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- “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”.
Milton Friedman — American economist: in Observer 22 September Leon Henderson — American economist: J. Galbraith A Life in Our Times Schlesinger Robert Kennedy and his Times Franklin D.
FT's Interactive Economic Weather Map | The Rational Walk
Roosevelt — American Democratic statesman, 32nd President — second inaugural address, 20 January Paul A. Samuelson — American economist: in Newsweek 19 September Schumacher —77 German-born economist: title of book Schumacher —77 German-born economist: Small is Beautiful pt. Galbraith following a humorous piece in U.
There have been a few exceptions, most notably Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, both of whom have an honorable record of questioning financial deregulation before the crash. For the rest, most were part of the problem — and a big part.
Their influence calls to mind the old joke that God invented economists to make astrologers look good. It is not as if no one offered an unequivocal warning of trouble ahead. But remarkably few of the most prescient critics of financial "innovation" were card-carrying economists.
Making Astrology Look Respectable
Congress was acting on Wall Street's orders. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Apart from the disability that he actually knows what he is talking about, his problem is that he has a mere master's in economics, not a doctorate, which is the union card of the economics profession. The mystery deepens when you realize that Swedish policymakers, in common with counterparts right across the most prosperous parts of central and northern Europe, secretly laugh at laissez-faire. The Swedes have excellent empirical reasons to sneer.
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Yet Sweden flouts virtually every principle of laissez-faire. Finance is tightly regulated. So is employment, and companies are heavily constrained from making layoffs. Labor union enjoy enormous legally mandated privileges. There are reasons why an economy organized on these principles -- socialist principles, frankly -- can work and work very well. But anyone who reads only in English has first to unlearn a vast amount of Anglophone conventional wisdom before he or she can make sense of a successful socialist economy.
As for the Nobel economics prize, I am hardly alone in alleging extraordinary bias. Even the descendants of Alfred Nobel have noticed it and have threatened to deny the economics prize the use of the Nobel moniker.
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In their view Alfred Nobel would have disowned many of the kooks who have been honored in his name. Sooner or later the dollar will collapse and inflation will soar. Merton and Scholes shared the prize in for supposedly brilliant work on how to value financial derivatives.
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