Late NIght Open Thread: Peddling One’s Assets for Money

I hope Glenn Hubbard has his google-alert app in full update, cuz it would be a shame if he missed Matt Taibbi’s assessment:

… A few months ago, the Dean of Columbia’s business school was a leading economic advisor to Mitt Romney and a rumored (perhaps even consensus) candidate for the Treasury Secretary job.

Now Romney’s out of the presidential picture and Hubbard – well, he’s just yet another grasping jobholder who’s been exposed as a paid mouthpiece in a court proceeding…

So how much does it cost to get the Dean of Columbia Business School to say that Countrywide customers weren’t injured by fraud? Well, MBIA’s lawyer, Phillipe Selendy of Quinn Emmanuel, asked Hubbard that very question:

Q. How are you being compensated?

A. I’m being compensated at an hourly rate for my work.

Q. Do you know your hourly rate?

A. Yes, it’s $1200 an hour.

For comparison’s sake, $1200 an hour is about what Natalia, the woman New York Magazine called “America’s #1 escort” in a famous profile many years ago, made early on in her career working for Jason Itzler, the self-described “King of All Pimps.” It’s not the top-end rate for the kind of Mercedes-class prostitute you’d romp with from an outfit like the Emperors Club, but according to the L.A. Times, it’s still more than you’d have to pay for the usual “vanilla sex” or “Republican sex.” Twelve hundred dollars an hour in America buys high-end companionship that can run a little bit kinky, if that’s where your needs lay. And that’s exactly what MBIA got with Hubbard’s research…

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108 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Methinks Matt is revealing a wee bit too much here. Or I’m being unnecessarily prudish.

  2. 2
    Lyrebird says:

    kitchen question:

    One of my older relatives is running out of Corningware coffee cups. She likes having a tea or coffee cup that’s thin enough to get hot enough to burn ordinary mortals’ fingers (hers are made of steel, apparently), and nowadays the offshore-made “Corning”-whatever cups are too thick.

    She’s not attached to the brand, just to the functionality — strong enough to tolerate many rounds through a dishwasher, but lots of heat transfer w/o cooling off the beverage too much. Anyone here have suggestions?

    And a good night to all, regardless.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    Naughty Natalia would probably have made for more interesting “expert” witness than this Dean. I suspect Columbia isn’t all that amused; this expert testimony seems rather questionable.

  4. 4
    redshirt says:

    I wonder if he has to punch in/out, with 30 minutes for lunch.

  5. 5
    Ruckus says:

    Probably gets lunch expensed as well.

    If you’ve convinced someone that letting you fuck them is worth $1200/hr, whats a little lunch on the side?

  6. 6
    Suzanne says:

    I can’t read articles like these. They just make me depressed because I obviously went into the wrong field. I should have become and escort. GOD.

  7. 7
    RaflW says:

    So there’s been a new round of Obama’s selling us out on Twitter late this evening. Anyone have a sense if this is just the usual chatter, or any substance to the panic…


  8. 8
    RaflW says:

    And one of the really disappointing things about all this is that cuts to the military barely get talked about. I’d be willing to let tax rates rise on my income if I had a decent sense that the military sequester could also hold.

  9. 9
    burnspbesq says:

    Fuck Taibbi. He should outsource talking about law to someone who has a clue.

    All litigants are entitled to put on the strongest case they can afford, including putting on expert witnesses on any issue where expert testimony may be of assistance to the trier of fact (that’s the standard in the Federal Rules of Evidence). MBIA can, and undoubtedly will, put on its own experts, who will undoubtedly reach conclusions based on the same data that are the polar opposite of Hubbard’s. And the jury will decide which side’s story is more plausible.

    If Hubbard’s testimony is crap, the jury will figure that out for itself. And if it’s so crappy as to be outside the bounds of solid economics, MBIA’s lawyers will file a motion to exclude Hubbard’s testimony, there will be a hearing (commonly known as a Daubert hearing, after the Supreme Court case that established the procedure), and if the judge decides that the jury shouldn’t hear Hubbard’s testimony, he or she will so rule.

