Celeb-onomics - Macleans.ca


Can celebrities make economic policy sexy?


Getty Images, ISTOCK; Photo Illustration by Lauren Cattermole

Want to get people to pay attention to that driest of issues: monetary policy? Get a Hollywood celebrity to tweet about it. Better still, one whose resumé includes rehab, house arrest and an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet. That’s what the National Inflation Association, an organization that describes itself as “preparing Americans for hyperinflation,” did last week. It paid Lindsay Lohan to slam the Federal Reserve on her Twitter account. It read: “Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money!” The tweet, initially attributed to Lohan herself, quickly made the rounds in gossip, mainstream and business media. It may have helped focus minds on macroeconomics (albeit briefly), but the tweet did little to improve Lohan’s image, after reporters pointed out that the NIA’s main aim appears to be pitching investors on penny stocks and that the group is not the conservative non-profit the starlet said she believed it to be.