MarketWatch writer Peter Brimelow wrote an article entitled Paranoid but prescient which mentioned a financial newsletter I have sometimes read: Harry Schultz. Basically, Brimelow was giving Schultz some credit, albeit grudgingly.

So Schultz and his ilk (definitely a minority) have been proved right. But how did they know? Brimelow gives us just two choices, both irrational ones: paranoid or prescient. Paranoid – spinning “conspiracy” theories out of purely irrational fears; or prescient – having foreknowledge of events, also strongly suggestive of non-rational means, e.g. magic or crystal-ball-gazing.

Brimelow thus cleverly avoids having to consider, and discuss, the fact that Schultz may actually have been able to foresee what was going to happen thanks to his rational faculties; i.e. he drew conclusions and made projections based on factual knowledge and information, e.g. examination of who exactly is profiting from the current turmoil:

Schultz is rightly drawing attention to the underreported question of who exactly is profiting from the bailout bonanza.

Brimelow gives Schultz credit, but fails to follow up on this “underreported question”, thereby adding his own bit to the “underreporting”. Yet on the whole, Brimelow prefers to ascribe Schultz’s accurate prognostication to magic or irrational fears. Why would he do this? Is the alternative, namely, that Schultz might actually be onto something, too disturbing to consider?

Perhaps Schultz is some lone nutcase. If so, then all these are nutcases, too!

But these are all, all, nutcases, who, as one commenter put it referring to Schultz, are like stopped clocks: if they repeat their nonsense often enough, they will eventually be right some time.

    And this is just scratching the surface, the result of 20-30 minutes searching online.