03 December 2008

'Economists Have Abandoned Principle'

Oliver Hart, Harvard econ professor & Luigi Zingales, Chicago Booth finance professor:
This year will be remembered not just for one of the worst financial crises in American history, but also as the moment when economists abandoned their principles. There used to be a consensus that selective intervention in the economy was bad. In the last 12 months this belief has been shattered.

Practically every day the government launches a massively expensive new initiative to solve the problems that the last day's initiative did not. It is hard to discern any principles behind these actions. The lack of a coherent strategy has increased uncertainty and undermined the public's perception of the government's competence and trustworthiness.

Yup. You can say that again. "Willy-nilly" is the operative hyphenated word.

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