Niall "Hit The Road Barack" Ferguson Responds To The "Liberal Blogosphere"

Tyler Durden's picture

Two days ago, historian Niall Fergsuon had the temerity to voice a personal opinion, one which happens to not exactly jive with the rest of the media's take on current events, on the cover page of Newsweek (Newsweek is still in print?) titled, succinctly enough, "Hit the road Barack: Why we need a new president." The response was fast, furious, and brutal, particularly emanating from what Ferguson has dubbed the "liberal blogosphere." Naturally in an election year, said blogosphere has much CPM-generating rumination to do (after all who knows what happens to all those ad revenues if the US corporate base implodes and all that cash on the sidelines stays there due to "policy uncertainty"), so Ferguson merely provided the chum in the water (once the time comes to pick up the calculators again after the presidential election, things will immediately quiet down but until then there is, sadly, at least two more months of ever rising cacophony). So did Ferguson back off having said his piece? Hell no. In fact, he has just made sure that the "liberal blogosphere" is will be burning the midnight oil for weeks to come engaged in completely meaningless point-counterpoint between itself and the historian, when, in reality nothing changes the simple fact that come August 2016, the US will have a simply idiotic 130%+ debt/GDP completely independent of who is in the White House, or in other words, there very well may not be another presidential election. For now, however, we have much needed bread and circuses. Below is Ferguson's just released interview from Bloomberg TV in which he responds to the salient accusations that have been leveled at him (a more essayistic version can be found here).


Ferguson on whether he’s surprised by the response to his story:

“No because the liberal blogosphere has a very tried and tested method of attacking an argument it disagrees with. That’s what has happened in this case. The first tactic is to ignore completely the arguments of the piece. The second is then to engage in nitpicking and claim to be fact checking when in fact all you're offering is a series of alternative opinions. And then you round it off by making hysterical calls for the office resignation. This is such a tried and tested method and I was fully expecting it. The usual suspects, led of course by Paul Krugman, have obliged. But they have not addressed any of the arguments I have made in the piece so I will dismiss them pretty briskly today.”

On why it makes sense to compare the net cost of the Affordable Care Act vs. the gross cost:

“The critics are the ones splitting hairs. It absolutely clear what the CBO has said, which is the costs of the ACA will not be met by new sources of revenue. They will only be met, in full, if the cost of Medicare ceases to grow at around 4%. In fact, that rate of growth will have to be halved if that is to be the case. You have to distinguish here between the direct sources of revenue created by ACA and the indirect way the CBO says it will not increase the deficit. By the way, if you go to the CBO’s long-term forecast for health spending, just take Medicare from 3% of GDP all the way up if you go to the very end of their forecast in the 2080s, to something around 13%. Either that will require a substantial increase in taxation, which is another thing President Obama pledged would not happen, or it will increase the deficit. I really do not think there is any middle ground there. This is really quite unambiguous. Krugman is being disingenuous. And sadly, my old friend Andrew Sullivan does not really understand the issue that well, which is clear from his recent post.”

On acknowledging that Obama and his team could not have foreseen how bad the economy would be:

“Right. I say that. That is why this is a classic storm in a blogger’s teacup. The point of the piece is not to go through the economic record and say, you see, he did not produce an economic miracle. I think that is not a reasonable standard. The point of the piece is to say, under those very difficult circumstances, how effective was the president as the head of the executive branch. The core of the argument, which not one of my critics has address, is that he did not manage well his economics team. More seriously, he delegated the legislation. He delegates the detail on the key issues: stimulus, health care and financial reform to his own party in Congress. We should really talk about Pelosicare, not Obamacare. That’s the key issue. It’s not about how the economy performed. We all know this was a tremendously difficult inheritance. It is about how he has performed as the leader of the executive branch and I feel it is very clear he has fallen short.”

“What I say that it is not that we should judge him as an economist. We should judge him on the promise of effective leadership and decisive change. If you assess him as a leader, not as an economist, I think it is not an impressive record. That is really the sad truth.”

