Another side of Sarah Palin: financial guru

October 8, 2009

The Financial Times, the salmon-colored authoritative newspaper that is closely read by traders and other financial types around the world, had an eye-opener for readers this morning. USA-POLITICS/PALIN

It wasn’t the front-page, four-column wide headline, “Obama’s critics pounce on falling dollar as fears grow over currency.”

It wasn’t the graphic showing a red downward line over a dollar bill.

The jolt comes at the start of the second paragraph in the top story of the day on the dollar, “Sarah Palin….”

The newspaper, whose articles can move markets, quoted the former Republican vice presidential candidate and ex-Alaska governor from her Facebook post on the need for energy independence. Palin links the dependence on foreign oil and large U.S. deficits to declines in the dollar .

“We can see the effect of this in the price of gold, which hit a record high today in response to fears about the weakened dollar,” Palin wrote.

Palin’s power for using her Facebook page to affect public opinion is not to be taken lightly. Remember “death panels” which turned the healthcare debate into rabid townhall meetings this summer — that phrase emerged from Palin’s Facebook page.

Others quoted in the same Financial Times article offered an opinion about Palin’s opinion.

Norm Ornstein, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, was quoted as saying there may be a legitimate debate over the dollar’s reserve status, “but Sarah Palin is not qualified to participate in it.”

What do you think of Palin’s financial comments? Is she qualified or not? Is her Facebook platform an effective political tool?

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/KTUU-TV (Palin announcing her resignation as governor in July, video frame grab)


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Palin is absolutely qualified….she was the Chief Executive over the State of Alaska, who had the political instincts to “take on” Big Oil and win. Furthermore, I would rather listen to her common sense, pragmatic, “cut-the “B.S” approach than waste anymore time trusting the “head in the clouds” pseudo-intellectual blabber that’s coming from the financial elites who got us into this mess in the first place.Don’t bother to throw “the economic policies of George W” in my face. I never voted for him either; I am a recovering liberal Democrat who is weary, tired and frustrated, and who just wants a real human being who hasn’t been corrupted by Washington and whatever surreal nonsense they are teaching in the Ivy League schools.I don’t want to live in some political visionary’s “nebulous Utopia.” I want America back…where you work hard, earn you way up the ladder and government keeps it’s nose out of your business.Laugh at me, mock me, demean and denigrate me all you want, but plain-spoken, small town, moose huntin’, commercial fisherwoman Sarah Palin is looking better and better to me every day.

Posted by Leigh | Report as abusive

This guy is exactly the type that came up with great ideas like TARP and Stimulus Plan. We don’t really know who is paying his tab (BofA, GS, or Big Pharma). It’s just like what Palin told Obama after saying his Community (Think tank) Organizer job was important: “Except being a Governor, you have actual responsibilities. The women was the governor of a state for crying out loud. She is one of the last people to actually make budget cuts and not just promise them. It must really bother Norm that using basic budgeting and common sense Alaska $ was in great shape. Hey Norm, I’ll cut you some slack for this one. I mean if everyone would do the same thing, and find out that bobble heads like you are useless. Maybe you need to open the hatch to that tank and come out for a look at the real world.

Posted by Dorota | Report as abusive

Three times Sarah Palin has proposed a budget, sheparded it through the legislature, and signed it into law. And all three times the budgeted expenditures were less than in the previous year’s budget, in non-adjusted dollars.I want someone to tell me of any other governmental chief executive, be it mayor, governor, or president, who has done that even once.Sarah Palin has the financial chops to go against anyone, because she has shown more fiscal responsibility than anyone in government. Period.

Posted by Glen | Report as abusive

I am quite sure that Mr. Ornstein feels I am not qualified to have an opinion either, but I didn’t vote for him either. I don’t need some pseudo-intelectual telling me who is qualified to state the obvious. If we keep sending all of are money overseas to pay for oil that we could be producing here then we will see a continued decline in our net worth, and our children will have futures as slaves to a devalued dollar working in a business owned by some other country. We have almost swandered the freedom and prosperity left by our fathers hard work and blood.

