Hacks and Has-Beens

NORMANDY, France – What has happened to TIME magazine? Henry Luce, who started TIME – the first weekly news magazine in the U.S. – would be appalled to see what it has become.


christine-lagarde-time-100-coverTime cover featuring the sunburned mummy heading the globalist IMF bureaucracy (which inter alia advocates that governments should confiscate a portion of the wealth of their citizens overnight, even while its own employees don’t have to pay a single cent in taxes). Once you see the list of the “world’s 100 most influential people” presented by TIME, you’re either apt to fall into inconsolable depression or you’ll almost die laughing. Ms. Lagarde is allegedly a “trailblazer”, whatever that is supposed to mean. Who has  made this assessment? Her fellow bureaucrat Ms. Janet Yellen. So one bureaucrat heading a socialist statist agency is assuring us that another bureaucrat heading a socialist statist agency should be admired for having made it to the top of the heap in one of the many crony-infested castles of modern-day feudalism.


Vapid, fawning, puerile… sucking up the rich, the pretentious, the cronies and zombies – it is a journalistic disaster. What brings on this revulsion is an issue of TIME we found in the airport lounge.

It features a photo of the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, on the cover and promises to name the world’s “100 Most Influential People.”

Right from the start, the editors are in trouble. Practically every one of the most “influential” people in the world is a celebrity…a hack…or a has-been. Ms. Lagarde, for example.

We’re not sure which category she should go into. But since she – like almost everyone else listed in the magazine – is committed to upholding the system and avoiding change…we have a hard time seeing what kind of influence she could have.

At most, her influence is like stomach gas or cockroaches: You get them anyway. Without her, things would be right where they are today. Ms. Lagarde’s hagiography was written by another champion of the status quo, Fed chair Janet Yellen.  Yellen tells us that “no organization is more crucial to the stability of the global economy than the International Monetary Fund.”

Again, we catch our breath. Stability is a misleading word. Like the Mafia helps stabilize poor neighborhoods in Palermo…or free heroin helps stabilize addicts… the IMF is meant to keep the system functioning – no matter how much damage it does.


Yahoos and Monkey Shiners

That is the theme running through the 100 top influencers. Like charitable tax deductions at a billionaire’s get-together, they all claim to be doing good. But there’s no evidence that the ones we know (many, we don’t recognize) have done a single damned thing other than build their own reputations and peddle their influence, not exert it.


time100-grid-covers-whiteTime has actually published six different covers – we thankfully know only three of the people featured on them, and those are already three too many. Mr. DiCaprio may be a reasonably good actor, but if that has made him influential, all we can say is “good grief” (luckily his “climate change” propaganda efforts are totally bombing so far).


Ms. Yellen calls Ms. Lagarde a “trailblazer.” But what trail has she blazed? Lagarde is the first woman to head the IMF, says Yellen (not needing to mention that she, Ms. Yellen, is the first woman to head the Fed). BFD.

The other 99 “influencers” are a mix of entertainers, politicians, yahoos, and monkey shiners. The common denominator is that they are all people who get their names in the paper.

U.S. Airforce General Lori Robinson “protects our homeland”…


robinsonThe stern gaze of military bling-adorned Northern Command shief Lori Robinson. She can probably incinerate IS turrsts from afar by merely staring at them. Clearly, the homeland is well protected.

Photo credit: Keizo Mori / UPI


Senator Ted Cruz “will not back down from any obstacle that stands in the way of more jobs, greater freedom, and true security for the American people”…


GOP-2016-Cruz-3While reportedly not backing down from any obstacles standing in the way of an ideal-type Utopia,  Ted Cruz has actually just become a tad less influential…

Photo credit: Paul Sancya / AP


Marilynne-Robinson-001Novelist Marilynne Robinson “is determined to be as intelligent as possible”…

Photo credit: Ulf Andersen / Getty


Novelist Marilynne Robinson – we have never heard about her before, so we have no opinion on her, as such. We are happy to hear though that she is merely “determined to be as intelligent as possible” and are wishing her good luck in this endeavor. This is at least unlikely to inflict much harm on other people, which can unfortunately not be said of the agenda of a number of the other individuals who have made the list.

Indian tennis player Sonia Mirza “has inspired a generation of Indians to pursue their dreams”…

University president Diana Natalicio “was ahead of her time, seeing the future of America in the faces of her students”…


NatalicioDiana Natalicio looks like a kindly old lady. According to Time, she is also a fortune teller able to tell America’s future – not from looking at entrails, but from looking at the faces of college students. As far as we’re concerned, many college students are actually making us slightly worried about said future.

