Choosing Your Own Facts
Daniel Patrick Moynihan told us we’re not entitled to our own facts, but he was wrong. Both politicos and economists, at minimum, are allowed to pick their own facts. And Moynihan was a politician himself.
So consider what Andrew Lo of MIT serves up in his meta-review of 21 books that purport to explain the financial crisis. Among the findings:
Many of us like to think of financial economics as a science, but complex events like the financial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality. John Maynard Keynes had even greater ambitions for economics when he wrote, “If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid”. Instead, we’re now more likely to be thought of as astrologers, making pronouncements and predictions without any basis in fact or empirical evidence.
I love Lo’s humbleness in the above paragraph. He reminds me of… a dentist.
Now if we could just get the warmers to think of themselves in the same light.