Faith in Untrustworthy Numbers

I’ve always felt that philosophy degenerated when the numbers guys took over.

From The Daily Reckoning:

Despite all their numbers, formulas and Nobel prizes, America’s leading economists, including the lead dog economist himself, Ben Bernanke, were apparently unable to see something so obvious that even we spotted it: the collapse of housing and the blow up of the credit market.

Not that they are dumb. They are just following a different career path. A genuine economist keeps his eyes open. He reads the paper. He reads books. He studies history. He talks to taxi drivers and businessmen. He tries to understand what has gone on in the past…and what might be going on today.

He has no illusions about it. The future will never be like the past. But there will be similarities. And those similarities can be studied…

He has little appreciation for numbers. He knows they can’t be trusted. They are like whores and lobbyists — they will do their work for whomever pays them.

Read the rest here.