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Jerome Corsi, Badly Trained Economist

You wouldn't know the WorldNetDaily reporter's purported economic expertise from his biased, error-ridden and anti-Obama reports -- or his failed investment venture.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 3/4/2009

Last July, WorldNetDaily launched Red Alert, a "global financial strategies newsletter" authored and edited by Jerome Corsi. The newsletter was described as being for "for people of wealth and those who want to be people of wealth," specifically, those with "assets of $1 million or more to protect" or income of "$85,000 a year or more." It proposed to offer "the insights and behind-the-scenes reports and deep analysis of one of America's top political thinkers, journalists, commentators and financial gurus." It sells for $99 a year or $9.95 a month for credit card users.

This appears to be WND's effort to play catch up to Newsmax in the area of financial news. In contrast to WND's heavy-on-outside-news MoneyNetDaily page, (with only a few finance-related columnists, such as financial adviser Dave Ramsey and buy-American-only author Roger Simmermaker), Newsmax offers a more robust MoneyNews page with several original financial columnists. Newsmax has offered a "Financial Intelligence Report" newsletter for several years.

Corsi holds no indicated degree in finance or economics (his Ph.D. is in political science), but the article states that he has "developed ... third-party financial services marketing firms" and "has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines." WND also claims that Corsi is "a licensed National Association of Security Dealers registered representative" and "holds currently valid insurance licenses in New Jersey."

In other words, this is mostly marketing rather than serious number-crunching.

Nevertheless, despite Corsi's apparent lack of formal economic training, WND editor Joseph Farah, in his Feb. 16 column, touted Corsi as a "trained economist."

If Corsi is indeed a "trained economist," he didn't learn much from his training, and he certainly isn't applying it now.

Corsi's misadventures with things financial began well before he rose to prominence as the co-author of the anti-John Kerry screed "Unfit for Command." As the Boston Globe detailed, Corsi was a principal in a group that launched an investment venture in Poland in 1995 that eventually lost about $1.2 million, much of it raised from a group of about 20 Minnesota investors -- at least two of whom received a court judgment against Corsi and the other principals but had yet to collect any money from Corsi because, according to one investor, Corsi's assets "had been moved into his wife's name ... There was nothing to get out of him."

Corsi, meanwhile, had little to say to the Globe about the venture beyond "no comment."

With his Red Alert and other financial-related reporting, Corsi has been mixing in his hatred for Barack Obama -- most vividly demonstrated by his use of bogus documents he purportedly retrieved from his pre-election visit to Kenya in a failed attempt to smear Obama -- into his economic views. Shortly after Obama's victory, for instance, Corsi predicted that "within one year, even an economic failure like President Herbert Hoover will look like a genius when compared to the failures we are likely to see from a President Obama."

Corsi has also gloated over financial problems faced by media companies: "The only good news this week is that the death throes of the mainstream media have begun in earnest."

A Feb. 2 WorldNetDaily preview of that week's Red Alert reported the shocking news that Obama wants to build support for his economic stimulus plan among his fellow Democrats. Not that shocking, you say? It is when the rhetorical stylings of Corsi and Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid are applied:

"Obama's television and radio addresses are designed to maintain and manipulate a hard-core group of people who can be called upon to support his policies no matter how unpopular he becomes," Cliff Kincaid, editor of Accuracy in Media, told Red Alert.

"These are the Obamatons of the Obama nation," Kincaid said. "Like the media, they are gripped with Obamamania, a psychological state of mind that views the new U.S. president as not only a national but a global savior."

Kincaid, by the way, posts his paranoid rants at AIM for free. It's unclear what insight he supplied to Corsi that's worth $99 a year.

As befits Corsi's festering hatred of Obama, he's prone to hurling falsehoods and unverified claims about Obama and his economic plans.

In a Feb. 1 WND article, Corsi asserted that "The Obama administration asked the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2010 by $55 billion, more than 10 percent of last year's $512 billion defense budget." In fact, Obama wants to increase the Pentagon's budget from $513 billion this year to $527 billion in the next fiscal year. The so-called "cut" is from a Pentagon budget proposal of $584 billion.

A Feb. 13 WND article by Corsi stated:

The Obama administration economic stimulus package is going to force the Treasury to borrow approximately $2.5 trillion in 2009 and another $4 trillion in 2010, with the result of increasing the current $10 trillion national debt by 65 percent in just two years.

If the Obama administration increases the national debt by 65 percent every two years, the debt will be $16.5 trillion in 2010 and $27.225 trillion by 2012, the year of the next presidential election.