  10. 10
    Yutsano says:

    @RaflW: It won’t. No way do defence contractors give up their sweet sweet government largesse.

  11. 11
    mikej(droid) says:

    @Ruckus: On the other hand, when people pay top dollar they expect everything to be included.

  12. 12
    RaflW says:

    Also, will there be Sleestaks after the cliff?

  13. 13
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Oh, that’s nasty. I love it, what an apt comparison.

  14. 14
    Gian says:

    look for cups bade with

    instead of the soda-something or other the main manufactures for the US shifted to not that long ago – including pyrex

    if you spend some time looking around you’ll see stories of exploding glass, especially sensitive to temperature changes, so a hot cup from the microwave put on a cold granite counter might blow

  15. 15
    Triassic Sands says:

    Hubbard is just one more worthless right wing economist. His advice is worth precisely nothing if you’re hoping to run an economy anywhere other than into the ground.

    Twelve hundred dollars an hour is laughable — I wonder if he helped Romney formulate his “47% are parasites” populist appeal to the masses?

    I think it was in the documentary “Inside Job” that Hubbard really stood out as an empty shill for worthless policies. He reeked of corruption.

    On the other hand, Hubbard’s advice could be invaluable — just listen to what he recommends and then do something completely different. His guarantee should be “Do the opposite and you can’t go wrong.”

  16. 16
    Triassic Sands says:

    Oh, yeah, and Columbia should be ashamed of itself for having Hubbard on its faculty. He belongs at Liberty or Patrick Henry, where the true believers gather to be indoctrinated.

  17. 17
    Gian says:

    just want to say… I find comparing rates of pay for this guy to rates of pay for the oldest profession an interesting sort of way to go.

    my first thought was would you compare a highly skilled heart surgeon’s salary to a street walker?

    then I remembered what I suspect may have been an early david brock as good guy project

    and I figure however inartful the writing, the w-word comparison makes some sense. It’s also an insult to people who provide that other service, who don’t pretend to be selling something else.

  18. 18
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Seeing some people foam at the mouth at the mention of Taibbi is pretty funny.

  19. 19
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Blasted on NYE eve. Amurrrika, fuck yeah

    PF37 +7

    Gonna save the motherfuckin world yeah

  20. 20
    mai naem says:

    Have you tried Replacements Inc.

    I don’t know if this is the newer stuff or the older stuff. Also, if you don’t mind getting used stuff you could try ebay. Otherwise, the stainless steel ones from Starbucks or other places. I happen to like the Starbucks one. It seems more substantial than other ones I’ve seen. As far as ceramics, I would try any of the better quality Brit ones like Royal Doulton or Wedgwood since they drink hot tea all the time.

  21. 21
    askew says:

    I’ve been worried that Hillary has a more serious health condition for awhile. A concussion alone wouldn’t have kept her from all work duties for this long IMO. I hope she has a strong recovery.

  22. 22
    Jay C says:


    If you can take the time to slog through it, this diary from Daily Kos last week pretty much works the “new Pyrex”/borosilicate issue into the ground. Caution: 411 comments….

  23. 23
    Lyrebird says:

    @Gian: @mai naem: Thanks muchly! Some more search terms to enter into eBay on my quest for her b’day present. And I think the Replacements people are progressive in some fashion, probably learned that here…

    ETA: Thanks @Jay C, too!

  24. 24
    Triassic Sands says:

    OT — apparently, Democrat’s willingness to give in isn’t of any interest to Republicans. Unless the Dems agree to the Thugs demands, plus maybe throw in a sweetener or two, the Wrecking Crew just isn’t interested in dealing.

    I’ve been hoping there would be no deal before the deadline, because then the Dems should be in the strongest possible bargaining position. However, between the Republicans willingness to trash the country and Obama’s abysmal negotiating skills, it’s hard to see a happy ending.

    In a recent Harper’s, Marcia Bates, Professor Emerita of Information Studies, UCLA, wrote this about Obama’s “bargaining technique.”

    Thomas Frank fails to recognize a key element of Obama’s bargaining technique. This son of a single mother learned a woman’s way of negotiating–a fundamentally cooperative approach dependent upon good faith, without posturing or making strict demands.

