What is truth?

Posts tagged ‘Economist’

“fake economist unmasked”.

The story in the Guardian is of a Portuguese chap who convinced everybody, possibly including himself, that he had taught economics in the USA and even worked in the world bank. He debated issues on the economy regularly on Portuguese media, and became a celebrity and celebrated for his easy style and making simple of the complex.

There is of course much glee being rubbed on hands at this – many people consider the whole activity of economics to be applied charlatasim. But it raises a question on the nature of the business.

There is to me no such thing as the profession of an economist. A profession, I suggest, is on that has rules and regulations, standards for entry and exit, a recognized way of doing things. Accounting is one ; so also is nursing, or taxidermy. Economics has none of these. The deficiencies in modern (macro) economics have been well publicized over the last half decade : a read of the blogs of Krugman, Simon Wren Lewis, Mark Thoma, or a host more will show both an evisceration of the abstruseness of much of modern macro modeling and a deep searching of the soul by practitioners of a craft………………………..

full article at source: http://www.irishbusinessblog.com/2013/01/30/pretending-to-be-an-economist-not-really-such-a-bad-thing/

 

The irrationality of it all

 

By David Mc Williams

Over the past few days, I have received all sorts of economic forecasts of 2013 penned by economists in large financial outfits who are confidently telling me what is going to happen next year. Most of these guys were the same people who didn’t foresee this crisis, yet few have lost their jobs and here they are, without the slightest hint of doubt, outlining what is likely to happen in 2013.

Of all the characters we should fear, the overconfident economic forecaster is surely one of them. When the Queen of England asked why none of these professionals warned of the credit crunch, she was only articulating what many people must have thought, which is “if you guys are so clever, why didn’t you see this crisis coming – and if you didn’t see it coming, why should I listen to you now”?

The failure of economics to predict human behaviour is a significant charge that modern economists have not properly answered and the failure to answer this accusation adequately has undermined economics as a whole.

In the final column of the year, we are going to take a quick look at the state of the economics game and ask whether the fundamental laws of traditional economics bear any relation to reality or offer any insight into how people actually behave……………………..

Full article at souyrce:http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2012/12/31/the-irrationality-of-it-all?utm_source=Website+Subscribers&utm_campaign=e3ac4be19f-22112012&utm_medium=email

Fiscal treaty is Kamikaze economics for most of EU

By David Mc Williams

Frequently, and with some validity, business people lambast economists for knowing nothing about the real world. They claim that economists dwell in ivory towers and just don’t get it. Some economists may well live in ivory towers but those of us who work for ourselves and employ people and try to make a living in the private sector are not as removed as the business people might think. In fact, we are business people. Yet the point is valid, as theoretical models of the economy do sometimes seem removed from reality.

However, the criticism can work the opposite way. Just because you run a business does not mean you understand how the economy works.

And when business people weigh into public debates about the economy, their pronouncements can vary from the vaguely embarrassing to the downright wrong. We are seeing this in the economics of the fiscal treaty debate.

Despite knowing nothing — or at least very little — about how the economy works, why is it that some business people speak with utter confidence on economics yet they get the basics wrong?

A business is not the same as an economy. An economy is myriad businesses and lots of other bits too that are not businesses, but may be customers of businesses.

full article at source:  http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2012/05/24/fiscal-treaty-is-kamikaze-economics-for-most-of-eu?utm_source=Website+Subscribers&utm_campaign=6e58848900-24052012&utm_medium=email

Online Economic Discussion with David McWilliams – The People’s Economy

First Economic Webinar – Tomorrow 10.30am

Dear Candidate,

We are delighted to announce that www.thepeopleseconomy.com went live this morning.

The People’s Economy aims to be source of comprehensive economic information for candidates and voters alike. It demystifies much of the economic jargon currently in use in the public domain, and aims to clarify our economic situation, define its causes and discuss the important issues and decisions we now face as a nation. With the help of a number of professional economists, we have broken down the seemingly complex arguments about the economy in a number of ways, including:

An FAQ section covering the most commonly asked questions.
An Economic Mythbusting section debunking some of the common misconceptions of our current crisis.

We have also translated some of the confusing vocabulary, used in the public discourse, into simple, easy to understand language in our Jargonbusting section. 

Finally, we will be providing a series of webinars at which one of the economists will broadcast a live 30 minute online discussion about a particular topic relevant to the Irish economy.
These will be broadcast each day from Monday 14th February right up until Thursday 24th February.  Viewers will have the opportunity to submit questions to the economists in advance of each of these sessions.

The first of these sessions will take place tomorrow morning – Monday 14th February at 10.30am with David McWilliams dealing with the question “Can we break the agreement with the IMF?”

If you have a question you would like to submit in advance please do so at http://thepeopleseconomy.com/ask-a-question/ – questions will be collated and the discussion formulated around them.

We genuinely hope that www.thepeopleseconomy.com becomes a valuable tool for you and your team.  We would be happy to and, in fact, we would encourage the sharing of this resource amongst your colleagues and constituents alike.  We have provided it in the spirit of openness, cooperation and collegiality.

We wish you the very best with your campaign!

Yours Sincerely,
The People’s Economy Team

Comment:

This is a very welcome development and a first step in a new openness in Irish political scene 

I intend to use this resource and would encourage all of the voters to do likewise.

I congratulate the enlightened citizens that have managed to put this resource together.

Thomas Clarke

Independent candidate for Wicklow

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