– Thoughts on Strategy and Management

Dynamite Prize in Economics

Subscribers to the Real-World Economics Review Blog have awarded the Dynamite Prize in Economics to Alan Greenspan, Milton Friedman and Larry Summers.

It says at the Real-World Economics Review Blog:

‘Alan Greenspan has been judged the economist most responsible for causing the Global Financial Crisis. He and 2nd and 3rd place finishers Milton Friedman and Larry Summers, have won the first–and hopefully last—Dynamite Prize in Economics.
They have been judged to be the three economists most responsible for the Global Financial Crisis. More figuratively, they are the three economists most responsible for blowing up the global economy.’

My first thought on this post was that it was interesting reading but nothing more – there are countless polls around in the Internet and ‘economists-bashing’ at a time when we all know what had happened and why is fairly easy. However, this poll is about more. In fact, the Real-World Economics Review Blog had launched two polls simultaneously:

‘The  Real-World Economics Review Blog is holding polls to determine the awarding of two prizes:
The Dynamite Prize for Economics , to be awarded to the three economists who contributed most to enabling the Global Financial Collapse (GFC), and
The Noble Prize for Economics , to be awarded to the three economists who first and most cogently warned of the coming calamity.’  

As they write:

‘It is accepted fact that the economics profession through its teachings, pro-nouncements and policy recommendations facilitated the GFC.  We also know that danger signs became visible long before the event and that some economists (those with their eyes on the real-world) gave public warnings which if acted upon would have averted the human disaster. … To date, however, the world’s major economics associations have declined to censure the major facilitators of the GFC or even to publicly identify them. … Nor has the economics establishment offered recognition to those economists who were not taken in by fads and fashion and whose competence, if listened to, would have prevented the collapse.’

This double-poll gives me a positive outlook. They don’t simply want to blame somebody, as too many others have done. They want to direct our awareness to those who were outspo-ken with a different opinion.
I am deeply convinced that the next bubble or the next crisis will come up sooner or later. This little double poll should remind us not only to listen to the mainstream-voices that can be heard all over the mainstream media. It is convenient to agree with their convincing ideas. However, there are always some critical voices with a different opinion too. We should make it a habit to listen to those voices as well. On that basis, we can make up our own mind on whom we believe. Maybe that could help to make the next crisis a little less severe.

By the way, the poll for the Noble Prize for Economics, which was named Revere Award in Economics, named in honour of Paul Revere and his famous ride, is still open and in the nomination phase.