    Unfortunately, when women offer to give something up, men take it as a sign of weakness and demand still more. This is where Obama finds himself time and again. The real mystery is why such an astute man fails to understand that his preferred technique does not work.

    Of course, if that truly is his style, it won’t work with Republicans, because not only are they men, probably not the most important consideration here, but they don’t negotiate in good faith. Apart from having absolute power, I can’t think of any negotiating technique that will work with opponents who don’t know the meaning of “good faith.”

  25. 25
    Citizen Alan says:


    If Hubbard’s testimony is crap, the jury will figure that out for itself.

    I find it almost impossible to believe that you have ever been a trial attorney if you believe this to be true.

  26. 26
    Ruckus says:

    Don’ t know for sure but I suspect that if one was stupid enough to pay this asshole $1200 per for his expertease they just might be stupid enough to talked into… anything.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Xenos says:

    Of course Hubbard is billing at a rate like that. The damages in question are enormous, and Hubbard’s professional reputation is on the line here. An ordinary full prof with an international reputation in academics and management would cost what, $900 per hour?

    As for whether the jury can figure out whether Hubbard’s testimony is crap, that is for the other side’s attorneys to demonstrate. The existence of damages arising from fraud is not that esoteric, really.

  29. 29
    James E Powell says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I have to agree, with all due respect. Sometimes juries figure out which expert is full of shit, sometimes they don’t. Quite a few jurors have told me that they ignored the experts because they figured they’re paid to say what they say.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    The funniest part is that you don’t even seem to realize that what you posted is a steaming pile of fact-free bullshit.

    Seriously, did you have no idea that claiming that Obama negotiates like a gurl might be, I dunno, a little sexist? And, no, pointing out that the originator of the bullshit is a woman doesn’t give you a free pass, unless you also think that Ann Coulter is telling us a truth everyone else is afraid to say when she says women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they’re too emotional

  31. 31
    redshirt says:

    @Triassic Sands: This is all bullshit and poorly formed gender politics.

    As has happened many times in the past, why don’t we see what deal actually emerges before condemning Obama as a failure before we know anything. And he certainly has been playing the Republicans – you don’t think he and his team understand Wingnuts?

  32. 32
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Citizen Alan: burns sees the name “Taibbi” and goes into rage mode.

  33. 33
    mdblanche says:

    Watch out Natalia, you’ve got competition.

    In a related story, someone else with ties to Romney has also landed on his feet. I’m beginning to think Bibi is deliberately trying to leave Israel without any allies and the President’s continuing to say nice things about Israel is a secret elventy-dimensional chess way of foiling him.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    Is there a BJ Steam group? If there is, I’m interested in joining.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PsiFighter37: How many bottles are left? Just asking…. I watched Amistad and some bits of Downton Abbey and have been more sober in my past.

    @ Anne Laurie: Do you compare the hourly rates of all professionals to those of prostitutes? If not, is there an hourly rate at which you presume selling integrity for money comes into play?

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    is there an hourly rate at which you presume selling integrity for money comes into play?

    Very good question. I don’t know if there’s an hourly rate. In my line of work (engineering) it comes down to numbers, and they usually don’t lie. They can be tweaked, however, and they get tweaked to keep a good relationship with the client. Or when you’re one type of corporate officer. So to that extent, it really isn’t the hourly rate, it’s the ethical flexibility of the person charging the rate.

  39. 39
    PeakVT says:

    Owning a silencer just means you love your kids.

    No idea if the silencer push is all that big, but just a wee little push of the device strikes me as crazy enough.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: I am a lawyer; our hourly rates depend on a variety of things. Firm, status of lawyer, type of case, etc. Some lawyers and some firms have “viewpoints.” One can hire a firm that matches ones views. It doesn’t mean that lawyers are whores. One can also hire a lawyer that will make the best argument for one’s situation that he/she can conceive. If one wants to call it prostitution, one can. I wouldn’t suggest it if one ever needs counsel however.

  42. 42
    Jewish Steel says:

    Is prostitution really as bad as all that?