According to who? Corsi doesn't say.

If Corsi derived these numbers on his own, how did come to this conclusion? He doesn't show his work. For all we know, Corsi pulled them out of a certain bodily orifice.

But who cares about facts and documentation when it's clear that Corsi's actual purpose in writing this article is to throw out bizarre, scary analogies? For example:

Earth's home galaxy, the Milky Way, is estimated to contain about 200 billion stars. So, if each star cost one dollar, one trillion dollars would buy five Milky Way galaxies full of stars.

One trillion seconds of ordinary clock time equals 31,546 years. So, spending money at the rate of one dollar every second, or $86,400 every day, would still take nearly 32,000 years to spend $1 trillion.

If someone were to build city blocks that contained 10 homes valued at $100,000 per home, you would end up with ten houses to a block, ten blocks to a mile and a hundred blocks per square mile. It would take 10,000 square miles to reach $1 trillion in value.

Farah, by the way, cited this article as evidence that Corsi is a "trained economist."

Why would a "trained economist" indulge himself in peddling such trivial crap? Again, no answer is forthcoming beyond Corsi's own amply demonstrated Obama Derangement Syndrome. Yet, WND treats Corsi's article as "news," not the unsubstantiated opinion it is.

Corsi further references "Craig Smith, founder and CEO of Swiss America" without disclosing that Smith is a WND columnist and that Swiss America is a longtime WND advertiser -- a disclosure problem WND has long had.

Meanwhile, Corsi is still spinning non-economic-related Obama-bashing tales, and channeling Andy Martin -- who own fanciful claims and propensity for filing nuisance lawsuits has led to questions about his mental state (as ConWebWatch has learned the hard way by being the target of one of his frivolous lawsuits) -- in doing so.

Last October, Corsi followed in Martin's footsteps in traipsing around Hawaii in search of scandal fodder, prompting Martin to note: "A couple of weeks ago Corsi was in Kenya saying Obama was born there. Now he is in Hawai'i accepting my theory that Obama was born in Hawai'i. Corsi can't seem to make up his mind between Kenya and Hawai'i. Maybe he is waiting for me to tell him the facts. Perhaps he knows better than to believe his own b.s. Corsi knows whom to believe: me."

In an appearance on the Feb. 13 edition of Bill Cunningham's radio show, Corsi demonstrates that he apparently believes Martin's claim that Frank Marshall Davis -- whom Corsi previously asserted dealt cocaine with Obama in the 1970s in Hawaii, citing only a single anonymous drug addict to back it up -- is Obama's father:

CORSI: Most people's birth certificates are mundane and uninteresting. If a person doesn't want to show it, he's hiding something. Now, it may be -- it may be foreign born. Maybe there's a secret about who the real parents are. Maybe there's something there being hidden.

CUNNINGHAM: You mean Frank Marshall Davis.

CORSI: Well, I mean, I -- you know, I continue to look at Frank Marshall Davis. Frank Marshall Davis wrote two autobiographical sex novels, and he said that he and his wife, you know, had an affair with this couple from Seattle. Well, I mean, OK, is that the -- is that Obama's grandparents?

CUNNINGHAM: I don't know.

CORSI: I don't know.

CUNNINGHAM: They're from Seattle.

CORSI: They're from Seattle. It's in the autobiography of Frank Marshall Davis. I mean, I can -- all the -- there are pieces here that don't fit. Ann Dunham is registered at the University of Washington when she's supposed to be in Hawaii having the baby. What's that all about?

This raises a disturbing idea: Is the unsubstantiated possibility that there's some juicy scandal involving Obama's birth why WND is desperately clinging to this smear? Is this why WND is so eager to disguise the fact that it found the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign to be authentic?

Given that Corsi has already peddled bogus documents to falsely smear Obama, it's not too surprising -- if all too telling -- that Corsi finds a man who once founded an organization called "The Anthony R. Martin-Trigona Congressional Campaign to Exterminate Jew Power in America" to be credible.

(Then again, Corsi had been planning to promote his anti-Obama book on a radio show with a "statement of principles" asserting that it "represent[s] a philosophy that is pro-White" and which "heartily endorse[s] and accept[s] as our own, the founding tenets of the Council of Conservative Citizens." That didn't happen after word got out beyond the far-right circles Corsi usually swims in.)

Corsi can be trusted on his Obama reporting at about the same level we can believe that he's a "trained economist."

And WorldNetDaily wants people to pay $99 for crap like this?

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