Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ayn Rand-An Investment Genius?

Allen Barra at "the Daily Beast" calls Ayn Rand "a wicked witch" and says that she has given him the creeps since high school (presumably a long time ago).

After that he proceeds with a full-scale ad hominem (personal) attack, trying his best to use every alleged (real or made up)personal flaw of her to make her look as bad as possible. He however advances no real argument against her ideas, except that Alan Greenspan was responsible for the financial crisis, and Alan Greenspan used to be an associate of Rand, so this supposedly means that Rand's ideas caused the financial crisis.

That of course does not follow since Greenspan in practice abandondend Rand's ideas decades ago, and as Fed chairman he in fact implemented policies that were the opposite of the ones he advocated when he was associated with Rand.

Barra is so eager to attack Rand that he doesn't think through his attacks. The example most interesting to most readers is that Rand until her death in 1982 only saved in savings deposits and didn't invest in the stock market, something which according to Barra proved her ignorance. Except that during the last few years of Rand's life, stock markets were in a bear market (the through of the bear market was reached several months after Rand died), while interest rates were relatively high. So putting your money in a savings deposit while not investing anything in the stock market was in fact the smart thing to do. So if we are to judge her ideas on that basis, we would have to laud Rand.