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jewish Steel: It depends, doesn’t it?

  44. 44
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    One can also hire a lawyer that will make the best argument for one’s situation that he/she can conceive.

    One can also hire an engineer in the same manner. It happens more often in the real estate development business, when the engineering can be (legitimately, I might add) tweaked to reduce the cost of complying with development regs. In which case it’s up to the regulators to push back, which they do.

    Our hourly rates tend to go by expertise and seniority in general. Good salaries also go to project managers who can hit the trifecta of high quality, low cost, and fast schedules. Most of us can get 2 out of 3.

  45. 45
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Quite. In theory there’s nothing wrong with it provided no one’s getting exploited.

    I just detected sort of an old testament vibe to the way the word was being spat out. Maybe someone should warn Yutsy that stoning tax collectors can’t be too far behind?

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Ruckus says:

    @Jewish Steel:
    At least in this particular case it seems like it may have been a rather one sided affair. Way overpaying for an worse than useless suit, if you will.

  48. 48
    Yutsano says:

    @Jewish Steel: Meh. I just got ripped for my profession today for the sin of being hyperbolic on the Internet (someone’s fee-fees were quite delicate, hoocodanode?) so I suppose stoning is next. It just has to be cleared with the 6’4″ 245 lb Marine with the marksman medal. Wait, cancel that. He might just agree for teh lulz.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jewish Steel: AL has a lot of virtues, but she turns to class resentment very quickly. I tend to think if we met in person that she would despise me for my accent and style of dress. Sad really.

    @Yutsano: Bob Dylan said everybody must be stoned.

  50. 50
    David Koch says:

    There’s still time to primary Obama!

    It’s not too late!

    Manning/Warren 2013!

  51. 51
    David Koch says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Is prostitution really as bad as all that?

    it depends on the agency.

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It was everybody must GET stoned, wich really isn’t any better for me. I’m at least a decent tax collector. And if all goes well, by February not only will I be a certified instructor I might also be a taxpayer advocate. We’ll see.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    OTOH I am pleasantly buzzed and listening to “London Calling.” Life is good. And Death or Glory just started.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Get, be. W’evs. (Yeah, you are right.) Kick ass on the career upgrade thing.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @wasabi gasp: Don’t make me post weird shit.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The Card Cheat is a brilliant song. Just fucking brill.

  58. 58
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Charles Emerson Winchester III, I presume?

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sweetie, I would “despise [you] for [your] accent and style of dress” exactly as much as I do, or don’t, despise you for your comments here.

    As Gore Vidal said about Truman Capote, I just have a sharp ear for the unspoken word. We’re all selling ourselves, or some skillset of ourselves — the difference is in how you draw the axis of your acceptable-to-unbearable chart. Hubbard is quite quite certain that selling his services while keeping his expensively-tailored suit buttoned makes him a better person than, for instance, a sex worker; Taibbi rebuts that both parties are trading their professional reassurance for money.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Nah, voice and accent been compared to Malkovich in “Dangerous Liaisons” Apparently, I just sound snotty.

  62. 62
    Brachiator says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Thomas Frank fails to recognize a key element of Obama’s bargaining technique. This son of a single mother learned a woman’s way of negotiating–a fundamentally cooperative approach dependent upon good faith, without posturing or making strict demands.

    Ironic that this bit of nonsense is in a thread about escorts. Women in the sex trade are typically shrewd strategists who can, obviously, negotiate the pants off of stupid dicks.

    Equally to the point, people stuck on the Obama as bad negotiator stuff are clearly beating a dead horse and don’t have a clue as to what might really be going on. And neither do the media.

    Some questions: why has Boehner apparently ceded control to the Senate? What does it say that neither Reid nor McConnell nor Biden have been able to get any kind of deal? Is everyone trying to avoid any responsibility, or are they going to wait until after January and try some “look, we actually lowered taxes” film flam?

    The Republicans seem to have gone out of their way to remove any Republican that the president could talk to, and have apparently undermined Boehner’s ability to guarantee that the House Republicans will stick to any deal.