On how Obama scores as a leader compared to past presidents:

“I think a fair comparison, if you accept the argument that this is more like a depression than an ordinary post war recession, would be how does he compare with Franklin Roosevelt. It is clear if you look at the economy or the boldness of the policy response, that it is not in any way of a comparison favorable to Mr. Obama. Roosevelt had a far more decisive grip on his own party and a far greater mastery of the detail of the New Deal legislation. The other point which we have not touched on is a crucial point: how effective is President Obama as a commander in chief. I think there are two points here which are absolutely crucial. The first is the really serious mishandling of what we have come to call the Arab spring, but is more understood as the general revolution in the Middle East going back to Iran in 2009, if not Iraq with Saddam Hussein. The other point is that there's not been a coherent strategy on China. The single biggest challenge this country faces is China, which will be a larger economy according to the IMF in four years’ time. That seems to be the things the critics to not want to engage—that there has not been a coherent strategy in the White House. Really, since Barack Obama entered it.”

On how he can be sure that companies will invest and hire in a Romney/Ryan administration:

“Of course, we cannot be sure about anything of that sort. What we do know is that both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are committed to raising the growth rate and it is achieving higher growth that is the key to solving most of the domestic economic issues. Remember, we were promised back in the 2010 financial year budget financial growth by this year of 4.6%. What we are actually going to get is more like 2%. What is encouraging for example about Paul Ryan’s path to prosperity is that it is fundamentally aiming at achieving growth using in some cases, Reaganite tactics which I think would be bound to have a positive impact on business confidence. If there were not a big bounce in business confidence after a Romney/Ryan victory, I would be very surprised indeed.”

On where the economy would be if Romney/Ryan were in the White House in January 2009:

“I wish we could put them in the White House in 2009. It seems to me the first thing you would not be dealing with would be the extremely time consuming exercise that we call the Affordable Care Act. That would not have been undertaken. If there had been a Republican administration, it would have been a John McCain administration rather than a Romney-Ryan administration. I certainly think there would have been significant economic pain. Would they have embarked on the same as fiscal strategy? The stimulus that the Democrats designed? No. This would have been a tax-cutting strategy rather than a spending strategy. That would have had a very different effect. What is certain is that policy would have been very different and foreign policy would have been radically different. It is hard to imagine John McCain sitting on his hands while people were in the streets of Tehran trying to overthrow one of the most dangerous regimes in the world. So, I think the differences would have been very significant.”

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Roy Bush's picture

who cares who gets elected president anyways?  Bankruptcy is inevitable....nothing will change that.

Fukushima Sam's picture

Heads you win, tails I lose.

Roy Bush's picture

no, it's heads I lose, tails I lose.  This democrats vs. republican fake-fight is such a joke it's incredible.  Just a ruse to establish the Overton Window and limit truly constructive political thought. 

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture


When are libertarians going to start giving something back to the community? All I see on these boards are libertarians and conspiracy theorists speculating about “the next big opportunity in the markets” or “how best to protect your wealth”; nowhere do I see anybody showing any interest in paying taxes to contribute to the social good, or helping out the government to fight domestic terrorism. What about actually helping people for a change??? How about, instead of promoting tax cuts for the "job creators" (cry me a river), you actually stand behind our social welfare system for once?? How about paying some taxes for a change???

Libertarians tell people that they need to work harder, and get paid less. Well you know what?? There are a LOT of hard working people out there … and they deserve to get paid just as much as any “business man” or big shot CEO.


francis_sawyer's picture

 "I'd never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member"

~Groucho Marx

Manthong's picture

Noise from Niall.

Consider the forum.

economics9698's picture

Call it like it is, Jews dictating what we are allowed to think because they have the (Federal Reserve) printing press.

economics9698's picture

If this bastard works for the Rothschild’s then Obama must suck so bad even the Jews don’t want him. 

Translation, “you can be as communist as you want but when it comes to Jews making money get the fuck out of the way negro gonium mother fucker.”

OutLookingIn's picture

"It won't make a difference which political party gets the white house or control of congress in the next election. It just doesn't matter any more and if you think it does, then you are sadly ignorant of the facts, hopelessly naive, or tragically stupid."

-Dave from Denver August 01, 2012

AldousHuxley's picture

extreme liberitarians likes to ignore natural monopolies in life....



