Why Ben Stiller is currently the biggest story out of Ukraine

Because, as Adam Creighton points out, ‘Experts’ have been so wrong on just about everything.

Foreign policy experts, though, have given economists a run for their money since Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the US and Europe to wallop Russia with unprecedented sanctions designed to compel Vladimir Putin to stop his illegal invasion.

They fired a bazooka at their own feet, doing nothing to avert the war while crushing the competitiveness of European industry and slashing the living standards of ordinary Americans and Europeans. Goodbye German car industry, on current trends.

It’s worse, though. In late March Biden, under the advice of experts no doubt, said Russia’s currency would be turned to “rubble” by sanctions. This week the rouble reached a seven-year high against the US dollar, becoming the best performing currency in the world this year.

Interest rates on Russian 10-year government bonds, at about 9 per cent, are one percentage point lower than they were before the war. The Russian central bank is cutting interest rates as the Fed lifts them.

Soaring energy prices, as a result mainly of Western sanctions, have supercharged Russian oil and gas revenues, quadrupling the Russian government’s budget surplus in May compared with the same month a year ago, as Putin gloated in St Petersburg last week.

Security and intelligence experts haven’t done much better, routinely foreshadowing the collapse of Russian forces, or even the imminent death of Putin from a variety of diseases, all while those forces appear to have slowly occupied a fifth of Ukraine, including the crucial land corridor between Crimea and Russia.

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32 Responses to Why Ben Stiller is currently the biggest story out of Ukraine

  1. C.L. says:

    It’s hard to recall a period in history in which experts have been so comprehensively wrong on so many topics in such a short time. Think Covid-19, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and inflation.

    Intelligence experts looked foolish when it turned out Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction after all.

    The Queen took a dim view of economists, who failed en masse to foresee problems in the world’s banking system that precipitated the global financial crisis in 2008.

    Economists have a long history of being wrong, at least since more than 300 of them publicly warned Margaret Thatcher in 1981 that the British prime minister’s belt-tightening policies would cause a recession, only to be proved spectacularly wrong a few months later.

    But the decade beginning in 2020 appears to have taken institutional wrongness to a higher plane. Economists, even after the embarrassment of calling inflation “transitory” for most of last year, are still at it; they wrote a public letter in September last year playing down concerns about inflation and encouraging Joe Biden to press ahead with his $US3.5 trillion Build Back Better package. But with inflation at almost 9 per cent in the US, supporters of the package have gone strangely quiet in recent months.

    Foreign policy experts, though, have given economists a run for their money since Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the US and Europe to wallop Russia with unprecedented sanctions designed to compel Vladimir Putin to stop his illegal invasion.

    They fired a bazooka at their own feet, doing nothing to avert the war while crushing the competitiveness of European industry and slashing the living standards of ordinary Americans and Europeans. Goodbye German car industry, on current trends.

    It’s worse, though. In late March Biden, under the advice of experts no doubt, said Russia’s currency would be turned to “rubble” by sanctions. This week the rouble reached a seven-year high against the US dollar, becoming the best performing currency in the world this year.

    Interest rates on Russian 10-year government bonds, at about 9 per cent, are one percentage point lower than they were before the war. The Russian central bank is cutting interest rates as the Fed lifts them.

    Soaring energy prices, as a result mainly of Western sanctions, have supercharged Russian oil and gas revenues, quadrupling the Russian government’s budget surplus in May compared with the same month a year ago, as Putin gloated in St Petersburg last week.

    Security and intelligence experts haven’t done much better, routinely foreshadowing the collapse of Russian forces, or even the imminent death of Putin from a variety of diseases, all while those forces appear to have slowly occupied a fifth of Ukraine, including the crucial land corridor between Crimea and Russia.

    Perhaps these are the same US intelligence experts who in October 2020 publicly said they were convinced the files on Hunter Biden’s laptops, which have since raised serious questions about the business dealings of the US President’s family, had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation”. Perhaps, but it was also entirely real, as similarly benighted media experts have now conceded.

    Then there’s the climate change and energy experts who have been telling us for years a rising share of solar and wind power in national grids would cause prices to decline, when the two nations furthest down that path – Germany and Denmark – have the most expensive power in Europe. Batteries would continue to get cheaper, the experts told us, seemingly oblivious of the impact an immense increase in mandated demand for electric cars and giant lithium batteries would have on the price of the critical minerals they require. Not very smart.