    And yet with all this craziness and confusion, some want to keep flogging the tired old crap about Obama’s supposed lack of negotiating skills.

  63. 63
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: when I have heard recordings of my own voice, I sound frighteningly similar to Jeff Spicoli, with some NorCal variations.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: My best friend in college was a dead ringer for him. But he was from ND.

  65. 65
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Shit gets weird.

    Plaid – Itsu

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie: I had a comment that disappeared… Lots of typing this late at night… AL, you do have a tendency to react negatively to anyone who seems posh. Sorry, you do, dear. YMMV.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @wasabi gasp: Okay, fine.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    liberal says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    He really came off as a total prick in Inside Job.

  70. 70
    josefina says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    AL, you do have a tendency to react negatively to anyone who seems posh. Sorry, you do, dear. YMMV.

    OO, you may have a tendency to attribute negative reactions to your supposed poshness rather than your demonstrated assery. Really, you may, sweetie. IOKIYAWanker.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @josefina: Thank you for your observation. OTOH I may have been participating in threads here for several years which may have given me some insight into the FPs, or not. YMMV.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    bin Lurkin' says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The origin of the word “Posh” is kind of amusing, it comes from cabin assignments in the halcyon days when the sun never set on the British Empire.

  74. 74
    Jamey says:

    @Lyrebird: Corning’s Correlle line–it’s opaque Pyrex/borosilicate. Comes in lurvely, semi-ironic colors, too!

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Lyrebird: “One of my older relatives is running out of Corningware coffee cups.”

    Try This guy’s got everything. I recently completed a set which was discontinued in 1964.

  77. 77
    Jamey says:

    @Triassic Sands: NYTimes Magazine profile on Hubbard was semi-positive, but nonetheless damning.

  78. 78
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Suzanne: Lawyers, Escorts. What’s the difference?

  79. 79
    gene108 says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Obama is making the classic “mistake” of previous U.S. elected officials: He believes the opposition is also interested in governing the country and therefore would be willing to enter into good faith negotiations to meet a common objective.

    The end result would a compromise of some sort, whereby each side gives up and gets some of their agenda implemented into law.

    It’s not Obama’s fault the Congressional Republicans have become hostage takers, who (1) don’t care if the hostages die and (2) cannot be harmed by you in any way, shape or form.

    I have no earthly idea how you negotiate with invulnerable hostage takers, when you want to make sure the hostages don’t die, but cannot in any way harm the terrorists.

  80. 80
    Xenos says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni:

    Lawyers, Escorts. What’s the difference?

    There is no implicit guarantee of satisfaction when it comes to hiring lawyers.

  81. 81
    Tyro says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: The Democrats are a coalition of two parties– the Democratic Party and the “Nice People” Party. Taibbi really grates against the “Nice People” faction, and worry that he’s being unfair and hurting the “cause” (of being Nice).

  82. 82
    Shalimar says:


    Obama is making the classic “mistake” of previous U.S. elected officials: He believes the opposition is also interested in governing the country and therefore would be willing to enter into good faith negotiations to meet a common objective.

    I see no evidence at all that Obama believes Republicans are interested in governance or operating in good faith. He seems fully aware of what they really are. What he is doing is trying to help people and the economy as much as possible despite the opposition. The alternative is doing nothing for the next 2 years and hoping the next congressional election changes the dynamics. I don’t really agree with all of the administration’s choices and goals, but the campaign rhetoric proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Obama knows what he is dealing with.

  83. 83
    Billy says:


    Sure, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with lying your ass off for money in Republicanland.

  84. 84
    Johannes says:

    @burnspbesq: Look, I get you don’t like Taiibi, but the notion that the jury may not buy Hubbard’s dog and pony show may be a bit naive, in view of his title and the general lack of knowledge re ecomomics methodology in the non-academic world. Also, too, (had to!) a Daubert motion and a Daubert hearing requires a level of asinity that goes well beyond Taiibi’s claim that Hubbard is acting equivalently to a prostitute–indeed,admissibility of the testimony doesn’t really bear on that. I’ve done Daubert motions in the social sciences, and they’re tough because there’s a lot of fudge room, and judges feel that ruling out renowned experts–like the Dean of Columbiia’s b school, say–makes them look like know-nothings. Better to punt and let the jury decide, they tend to think.

