Why Economists Get Things Wrong

Following today's 3-sigma miss in GDP by the greatest and goodest economists of the world, we thought David McWilliams brief 'Punk Economics' clip on "why economists get things wrong" was particularly appropriate. With Mark Zandi's "this didn't really happen" comment this morning on GDP, McWilliams starts by warning of the most dangerous of economic soothsayers - the overconfident and over-optimistic forecaster. Perhaps, he notes, the Queen was on to something when she asked (about the crisis), "why didn't you see this coming? ...and why should I listen to you now?" The key fact driving economists' inability to predict the future is a lack of understanding of the present thanks to the "complete and utter nonsense" that economists see the world as rational - which, he shows, we certainly are not. There is no economics for emotions, exuberances, impulses, or frenzies (as is all too clear currently). We simply don't learn from our mistakes and always believe this time will be different. Indeed...



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