Posted by Joshua | Report as abusive

With the Palin clan now showing a much more astute opportunistic talent for money-making wheeling and dealing and optimizing their 15 minutes of fame I think we are seeing that wonderful aspect of the American Dream and why the economic recovery is a certainty.This one story of ‘An American Life’ will generate more advertising dollars, talkshow celebrities, ghost-writer interest, Playgirl centerfolds and months of CNN analytics to become a small empire in itself. Thank you John McCain for the entertainment!We can see now where dollar priorities over-ride so much of the Palin clan’s loyalty, their committments and responsibilities not only to each other but those they proport to want to govern.While Mrs. Palin may have held a small chance shot at the presidency while governor, her sudden and erratic resignation in favour of a 7 million dollar book deal was clearly a signal that for all her ‘common sense’ she can simply never be trusted in a high position of real responsibilty. Half her Facebook contacts are likely the opposition just keeping tabs on her to exploit her more ridiculous comments.And speaking of ‘common’ sense , this quality people often admire as some kind of cherished ‘Joe Sixpack/Plumber’ form of logic is dangerously naive and hardly an altenative to well thought out strategies and the wisdom that comes from experience and following through with your commitments.It is really quite simple to read the tea leaves here; quitting as Governor for the reasons Mrs. Palin did totally discredited her politically and while she will always garner a fan base as any celebrity does it is meaningless to those who look for wisdom, consistency and leadership in governance.

Posted by Northerner 007 | Report as abusive

Well said Leigh.By the way who is this Norm Ormstein or better who does he think he is?

Posted by Christ | Report as abusive

To be fair to her, she is qualified to make a comment as she was a governor of Alaska. Having said that one has to look at her record to see if her statements are consistent and whether she generated meaningful debate. Here her record is a mixed bag, not very inspiring as she did not have her facts at her finger-tips and was on many occasions a positive embarrassment to John McCain’s campaigh. If he had chosen a more accomplished running-mate, his chances would have been better. Too late to cry over spilt milk. Perhaps Sarah Palin could learn some valuable lessons but she has a steep hill to climb. President obama is head and shoulders above her in compassion and intellect. But the choice is down to the American electorate.

Declines in the dollar are due to large US budget and trade deficits, and cause gold to appreciate. Well done! A successful kindergarten graduate. My money is on the grownups.

Posted by Satan | Report as abusive

I can’t believe this is a serious article. People who have studied economics at the world’s most prestigious institution got it wrong. Some of the most respected men and women who have spent a lifetime actively involved in the global financial fiasco have no solutions. And the Moose hunter from Wasilla makes it to the Financial Times as a serious commentator? How about Glen Beck for a follow up analysis of the future of minimally invasive surgical procedures? This has to be a joke.

Posted by Reg | Report as abusive

I agree 100 percent with Leigh, except I’m not a “recovering liberal Democrat.” I’m an Independent. Sarah Palin is pragmatic, has guts, and truly cares about where our country is going. She’s not afraid to stand up and say so. She’s not afraid to fight for Americans. She may not be a “financial guru” but she is bringing important issues forward, so they can be recognized by the people, and debated by the gurus. I’m glad she’s speaking for America. I’m glad she’s pointing out these issues. We’re losing control of our country at the hands of those who obviously are not acting in the best interests of the people of this great country. Thank you Sarah!

Posted by Denise | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is right, I think this article backfired on Tabassum Zakaria, and whoever this other guy is.Somehow you thought people are going to bash Palin, but she is right and has guts on this matter.Silly childish article.

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

It’s a good thing all the Palin supporters don’t watch her interviews. Where they ask her tough questions about why she spent so much of the state money to pay for a lobbyist in washington dc, about why she mocked North Dakota for getting federal funds to study the DNA of bears when she was getting federal funds to study the DNA of seals, about how big of a supporter of the bridge to nowhere she was until the public found out more about it, about how many federal dollars Alaska has gotten per capita person and how it’s higher than just about any state.So I’m glad all you are happy that your tax dollars have gone to Alaska thanks to ex-governor Palin, rather than have your taxes cut or used at least in your own state.Signed,Michael Ham, an actual conservative.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

Reg, you posted “People who have studied economics at the world’s most prestigious institution got it wrong. Some of the most respected men and women who have spent a lifetime actively involved in the global financial fiasco have no solutions.”So we should listen to them for another 50 years?I think I’ll give the Back to Basics idea my backing.