  85. 85
    gene108 says:


    I see no evidence at all that Obama believes Republicans are interested in governance or operating in good faith.

    I believe he treated them as, if they were negotiating in good faith early in his Administration. Even his offer of $400,000 and above get a tax increase and the chained CPI thingy may have been an attempt to negotiate in good faith, though I can’t read minds, so I don’t know what he was thinking there.

    Maybe capitulation or maybe some 11-dimensional-chess move that leads to checkmate of your opponent, who knows…

    What the modern crop of Republicans are doing is unprecedented, so I’m not sure what you compare Obama to to decide if he’s a good/bad negotiator.

  86. 86
    Rosie Outlook says:

    On Balloon Juice, where you can’t see somebody or hear his accent, how can you tell he’s posh or not?

  87. 87
    kc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s it, AL must just dislike Hubbard because he “seems posh.” There could be no other reason.

  88. 88
    kc says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    I dunno, but from now on Omnes will be wearing a monocle, in my mind’s eye.

  89. 89
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Citizen Alan: Agreed – I actually work in this field (in Canada) and you can never predict what a jury will listen to or why. In a case like this, the jury is not likely to fully understand the complexities of the transactions and will make their decision on other factors. It is likely that Hubbard was hired not for his expertise in the field (if any)but the fact that he’s an Ivy League professor. Having said that, being a dick during cross-examination has never been a winning strategy in my experience

  90. 90
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @kc: Colonel Klink or Mr. Peanut?

  91. 91
    Hidden Heart says:

    @Lyrebird: A friend of mine speaks highly of for thing like that.

  92. 92
    bemused says:

    This am got an email from a friend that Hilary Clinton is hospitalized for treatment of a blood clot due to her concussion. She must be “faking it” again to avoid Benghazi testimony. Man, Dems will stoop to anything to avoid personal responsibility.

    I wasn’t listening to Morning Joe that carefully but I didn’t hear Hilary’s blood clot mentioned. They seemed to be too busy talking about cutting “entitlements”.

  93. 93
    Emma says:


    Here we go again.

    Do we need to go through the list of Obama’s accomplishments in spite of Congressional opposition? Again?

    I am beginning to think that many Democrats have internalized the Republican way of thinking about Obama. Weak… ineffective…. and when he gets everything he wants, including the presidency for a second time, they walk around telling us how he triumphed in spite of himself and how it was other people who did it, not him.

    Maybe Marshall is more right than he knew. Not only is Washington wired for Republicans, so are a lot of Democrats.

    And that stuff about women’s negotiating? She must have a very small circle of female acquaintances.

  94. 94
    TR says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Same here. If you think a trial jury of laymen is going to do anything but defer to the opinion of the Dean of Columbia Business School, then you are a horrid lawyer.

  95. 95
    Linnaeus says:

    I remember seeing Hubbard in Inside Job. He came off as a real jerk.

  96. 96
    Nerull says:

    @Gian: One thing too keep in mind is that real borosilicate is very fragile. One of the reasons Pyrex switched is that heat fractures in soda lime are very rare while impact fractures in borosilicate are pretty common.

  97. 97
    Freemark says:

    It seems to me all this discussion about lawyers and who AL likes/doesn’t like misses the point.
    A prostitute fucks her client because she is paid, not because she loves him, and she will say what the client wants to hear. Hubbard knows what he is testifying to is bullshit but he is willing to do so for money. He is prostituting himself. One who sells one’s abilities, talents, or name for an unworthy purpose.

    Taibbi is right on the money, as usual.

  98. 98
    Anya says:

    This an old article about Chuck Hagel and his brother Tom and the different paths they took after their return from Vietnam. It’s an interesting read:
    The private war of Chuck and Tom Hagel

  99. 99
    Svensker says:


    Ebay. Also

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kc: No monocle, but I do have a smoking jacket.