BigJim's picture

 ... It is hard to imagine John McCain sitting on his hands while people were in the streets of Tehran trying to overthrow one of the most dangerous regimes in the world.

Much as I distrust Ferguson, I agree that, yes, I'm sure McCain would have got us involved in a war with Iran by now. Such... statesmanship!

sgt_doom's picture

LOL, BigJim, great comments!

Yup, old John "bomb my own aircraft carrier" McCain.

Old John "couldn't last 24 hours in combat without getting shot down and captured" McCain.

Old John "how many planes did I lose" McCain.

Thank god his old man got him into Annapolis, otherwise there'd be less comedy in the world.

TimmyB's picture

"Reverse Ace" McCain, the only person who destroyed the 5 aircraft required to earn the title of "Ace" by destroying 5 U.S. Navy aircraft.  I guess no one told him who the bad guys were.      


Dingleberry's picture

I like Niall.  He did a couple of really good and lengthy economic series, and I learned a lot from fact he called Britain "the world's most successful narco-state".  This is something I would have expected from Larouche.  But he (and Larouche) are entirely correct.  

prains's picture

anyone who offers as a solution a different set of ball sucking politicians as the obvious choice to lead us to the promised land is him/herself a ball sucker and should promptly be given a pair to apply said lips so they can shut the fuck up

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Ferguson is the only man let inside the libraries of the Rotheschildes, and that was because he was given permission to write their biography.  I won't shoot the messenger, as I am glad these books were written, but Niall should be closely watched and his motives examined.

The House of Rothschild - Money's Prophets:

The House of Rothschild - The World's Banker:

malikai's picture

I have a lot of respect for him. But I just can't grasp his view of Iran.

Other things don't make sense either.

economics9698's picture

Maybe when the Germans recover from their post WWII hangover they will resume killing the Rothschild’s.  We can only hope.  Maybe when our Fed dies we will resume hunting these bastards down. 

resurger's picture

dont forget the cockafellers too

BigJim's picture

If you're referring to the Nazis... how many Rothschilds did they kill? They seemed much more focussed on slaughtering your every-day, civilian Jews who were no more guilty or innocent than the rest of the us.

No killing of Rothschilds is necessary... just take away the privileges of their indirectly-owned central banks and let them sink or swim like everyone else.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

My money is on those fucking inbreds sinking, but what is the over/under?

economics9698's picture

The war pigs don't deserve a life.  

Boxed Merlot's picture

 but what is the over/under?...


The Chicago Merchantile Exchange will take that futures option from you mid 2013 when they open their London office.  (Pending approval, of course)

JR's picture

Thanks for your post; you can summarize Ferguson's views in one phrase: "Bomb Iran!"

TimmyB's picture

Ferguson's getting slammed because he's a fucking liar who was caught intentionally lying in Newsweek.  I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that a Harvard professor got caught lying in a Newsweek.  As if Harvard professors have never used thier corporate supplied platforms to brainwash the masses.  Shit, that's his fucking job, selling the propaganda.                

Vendetta's picture

Yep.  Niall spent a lot of time and likely great accuracy describing what happened to the monetary system in France when John Law was given the authority to 'do his thing' in Niall's 'The Ascent of Money'.... but Niall spent about 1 sentence mentioning what John Law did to bond holders in France when Law cleaned their fucking clocks.... he glosses over the pain and suffering inflicted by 'financiers' and bankers.  He is a mouthpiece for the cabal, nothing more like media hyped 'economists' all are.  A circular firing squad of economic opinion with the populace in the center, it gives the false impression that one is different than the other when, in fact, they only provide plausible deniability cover for the cabal's agenda and end results.

BigJim's picture

Bingo. He was pretty widely respected academically before he worked for/with the Rothschilds... since then, his reputation has taken a dive.

I caught snippets of his Reith Lectures' analyses of the problems of fractional reserve banking and he was pretty much spot-on in his diagnoses... but then he quoted from Bagehot's Lombard Street with regards to regulation and when and how the BoE should provide lender of last resort facilities, ending his speech saying, that, like Bagehot, he (Ferguson) was a realist.

What he didn't say was that Bagehot was critical of the BoE's position and the existence of central banks in the first place. Ferguson is a very smart, slippery fucker, and you should always look for the poignard hidden up his sleeve.