    But no group of experts can compete with epidemiologists and other so-called public health experts for being so militantly and repeatedly wrong about every aspect of their supposed speciality, which will go down as one of the great fiascos of history.

    Three weeks to flatten the curve turned into almost 850 days of chaotic, arbitrary restrictions that appeared to do very little in the end to stop the spread of Covid-19, let alone pass any sort of rational cost-benefit assessment.

    Cloth masks worked, then they didn’t; vaccines protected against infection, then they didn’t. Two doses were enough, then three, then four. The virus emerged zoonotically for certain, then it didn’t.

    “Experts say”, “experts warn” has become something of a joke. It’s not surprising that less than a fifth of American parents, for instance, intend to vaccinate their toddlers against Covid-19, according to a recent Kaiser Foundation survey, even though experts are recommending it urgently.

    This false narrative of a consensus among experts risks damaging public respect for all of them. That’s a pity because genuine expertise is valuable.

    The handful of people presented by the media as experts are a sliver of the total, among whom there is rarely a true consensus on anything. Social media has supercharged the incentives to moralise and fall victim to groupthink. On top of that, expert ranks have swollen as society has become richer, enabling more people to think for a living.

    That means the average quality of advice has declined, providing the media with a greater number of potentially crowd-pleasing, dubious opinions to promote. Experts get it wrong often because they bear few personal consequences of their advice. The accuracy of past predictions or assessments is rarely checked. For experts, it’s much more important to be on the right side of the debate than to be right. Most of all, experts’ incomes typically are guaranteed whatever they say; others bear the consequences.

    The past few years have been a crisis for the reputation of experts, but not for experts themselves.

  2. WolfmanOz says:

    Excellent article by Adam Creighton.

    He pretty much nails the so-called experts.

  3. NoFixedAddress says:

    So, the real Wussia Wussia Wussia lovers turn out to be The USA Democrat Party.

    Coincidentally the party that created the KKK and Jim Crowe Laws and killing babies and old people AND figured it was a fun thing to do by shutting down Mental Hospitals because … we all live in gated communities !!!!

  4. NoFixedAddress says:

    And did I really and truly read or was it a nightmare that diktater dan is going to appoint a “mental elf worker” in every Queen Victoria school?

  5. Franx says:

    Nice of Mr Creighton to say.
    Finally speaking professionally, it seems, rather than as an expert .

  6. Passing By says:

    Mr Creighton appears to believe that Russia’s invasion should have had no consequences. His tone betrays an undergraduate superiority and cynicism tgst seems to me to be typical of media today.
    Yesterday the IEA warned that Russia is preparing to cut European gas supply this winter. I imagine this somewhat juvenile commentator will find a reason to applaud tgst idea.
    It must be quite comfortable over there in his no doubt we’ll padded life. Maybe he needs some time as Moscow correspondent. A dose of reality might be beneficial.

  7. NoFixedAddress says:

    Passing By says:
    23 June, 2022 at 10:47 am

    hi bird

  8. Pommy Al says:

    Any fuckwit can become an “expert” if the media says that they are.

  9. NoFixedAddress says:

    Hey Bird, just passing by you Just Crap head…

    Iran needs Nuclear Energy with components that France and Germany supply!

    Peace In Our Time.

  10. Boambee John says:

    NFA

    There have been a couple of Bird-like commenters here lately.

  11. C.L. says:

    Passing By is not Bird.

    I know discussions here don’t usually run into the dozens or hundreds but I politely request that people comment on the actual subject. Please don’t post multiple ‘comments’ on nothing in particular.

    Passing By has expressed an opinion and is welcome to do so here.

  12. NoFixedAddress says:

    Boambee John says:
    23 June, 2022 at 11:57 am

    NFA

    There have been a couple of Bird-like commenters here lately.

    Yes Boambee John

    I am learning their gimp style.

    There has been over 90+ of the filth that have been banned at the yuk yuk furniture store … probably 100+ now.

    I call the collective “the bird nest”.

  13. NoFixedAddress says:

    LOL

    I just searched what is my ip and got this,

    Your IP address is 180.190.162.89 in Busay, Cebu, Philippines (6000)

  14. C.L. says:

    Stay on topic please, NFA.

  15. Baba says:

    Yesterday the IEA warned that Russia is preparing to cut European gas supply this winter. I imagine this somewhat juvenile commentator will find a reason to applaud tgst idea.

    Vlad realises that the hopelessly incompetent Euros need some assistance to enforce their own sanctions. He’s that kinda guy.