Photo credit: Latino Leaders


Ford Foundation president Darren Walker wants to “conquer inequality”…


Darren WalkerDarren Walker, yet another self-anointed world improver who wants to “conquer inequality”. We are just guessing here, but we don’t think he means to donate his suit to the salvation army. More likely he wants the State to confiscate even more of the property citizens have earned by economic means in the marketplace, so that “wise men” like him can decide how it should be distributed among those who haven’t earned it  – with a sizable percentage ending up in the pockets of the irreplaceable administrators of this good fight of course…

Photo credit: Cassandra Giraldo for The Wall Street Journal


FBI Director James Comey is trying to counter “international terrorism and emerging cyber-security threats”…

And decades from now, people will look back at Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s work and “see that her idea of creation and infinity has an eternal endurance.”

Blah. Blah. Yeah… yeah.


ComeyFBI head honcho James Comey will “counter emerging cyber-security threats”? This is a positively Orwellian characterization, considering that Comey himself is one of the world’s greatest emerging cyber-security threats. The fact that people want to have digital privacy and security actually “enrages” him.

Photo credit: Evan Vucci / AP


The “Defiant European”

But our favorite claptrap comes from French “philosopher” Bernard-Henri Lévy. He names French president Francois Hollande as the “defiant European” and claims he should be included among the 100 most influential people on the planet.

Hollande, says Lévy, is “one of the very last European leaders to believe in Europe – that without it, we will go back to the Dark Ages.”  We’re not sure which one we should laugh at first – Hollande or Lévy.

We’ve followed Lévy’s career, from a great distance and with much disinterest, for more than 40 years. We met him in the early 1970s. He was the leader of a leftist movement called “The New Philosophers.” We thought it would be worth exploring. Alas, we couldn’t figure it out.


Francois-Hollande-et-Bernard-Henri-Levy-ici-a-L-Elysee-en-mars-2014Francois Hollande, the “welfare state incarnate” (h/t Gaspard Koenig) and the French president with the lowest approval rating in history (13%), shaking hands with Marxist philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who has reportedly “inspired” Mr. Hollande (a strong sign that a new source of inspiration is urgently needed). We haven’t quite decided yet if this is a match made in hell or in Comedy Central; it’s probably a bit of both. The fact that Levy is speaking in disparaging tones about the “Dark Ages” may actually be a hint that their bad reputation is undeserved.

Photo credit: Reuters


We blamed ourselves. Our knowledge of the old philosophers was sketchy, at best; we doubt we could have picked Plato out of police line-up at the time. So, we assumed it was our fault that the The New Philosophers didn’t make any sense. Now, we’re not so sure.

What makes Lévy think Europe would go back to the “Dark Ages” if the European Union were disbanded? The E.U. has been around since 1992. Was it really so bad before that? Not that we recall.

But Lévy doesn’t stop there. He says Hollande is a “great world leader. That’s not an opinion. That’s a fact.”

Huh? What kind of a fact is that? And what kind of philosopher doesn’t know the difference between fact and opinion? Apparently, the kind who thinks Francois Hollande is a great world leader.

Or the poor dimwit who is now editing Henry Luce’s once important magazine.


Image captions by PT


The above article originally appeared as “The IMF – the World’s Most Powerful Mafiaat the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.




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5 Responses to “The World’s 100 Most Influential Hacks, Yahoos and Monkey Shiners”

  • DismalScienceMonitor:

    “[Christine Lagarde] advocates that governments should confiscate a portion of the wealth of their citizens overnight, even while[she and] its own employees don’t have to pay a single cent in taxes.” Time’s psychophantic, fawning reporting is not just an affront to truth, but it is killing its readers (not the greatest business model); this is what probably did U.S. News and World Report in, IMHO: bookmarking a few honest on-line news sources such as Pam Martens’ fabulous Wall Street on Parade, Wolfstreet.com, or the often hilarious but informative Ragingbullshit.com(Don Quijones surely had Time in mind when he named his site) go a long way to inform readers who have learned to shun the MSM.

  • Most influential or biggest frauds?

  • wmbean:

    Influence is a slippery slope. One expects some cause and effect relationship whether it be positive or negative. Frankly, it has been years since I have seen any real influential individuals worth the bother. It’s like expecting Jon Stewart to provide any real news on his television comedy show without great bias.

  • Belmont Boy:

    Hey, guys, you gotta give Usain Bolt a pass. Hard work, relentless dedication, unparalleled achievement. One would certainly hope he isn’t especially influential, of course. Best not to inspire the masses to emulate him, lest an epidemic break out of hamstring pulls and achilles tendon tears. But this guy’s talent way eclipses the combined talent of those very few on the list who might actually have some talent, and what he has accomplished is, purely and simply, sensational.

    • No6:

      Bolt is a runner. An entertainer. What has he accomplished that is sensational.
      And who deserves the most of the credit, him or the biochemist?

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