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

It is about time that the rhetoric surrounding Sarah palin’s miss spoken comments to Katie Couric during that historic interview are now in the past and she is recognized not for her obvious beauty, but for her basic intelligence and logic.

I too agree with Leigh, and I feel your recovering liberal Democratic pain. That said, there has to be something between surreal visionary nonsense and Governor Palin.Certainly we need to return to our (United States) down-home values of hard work and innovation, but not at the expense of our social progress.In particular, while Palin may offer a refreshingly pragmatic view on financial markets (and she’s certainly not breaking any new ground here), from what I’ve seen she lacks the necessary “vision” to tackle a more pressing concern – the ability of humans to sustain our economic activity in a word with finite resources. In this regard, I would like to have a few “Ivy” brains working.

Posted by MhD | Report as abusive

What exactly is Palin qualified to comment on? It’s one thing to express her “opinions” but to take her words seriously on the national or global stage would be a mistake.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

Give me a break! She’s from Alaska and has no knowledge of any global financially related matters. This is just an attempt to make her look like she’s actually doing something worthwhile, when we all can see right through it. She couldn’t answer any of the debate questions pertaining to finance with any authority at all. Have you folk all forgotten that?

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive

It’s a major fallacy to attack the person. In fact, it is the Straw-man fallacy. Sarah Palin could be the least qualified person in the world (hypothetically) but that doesn’t make her wrong. Instead, ask what the truth is concerning the decline of the dollar. That is a far more pressing issue than Sarah Palin’s credentials.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

Wow. All we need to do to increase the value of the dollar is increase the interest rates in the US.People put money where the rate of return is the highest, and a high interest rate increases the demand for dollars, which drives up the currency value (exchange rate) relative to other currencies.BUT, when the dollar goes higher, it makes US-made products more expensive for foreign buyers, and so it reduces how much we can sell overseas, and how quickly our economy can recover. It also makes US corporations want to move jobs overseas, since labor is so much cheaper overseas if their currency is weaker.That Sara Palin thinks a strong dollar equals a strong country only works when the standard of living is supported by cheap imports (which ship US jobs overseas).A strong dollar DOES allow the US to easily borrow money from other countries to finance a deficit, though. Which is why we got into such a pickle under Reagan. The money was just too easy to borrow with the strong dollar.There ARE economic disadvantages to a weak dollar, in that it forces us to get serious about our deficits. But the benefit to a weak dollar is that it generates REAL economic growth here at home. One other note:If you don’t like immigrants, a weak dollar will help your cause. Immigrant workers are attracted to countries with strong currencies since it makes what they can send back to their home country worth so much more back there.So. Yes, Sara Palin is either counting on people not understanding economics — or she really doesn’t understand herself.It’s crazy that what she’s advocating in terms of currency policy would make all her other goals fail! Specifically US jobs and economic improvement at home. Fewer immigrants coming here.I really try to be supportive of women in power — and I love how charismatic she is. I just really wish she had some more brainpower. Fooling herself into thinking extremist policies work is using way too much of her mental bandwidth.Her thought processes remind me of the convoluted mathematical equations needed to prove that our solar system revolved around the Earth instead of the sun.

Posted by NoName | Report as abusive

She is definitely qualified, as the Leigh expressed. Not only she is qualified because of her prior experience but because she truly represents the vast majority of Americans that use “common sense”. Look, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand money and how it operates; it only takes a bit of common sense and some rationalizing to see how money works. Unfortunately, in DC money operates under different premises, a lot of emotions, very little common sense and tons of lobbying.

Posted by Vic | Report as abusive

She is a joke

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

Since Sarah Palin didn’t write the FB note or read the referenced material, why is this being discussed?