  101. 101
    Ruckus says:

    I don’t know, I think it depends on how he comes across to the jury. If he acts like his asshole self then he is not going to be able to skate on his title. Also if I’m on the jury, anyone from a business school getting paid to testify is in negative territory before he opens his mouth. IOW I’ll give him the due he deserves. I may not be normal in this regard. But always expecting a jury to defer to a paid expert seems rather crass and demeaning to them. Some of us can and do understand any number of things. Maybe the lawyers don’t understand the case properly and therefore don’t present them in an understanding fashion. A bad teacher can still have smart students. Many serve on juries even when they are smart enough not to have to.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    I agree except on one point.
    I’m not sure that Hubbard does know he is full of shit. Just because he is willing to take someones money to testify doesn’t mean he is not a true believer. A prostitute almost by definition is only doing business solely for the money. It may be true 99.9% of the time but as with most things human it is still almost.

  103. 103
    dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: Shorter Burns: the integrity of Columbia Business School and it’s dean, a decorated Ph.D economist, is rightfully for sale, and he can trade on the school’s reputation, and his own, for the highest bidder, regardless of the truth of a situation. All because uneducated lawyers and 12 honest men might possibly figure out the bullshit. Or not.

    But if all the checks clear, it’s all good and it’s a clear vindication of 1) the academic system; 2) the market system and 3) the legal system.

    Burns, applauding the collapse of our institutions ever since Daddy paid for his law degree.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    Apart from having absolute power, I can’t think of any negotiating technique that will work with opponents who don’t know the meaning of “good faith.”

    You take the biggest baddest Republican and cut his head off in front of the rest. Then you explain to the 2nd one that he keeps his GOP b*tches in line, or else.

  105. 105
    Triassic Sands says:


    Funny, where I come from women are allowed to have opinions too.

    I didn’t say I subscribed to her “theory,” but thought it interesting coming from a woman who isn’t hostile to Obama. As for it being sexist, I posed that very question to several women, and all agreed that there is nothing sexist about pointing out something one believes based on experience and evidence. Men and women are different and go about various tasks differently. To deny that is pure anti-intellectualism.

    I also realize that the steaming pile of horseshit could just as easily apply to someone who is incapable of independent thought or incapable of even considering another’s criticism of Obama.

    As I said, I don’t think her opinion is the most relevant issue in dealing with a Congress that won’t ever negotiate in good faith. You probably missed that part since reason apparently goes out the window when someone criticizes the president.

    Unless you’re a complete dunce, mnemosyne, (and I don’t think you are), you have to know that many people who like Obama also think he’s a lousy negotiator. (Even some people who study negotiating professionally.) Why that might be is an interesting question (assuming it’s true) and Professor Bates’ opinion was a different take than I had seen before. Needless to say, based on your knee-jerk response, no man could possibly have posed such an idea without being pilloried as the worst sexist pig ever. Free and open discussion and consideration are the keys to rationality.

    You can disagree with me, or Bates, or both of us, but calling her opinion “sexist” is just a cheap way of avoiding her point.

  106. 106
    liberal says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Unless you’re a complete dunce, mnemosyne, (and I don’t think you are), you have to know that many people who like Obama also think he’s a lousy negotiator.

    Central issue here is that if you don’t think Obama is the messiah, you’re a heretic.

  107. 107
    liberal says:

    Good point.

    I don’t think humans do cognitive dissonance very well.

    If you look at economists in particular, while I completely agree that the profession as a whole is a set of whores, they really seem to have internalized their own bullshit.

    While the human cost of the crash of the housing bubble is staggeringly high, at least it cinched the claim that economists, as a class, are a bunch of a-scientific, whorish clowns (given the pathetic history of the profession as regards warning/doing anything about it).

  108. 108
    Ruckus says:

    And you may be too harsh here as well. A number of people did warn about this (I believe Krugman for one) but no one listened. Not that many econs don’t fit right into your description. But that can be said of many groups. The other side is most people didn’t know much of what was going on because it was hidden for a reason until it was too late. I noticed that where I was living way too many homes were being built(corn belt) but I thought it was local due to land prices and speculation. I see I was partially right. Just not a big enough part.

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