Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Reckoning is Now in Order
For the Economics Profession

'The financial crisis has killed the claim that economics deserves to be treated as a science. The measure of a science is its capacity to explain, predict and prescribe. And most economists not only failed to anticipate the nature and evolution of the catastrophe, but their conflicting recommendations on how to stabilize the situation exposed the unreliability of their knowledge. As much as Wall Street and Main Street, the economics profession needs a bailout of its own.'
--from a pungent essay (alas, not online) in the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine, by editor-in-chief Moises Naim.

6 Comments:

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Mike Q said...

It's not called the dismal science for nothing.

But I love the "research" that earns some of these clowns Nobel prizes -- like Causitive Relationship Between Income and Discretionary Purchases.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Interesting you point out the Nobel prize in economics. Ironically (and quite on point with the thrust of this argument) that's something of the step child of the other Nobel prizes, since it wasn't part of Alfred Nobel's original idea nor of his bequest in the 1890s (the first prizes were awarded in 1901). The prize in economics was added much later, in 1969, and is funded by the Bank of Sweden. It's not even a Nobel Prize, technically speaking. I'm surprised that hasn't come up in the latest round of attention over the recent naming of NYT columnist Paul Krugman as a winner in that category.

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Mike Q said...

That's good background I didn't know.

Speaking of economics, the Corporate Club at Landerhaven announced its next program will be an economic forecast for 2009. Know who's giving it? The chief economist for National City Bank.

That's like having Ronald Dumbsfield speak on modern warfare.

 
At 6:58 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

I did get a chuckle out of seeing that. In similar fashion, do you think CWRU should consider getting rid of the entry on its website about former National City CEO Dave Daberko being among its most notable alums?

 
At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Mike Q said...

Depends on how you define "notable."

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Indeed.

 

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