Thursday, 5 February 2009


Today, in his Times column, Anatale Kaletsky took the opportunity to attack the Economists

In the search for the “guilty men” responsible for the near-collapse of the global economy, one obvious group of scapegoats has escaped blame: the economists.

However, he doesn't mean the thick economists, like him, who write for newspapers with declining circulations.

By “economists” I do not mean the talking heads (myself included) employed by the media and financial institutions to “explain”, usually after the event, why share prices or currencies have gone up or down.

He means the clever ones wot win prizes:

What I mean by “economists” are the academic theorists who win Nobel prizes, or dream of winning them.

According to Anatole, these theorists misled bankers and politicians into becoming excessively greedy:

Consider why the bankers, politicians, accountants and regulators behaved in the egregious ways that they have. It may be true that all bankers are greedy, all politicians venal, all regulators blind and all accountants stupid. But such personal failings do not explain their behaviour in the past few years.

Has Anatole ever read an article written by a Nobel prize-winning economist. To say the least, these pieces aren't particularly accessible.

Personally, I'd prefer to blame you, Anatole, and your ludicrous column.


Velorución said...

"Has Anatole ever read an article written by a Nobel prize-winning economist. To say the least, these pieces aren't particularly accessible.

Not that I defend Mr. Kaletsky, I probably detest his articles as much as any, but Paul Krugman and Joseph E. Stiglitz articles spring to mind...

Mark Wadsworth said...

I did recently read an article by Krugman of 1999-ish in which he predicted (if I understood it correctly) the Japanese 'carry trade' and the approx. course of the Japanese economy more or less spot on. So there.

And I can't profess to having read much by Uncle Milt, but here's my favourite interview with him.

As Fred Harrison says, economics is dead easy. Property price bubbles are a recipe for disaster and taxes on incomes are evil, from which you can draw one sensible conclusion ...

Nick von Mises said...

He gets the causality wrong. Intellectuals are (usually) the rhetorical cover to let the genuinely powerful do what they want to do. Their capacity to actually move society is pretty limited.

The reason the current crop of "economists" spout such keynesian crap (and before that friedman crap) is because that's what the naked emperors want to hear. If they said something different, they'd be marginalised. Like the Austrians are now.

Mitch said...

I stopped reading his drivel when even I could knock big holes in his arguments.
I emailed him to ask if Gordon faxed the stuff over but he didn't reply.

Anonymous said...

I really think Kaletsky has lost his marbles. Either that or he is in the pay of GB.

Anonymous said...

And they're only pretendy Nobel prizes anyway.

Anonymous said...

What would this blog do without Anatole.