Hall mis-characterized Ford's comments on grading. Ford never said that other fields didn't value better grade items higher than lower ones. He was commenting on the fixation on grade that was taking place to the point where grade was becoming the be all and end all. To the point where common high grade "Stuff" (as he would call it) was more highly desired and eagerly pursued than truly rare or historically interesting and important pieces. Hall's example of the babe Ruth ball didn't really help his case either. Naturally a better condition one is going to be worth more But with that baseball the price difference between the bottom end low grade and the top end cream of the crop was only a factor of FOUR. (This was before CU got into the sports memorabilia authenticating and grading field. I'm sure today thanks to them that price factor is a lot greater.)
I find it interesting that at least twice Hall mentioned that price is a factor in grading. To me this means that if you have two similar condition coins, one common, one rare, the rare one should be given a higher grade because its price is higher. (And this actually happens. We are all familiar with the concept of the key date grading bump.) And if the price of a coin goes up, it's grade should go up as well.
What I found amusing were Hall's comment about how the market was not going up like a rocket and that it was doing the same thing it was doing in 1946 or 1906 it is going a little bit and down a little bit, that it is going to keep doing that and there isn't going to be any crash because the market is healthy. Now I know I have the luxury of hindsight but I find his comment rather incredible and shall we say a little lacking in credibility. Now he was the owner and president of David Hall Rare Coins, a major firm so you would expect he would know how the market was behaving. I'm sure most of you have seen this graph.
Do you know when this debate took place? Do you see that point on the graph when it just goes over 180,000? That's it. That was when he said the market had NOT been going straight up like a rocket and that there was no crash ahead.
One other comment he made was that the market was real and the investors were paying cash on the barrel-head and that there was a lot of money there. How does that compare to Ford's comment that the investors were a quick easy way to a buck?