Manthong's picture

I think you are on the right track. Niall seems better than most.. but I think he tends to meter his info to the masses to suit certain interests.

shovelhead's picture

+ 1 for the poignard.


Perhaps the Ferg, like Bagehot, knows that CB's are like cockroaches.

Once you get 'em, they're almost impossible to exterminate. The best you can do is to keep 'em in check.

Vendetta's picture

a 'smart, slippery fucker' pretty sums up the essence of Niall.  Like Dr. Doom, they provide economic opinion that contradicts the general 'economic world' consensus but never really call for any kind of changes that would threaten the cabal's status, monopoly or authority

kreso's picture

Dear Sir,

Niall is a first class historian. And certainly has access to the 1st class information. That should make him either excellent forecaster or excellent manipulator... or...

I am quite worried with both possibilities. 

Third possibility is, if he's behaviour is just self-preservation.


Vendetta's picture

manipulator.  I could feel it very distinctly in his "The Ascent of Money".  I likely will never buy another of his books I was so disgusted by it though it did seem quite accurate about events leading to certain results.

Ghordius's picture

The books are interesting.
"The single biggest challenge this country faces is China" ??
Neil! What happened to Chimerica? Parted ways?

sgt_doom's picture

Two of the biggest piles of horseshit very spewed forth.

Fergy mentions Alfred Hartmann was hired by the Rothschilds, but then mentions nothing about the scandals (BCCI) surrounding him, his Swiss intelligence background, etc., etc., etc.

Fergy attacks David Ickes in one of the introductions of his two volumes, and David would kick his cheap ass if he did that in person.

Fergy is a farce and a fraud.

akak's picture


When are libertarians going to start giving something back to the community?

When are statists of all stripes going to stop living at the expense of others?

When are statists of all stripes going to realize that force and coercion are immoral and impractical foundations upon which to organize society?

Lastly, when are the common people going to stop being bamboozled by sociopaths and psychopaths into defending their pan-destructive societal control as "necessary" and "inevitable"?

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Central planning is part of HUMAN NATURE. Libertarians need to wake up to this and stop living in some made up fantasy world where we can't trust our own government and central banking officials. Spoiled brat libertarians use government roads, bridges and healthcare, and in exchange you OWE the government your time and compliance. You just take all these gifts provided by the government and then cry about how you are mistreated by the state.

francis_sawyer's picture


When the 'United States' became THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA... All bets were removed from the table...

akak's picture


Central planning (and the institutionalized coercion that statism represents) are part of SOCIOPATHS' NATURE.

Fixed that for you.

John_Coltrane's picture

Well said.  Statists are also called CONTROL FREAKS for a reason.  They are freaks!  A freak of nature is a deviation from the rules of natural selection and evolution.  Natural selection requires competition.  The state and its subsidized cartels goal is to eliminate competition and "protect the weak from failure" via bailout, social welfare, and subsidy.  Examples of the weak:  AIG, BAC, C, GM, Solindra, disability fraudsters, banksters etc.

The war between the individual seeking freedom and individual responsibility and those seeking central control via "experts" (Fabian socialists, fascists etc) will never cease.

mckee's picture

The spoiled brat libertarians you refer to are none of the above. They recognize the need for taxes for common goods and I'm sure many even contribute money/time to charitable causes. The question you need to ask your spoiled brat liberal self is how much is enough. Are there not enough tax revenues to cover the social goods you refer to? Maybe you should start asking how wisely what we "OWE" is spent.

EvlTheCat's picture

I suppose austerity is part of "Human Nature" also?  It will be funny when the welfare spigot dries up.  I can only imagine what us spoiled brat Libertarians will be doing.  Controlling Barter Town while the unwashed masses eat themselves, I suppose?

Personally, I would rather have the rights given to us in the Constitution then your Central Planning crime syndicate, but to each their own.

knukles's picture

I recommended you highly to Jack Kervorkian, MDB

TWSceptic's picture


It's of course intellectually dishonest to claim someone agrees with something just because they live in that system and are basically forced to abide by it.


Common fallacy, so I thought I'd point that out for people who take MDB seriously.