Posted by Sallye | Report as abusive

First things First,… the OBVIOUS.Palin does NOT write those rants/screeds on Her Facebook. So you can not discuss those Topics and attribute them to her. The credit does NOT belong to her.A number of Ghostwriters post those for her and therefore are not her ideas.If you think they are her ideas there is a simple way to prove it. Put a microphone in front of her at a ‘ legitimate’ Press conference and let her explain them. Lets see the words come out of her mouth. Seeing is believing.Would she agree to the Press conference and embarrass herself AGAIN… NO!

Posted by honestyinGov | Report as abusive

The last time unemployment was this high was under Regan. While the economy was weak under Carter, Regan had three years to fix it before it reached *higher* levels than we see today. In response, he crushed labor, reduced emissions standards ( thus increasing consumption, and oil dependence ), and increased the deficit dramatically. Since Obama inherited two wars AND a recession from dubya ( who inherited a surplus from Clinton ), compared to Regan, who had no wars ( unless you count Grenada ), presumably the difference is that Regan was a terrorist-lover? I’ll try to ignore deregulation/failure to regulate the atrocious financial practices under dubya, that got us here ( “We’re not in a recession” ).

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

My family has been in finance since the mid-1700s. Anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is a “financial guru” needs to contact me because I have this bridge I wish to sell them.Numerous folks who serve on the Trust Board that she was on for a brief period (6 months) noted that she contributed nothing and never had any comments regarding the operations of the Trust she served. Sarah Palin offering financial advice is the equivalent of putting a screen door on a submarine.

Posted by John P. Crowley | Report as abusive

I’m sorry, but Palin’s FB entries are probably paid for by the RNC. She’s spouting the party line and hoping to keep her name in the news to sell books. Drilling for oil (that would be sold on the WORLD MARKET ten years from now) will have no impact on today’s dollar. Look at how many rigs are idled by the oil/gas companies right now because the prices are down.Palin seems to forget that it is not the Federal Government that owns that oil, it is her buddies at BP, etal and they will sell it where THEY make a profit.Given that she fought to renew the AK LNG export license, I find it hard to believe that her agenda is anything other than getting rigs into ANWR (perhaps she still has a comission due if the wrangles that one).

Leigh and Glen are spot on, and if it were not for the grammatical mistakes, one would think that Northerner 007 is a ghost writer for Ms Zakaria. The typical leftist sarcasism and calling the kettle black, by denigrating Sarah Palin’s experience. Nobama has zero executive experience, and has never managed anything, and can’t even speak without his teleprompter. Sarah had one of the highest approval ratings of any governor in the US, Republican or Democrat. As the Executive Director of the State of Alaska she understands more about budgets, energy, spending, and economics than Obama and all his 31 Czars. This is the guy who is such a spineless indecisive coward that 60% of the time in the senate record he voted Present. This is the guy who wants to tax the greatest sources of energy America has and put thousands of people out of work in coal and oil industries. This is the guy who appointed Van Jones, a convicted felonist and self-proclaimed communist as Czar, and worked for ACORN. I’ll take a down-to-earth hockey mom any day. Obama has spent more in seven months than Bush did in 8 years, with two wars and 911 and Katrina. There is a reason they say “Tax and spend like a democrat.”

Posted by Loren | Report as abusive

she is raising the alarm that needs be!!!

Posted by larry | Report as abusive

My first question after reading the above article is ” Who is Norm Ornstein?”Sarah Palin may be wrong or right; who is he to say that an American citizen is not qualified to discuss the dollar.The dollar is declining. Does anyone think we should just go on with “business as usual?” and leave the handling of the dollar to Norm Ornstein

Posted by Robert Black | Report as abusive

palin’s not qualified to speak on the subject? she left the govenor’s office with a $30 billion surplus. compare that with the shape of the federal govt. when bush left office, and compare it to the even worse shape obama’s got us in in less than 9 months. i’ll stick with palin and you can listen to all your experts spout off about their degrees from prestigious schools that evidently taught them nothing.dennisintn