  16. False Equivalence says:

    As a fan of birdlife myself, I thought I’d mention that I have found Mr Creighton to have very little to offer in the way of reporting. He almost invariably writes opinions, usually not bothering to indicate that he has done a flick of research. This might reflect his no doubt confidence-boosting career start at the Commonwealth PS.
    His one “news” report that I have seen was an odd report on a casino operation owned by the bidder for Crown, which appeared to have occurred because they flew him to Vegas.

  17. C.L. says:

    F.E., I’ve said many times myself that The Australian (like the press generally these days) has too many columnists and not enough reporters but you’re wrong to imply Creighton is a lightweight. Bio:

    Creighton holds a Bachelor of Economics with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales, and Master of Philosophy in Economics from Balliol College, Oxford, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar, and was a journalist-in-residence at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2019.

    That’s pretty impressive.

    He was resolute and, to some extent, on his Pat Malone reporting on the statistical fatuousness of lockdowns for about a year. He was certainly vindicated.

  18. NoFixedAddress says:

    and I actually always enjoy reading Creighton

  19. C.L. says:

    No worries, NFA. 😉

    Very generous of Sean Penn et alia to cheer the endless killing of Ukrainians at the behest of Uncle Sam.

  20. NoFixedAddress says:

    we all know it is truly dreadful CL

    shirley there is not a real human that supports any part of the bloody mess going on.

    I loathe it!

  21. NoFixedAddress says:

    Sean Penn is a filth.

  22. NoFixedAddress says:

    Hollywood Actor says… “how much you pay me to say these words?”

  23. Not Trampis says:

    hmm
    Russian central bank cutting rates when inflation is way higher than in the USA or europe for that matter. no mention of GDP growth ot lack of it. must be a reason that imports are falling.
    Creighton was also a total failure on lockdowns etc. His support of the theory of herd immunity ( by everyone getting covid) was embarrassing. He actually thought Sweden was attempting it. A shame they weren’t.
    I can see why CL would like this bloke

  24. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    Russian central bank cutting rates when inflation is way higher than in the USA or europe for that matter. no mention of GDP growth ot lack of it. must be a reason that imports are falling.

    Speaking of which, how is that “Biden Boom” going?

    Creighton was also a total failure on lockdowns etc. His support of the theory of herd immunity ( by everyone getting covid) was embarrassing.

    Translation: Non Mentis supports lockdowns, regardless of the post-facto research showing that they made no real difference. He will never accept that evidence.

  25. Lee says:

    Creighton was also a total failure on lockdowns etc

    Lockdowns were a failure on many grounds, as generally acknowledged.

  26. NoFixedAddress says:

    Jed Clampit!

    What do you think about the Swedish rooters rooting the female Ukraine escapees?

    Just asking.

  27. Not Trampis says:

    Primary school dropouts cannot read research. Lockdowns made a profound effect.
    biden boom still going well with full employment achieved. Primary school dropouts are innumerate.
    Creighton believed in a theory that if everyone got covid then this would lead to herd immunity as they had already had it.
    No-one who supported this mad theory changed their min ds when people died after getting covid a second time or getting long covid.

    covid was highly contagious and deadly. No lockdowns and a lot of people would have died. fortunately no nation chose this path.

  28. False Equivalence says:

    COVID isn’t past tense. Current variants ma present new risks in northern winter.
    CL: My point about Creighton is not that he lacks qualifications, but that his efforts do not reflect research or new information. He writes stuff largely off the top of his head. Quite likely is smart, but beyond acquiring qualifications not really applied to anything.

  29. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    Primary school dropouts cannot read research. Lockdowns made a profound effect.

    Pre-school dropouts never learned to research widely, not simply look for “research” that supports their preferred “narrative”.

    biden boom still going well with full employment achieved.

    ROFLMAO. It is just as well that you are too stupid to remember to breathe, else the sand in which your head is buried would suffocate you.

    covid was highly contagious and deadly. No lockdowns and a lot of people would have died. fortunately no nation chose this path.

    Ah, yes, the Spanish Flu of the 2020s. Went through unlocked-down Sweden like the Angel of Death.

  30. Boambee John says:

    Falsies

    My point about Creighton is not that he lacks qualifications, but that his efforts do not reflect research or new information. He writes stuff largely off the top of his head.

    You spelled “Not Trampis” incorrectly, otherwise, the description is accurate. (But his qualifications, such as they are, are not relevant to the subject.)

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