“I write to you from a disgraced profession” were the words of James K. Galbraith, the son of one of the most successful bestsellers of books on economic and financial matters. “Economic theory… failed miserably to understand the forces behind the financial crisis.”
For those of us who know or have studied mainstream economics theory, this sounds pretty much correct: despite the thousands of pages of economic theory we studied in our undergraduate programs, we had essentially no idea what the heck was going on when the crash belatedly arrived. What baffles most is that senior economists – including those who were teaching the undergrads – did not seem to have much of an idea either. Respect for economists collapsed parallel to world economic activity and one startling but clear observation dawned upon many: the market did not fit the description made of it in the textbooks!