Posted by dennisintn | Report as abusive

Sarah isn’t even talking about finance here, though it might appear so to the uninitiated.Everything Palin says falls into one of three categories:1. Personal attacks on people who have slighted her2. Personal attacks on people who have not slighted her (this would include President Obama)3. Drill Baby, Drill (this includes all economic theories, foreign affairs and diplomacy, states rights, and of course our God-given responsibility to use all those resources he put in the ground for us).Her latest facebook post is just another way of saying #3. In the future, when her handlers give her back control of her Twitter account, I recommend they just have her Tweet a number each day.

Posted by Rob in Ca | Report as abusive

Whether Palin writes the FB script or not, she is responsible for what appears on her page. The suggestion that she embodies ‘common sense’ is ludicrous. She embodies nothing more than the whetted desire to wield absolute power from Washington. If we are foolish enough to install her there, we’ll reap the misery that we deserve.

Posted by the Gaul | Report as abusive

More qualified than Obama!! That’s for sure.

Posted by mmkr | Report as abusive

Regan inherited Afghanistan that Jimmy blew up by canceling A1 bomber and ordering general disarmament. The country was jittery and Reagan won by the largest landslide in history. Carter tried to intruduce gas rationing and lines at gas stations were a mile long and as a result the inflation hit 21%. Every day the sticker prices at supermakets changed upwards. Reagan had to invest in defense, increase armaments to counter Soviet threat and that forced them to strain their economy to the point that Communism collapsed when he left office for J.H.W. America and the Free World became stronger, Soviet evil was defeted, liberals bit the bullet and they still cringe and whine.The economy under Reagan stabilized by 1981, prosperity came back, freedom was assured.

Posted by AlexB | Report as abusive

It is sad state of affairs when this country has sunk so low that we are reduced to listening to blatherings of moron like Sarah Paulin. She reminds of some of the characters in the movie Deliverance.

Posted by Daljeet | Report as abusive

Palin may indeed be able to “see Russia” from Alaska but perhaps our own focus needs to be on hordes of Ivy League types running government and Wall Street who couldn’t, and still can’t, see the forest for the trees.Where were these alleged financial savants when this near apocalyptic “recession’s” underpinnings being laid? Were they sounding the alarm? Were they acting to prevent it?No, they were participating in and benefiting from it.Is Palin merely parroting lines being fed to her by others? Perhaps. That hardly makes her any worse than Joe Biden (Delaware) and his endless platitudes regarding banking issues.

Posted by Micharel | Report as abusive

Ornstein is an idiot, an Economic Truther, who thinks the more we spend the richer we are.Geithner and the Obama plan got laughed off the stage in China this spring. The only people in the world who think they are being rational are the Truthers in the White House. Russia, Japan, France, Arab countries, and others have joined the Chinese in declaring Obama mad.When the Premier of China lectures Obama and the U.S. on the benefits of the free market system, mentioning Adam Smith by name, it is a sure sign the administration is economically illiterate, or engineering something else.Go Sarah…and everybody else who has any common sense left.

Posted by bc | Report as abusive

Sarah’s recent Facebook post was correct. I’m beginning to understand what she means by ‘common sense conservatism’.We have not had a conservative since Reagan. I think Sarah can discuss these issues like other politicians, although she is not a geeky numbercruncher like from the Chicago School or something.And she is WAY WAY WAY more experienced, and a far better leader than Obama.Obama simply does not lead. He has no experience of being a leader, unlike Sarah.She’ll make a great POTUS and is clearly the Anti-Obama.

Posted by Sapwolf | Report as abusive

Yes Sarah Palin speaks and America listens. We listen because we are hungry for a common sense Pro-America voice of reason. Sarah Palin has the courage to say what all of us are thinking yet nobody will say. When the complicit mainstream media sugarcoats the questionable shenanigans of this administration, Americans are attentative to the populist appeal from the lady who speaks our language. She’s asking the questions that used to be asked by Mike Wallace on 60 minutes. Sarah Palin will continue to speak out and we will continue to listen. She has been written off as irrevelant by the beltway dozens of times since she appeared on the political stage only one year ago. And guess what ? The beltway was wrong. Never underestimate Sarah Palin. This patriot is here to stay and God Bless her. America needs Sarah Palin.

