exultant celebration in a lot of European finance ministries. And second, Barack Obama's campaign team is probably doing some serious rethinking this morning.
But if her bosses at The Atlantic don't care she's usually wrong, why should I?


Anonymous said...

"mutually acknowledged prevarication"? When have you ever seen one of those shysters hawking infomercial rubbish that they claim can do everything short of make babies and cure cancer? Granted, I don't watch those things that often, so there actually could be some "acknowledged prevarication" where the host stands up on the stage and tells everyone that the product he's selling is 100% crap and not worth the price that I'm not aware of.

Susan of Texas said...

What a weird thing to say. It's obviously not true--host, co-host and audience are all selling the products. Take the patches she put on her feet to "remove toxins" or whatever they do. It's obviously a useless product that can't do what it vaguely claims to do. Yet she bought it anyway-why?

Why spend so much money on Sephora products and clothes from catalogues? Why fuss over the perfect appliance when all you're going by is the name anyway? She knows she's being fed a constant diet of lies and other crap to get her to spend money, yet she does it anyway. Is her sense of identity that tenuous?

Megan McArdle, our own little Chinese puzzle.