February 19, 2004


British engineering student Matthew Richardson shares his name with a New York-based financial expert. Perhaps that is why he was invited to present a series of lectures in Beijing on global economics.

Despite knowing nothing about the topic, and unaware that he would be addressing a bunch of MBAs, Matthew accepted the invitation.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 19, 2004 10:08 PM

Ah yes, the overconfident Oxbridge student who can sound like he knows what he is talking about even when he doesn't. I know them well. They can be deeply annoying.

Posted by: Michael Jennings at February 19, 2004 at 10:14 PM

He even looks a little like the real professor.

Posted by: EvilPundit at February 19, 2004 at 10:15 PM

The boy has balls

Posted by: kwelam at February 19, 2004 at 11:39 PM

Matty Richardson also plays footy for Richmond!

Is there no end to his talent?

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at February 20, 2004 at 12:04 AM

That guy has serious sack. Hats off to him; he'll go far as an engineer if he knows his stuff.

Posted by: jonathan at February 20, 2004 at 12:13 AM

Michael Jennings, thank you. I was just asking myself, "What kind of flipping idiot is asked to go halfway around the world to lecture on a subject about which he knows nothing, and not only does not wonder why he was asked, but apparently does not wonder whether there are no more qualified finance teachers in China (or Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong...)??" Now I know the answer: an Oxbridge student.

I wonder if he thinks he'll be able to "blag" his way through his engineering mechanics classes. Gravity is not so easily fooled. Hope he's never asked to design a bridge.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at February 20, 2004 at 02:11 AM

I find this most amusing, got to admire his bullshitting abilities.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at February 20, 2004 at 02:43 AM

There's an expert in my field (ESL/EFL) and we share names. At a national conference 10 years ago, I was approached by a US govt. official and offered 2 weeks in Italy lecturing on ESL student "Assessment" and all its variations to Italian ESL/EFL educators. I was flattered by the attention, but had to tell her she had the wrong guy. She didn't act too thrilled when I told her that (she had been flaunting her "catch" a bit too excessively in the eyes of her US govt-employed peers, and later blushed) Maybe I should have gone over and done my thing on assessment,(I definitely could have done a better job than Mr. Engineer did re finance) but thought better of it.

Posted by: michael at February 20, 2004 at 06:09 AM

I wonder if changing my name to Michael Moore will get me guest appearances at McDonalds?

Posted by: Jake D at February 20, 2004 at 07:49 AM

Tim, You should organise a cagefight between Richardson and our own Chris Sheil. It'd be the BS Ashes.
"You're dead wrong Richardson. Dead wrong."

Posted by: fidens at February 20, 2004 at 07:56 AM

Jake D:

Only if you're too wide to fit through the door.

For added realism, go through the drive-thru and order from the back of a flatbed truck.

Posted by: david at February 20, 2004 at 09:29 AM

LOL! Funniest thing I've read in a long time. I especially liked this quote:

"I have no idea who they were expecting. Being Chinese, they were inscrutable and if they were expecting someone else they didn't show it. Perhaps they thought I was a prodigy. They all called me professor.

Posted by: TimT at February 20, 2004 at 09:40 AM

What are his overhead marking and dummy spitting skills like? Can't be any worse than the idiot at the Tigers!

Posted by: Razor at February 20, 2004 at 11:16 AM

I bet he can miss the goals from 20 meters out dead in front, too!

Posted by: Razor at February 20, 2004 at 11:17 AM

The kid has balls. Good for him that he saw it through. Indeed he will go far. Hopefully, it won't be by bluffing his way through life.

A bit disturbing is Dr Cerratti who is, ".. often asked to provide Oxford academics for lectures overseas...".

Is it normal to provide Oxford academics to lecture in subjects they don't know anything about as long as the audience is a non-Phd one? It seems so by the article.

Isn't this rather bizarre? Why would you provide someone to lecture about a topic he/she knows nothing about ... even to non-degreed college students?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at February 20, 2004 at 11:45 AM

Half my commerce lecturers at a 'prestigious' australian university barely spoke english, so they could have been blagging their way through and none of us would have known.

Posted by: Paul Dub at February 20, 2004 at 01:46 PM

This guy is a total f'kn hero! Although, jesus, if the MBA students found a lecture from a beginners' textbook highly informative, what does that say about THEIR training?

Posted by: National Party Headcase at February 20, 2004 at 05:12 PM

I've just posted a poetic ode to this fellow on my new blog.
I agree, National Party Headcase - what does it say about the state of education in China that the students found the talk informative?

Posted by: TimT at February 20, 2004 at 10:00 PM

You guys sound worried! Unsourced, unsubstatiated, cutted and pasted plastic blog! A British college student passes off as an economist, bet he's got a job lined up at Enron! Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah!

My life is a lie.

Posted by: Sortelli Divide at February 21, 2004 at 02:22 PM

Hee hee hee!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 22, 2004 at 02:31 AM

And what about the Chinese students who paid money to fly to the workshop, their accommodation, meals and expenses, not to mention what they paid for the workshop? This was a real con and a deceit by an imposter. Nothing to boast about. You may all think it is funny, but how would you feel if you flew to Madrid for a conference and had a similar experience? It's turds like him that give Oxford and Brits a bad name. eric

Posted by: eric moss at March 9, 2004 at 04:25 AM