Posted by Citizen Thomas - Los Angeles | Report as abusive

I am truly amazed at the people who think Sarah Palin is qualified to sit in the White House. Folks we have serious problems and we need serious people to fix them. I hardly think a BA in Journalism from the U of Idaho fits the bill. Obama did not create this mess. George W did. Obama is left with the very unsavory task of cleaning it up. McCain/Palin would have been worse for our country.

Sarah does have a point that deficits are hurting the value of the dollar. To say she is not qualified to speak on these matters is authoritarian at best and communistic at worst. The is America we all are supposed to have a say. Why don’t we just let Charles (I don’t pay my taxes) Rangel speak for us. He certainly isn’t qualified to speak on financial issues if he can’t find all his money to be able to pay taxes on it. So Yes, speak on Sarah. I don’t want you for a President, but speak your mind and people should take notice and respect your opinion. It’s just as important as very one else’s opinion.

Posted by Dwight | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin has been an effective political force on her facebook page because what she says makes a lot of sense and is backed up by in depth research. These are not the writings of someone who is not intellectually curious.People are just going to have to face facts that whether you agree with her or not on the issues, she is not a lightweight and she is not a moron.It’s becoming more and more evident that the way people are bashing her and smearing her, that the real moronity is out there and it’s not on her facebook page. It’s coming out of the mouths and keyboards of liberals and elitists who fear Sarah Palin. A lightweight would not draw the attention she does.It proves one statistic though. There is a moron for every person that thinks she’s a moron.

I think Sarah is right. I have studied Sarah ever since she ran for Vice President and she almost always is right about what she has stated in her speeches and posts on facebook.

Posted by Tom N | Report as abusive

Palin can barely string two coherent sentences together. She almost makes “AWOL” look like he was smart. President Obama was left with the mess created by eight years of “AWOL” and his horrible policies. Palin is unqualified but that never stopped “AWOL” either and look what he left us with. President Obama is trying his best to clean up!

Posted by Santa Fean | Report as abusive

The dollar has value because it is the required currency to purchase oil. Any country wishing to purchase oil from the Mid East producers must do so with dollars. There are exceptions, like Iran.So if in fact France, China and Russia are talking with the oil producers, from whom we also purchase our oil, about changing the currencies to be used we could be in real trouble. With the requirement gone to use US Dollars, the value of the dollar would plummet, making our energy costs sky rocket.So Palin is saying what needs to be said and she is right.

Posted by anotherview | Report as abusive

There is probably no subject on Earth on which Sarah Palin is an “expert.” Her Facebook postings are ghostwritten. Anyone who’s ever sat through her word salad specials recognizes this. For her to be thought of as an “expert” on anything, let alone global finance, would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.

Posted by zyxomma | Report as abusive

As the Presidency is now measured in hours, I guess we are getting right along now to the final report card on this one. Sarah seems fine, another empty head in politics, nothing new there, whatever. Regan is the fly in the ointment, seemed nice enough, but no idea what he was up to, and that set the standard for the declining years of the twentieth century. Say you did something ideologically correct and they will believe you – give me Truman!

Posted by wm christie | Report as abusive

Anyone who believes humans coexisted with dinosaurs has surrendered the right to comment on any rational matter. Or at least to be taken seriously by anyone who values rational thought. Not that that’s going to stop her- or her fans.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

If any of the anti palin commenters can tell me when it’s a good time to borrow trillions of dollars when your dollar is weak and economy is crashing, I’ve got a bridge for you. At the rate we are going does Wiemar Republic mean any thing to you?You can’t print and borrow out of this hole, but drilling for oil and natural gas could help this economy to recover.

Posted by tim c | Report as abusive

The “see Russia” quote was not said by Palin. It was said by Mrs. McCain in a TV interview.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive