Sep 17, 2009

He got this one WRONG


Taken from the Amazon.com review of The New Era of Wealth (Brian Wesbury, 2002):

First, the good news: smart investors will continue to get rich. Brian S. Wesbury, an economist and respected economic forecaster, believes the trends that led to so much wealth creation in the last two decades of the 20th century--a boom in productivity from technological innovation, smaller government, and anti-inflationary U.S. Federal Reserve policies--will continue in the first two decades of the 21st century. As Wesbury sees it, people who worry about the soaring stock market leading to a repeat of 1929 are looking for the wrong bogeyman.

It's ironic, that in 2004 he was named by USA Today one of the top 10 economic forecasters. (By the way, when they say an economist, they mean he has a BA in economics...). Anyway, I am not judging the book as such, (I haven't read it yet - but in general I am a "bit" sceptical about investor's handbooks), I just think the review is funny or maybe ironic?

p.s. has anyone read it?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your level of education does not decide whether you are a great economist or not.

Some economists become heads of financial stability and central bank governors without a Ph.D.. I would argue that they are probably better economists than average PhD economists.

TomasHozik said...

Education is not the only fact deciding whether you are a great economist (what is a great economist anyway?) but is certainly correlated (Irrespective of how is great economist defined...)...

I don't know any CB governor without a PhD, but there are many things I don't know. I am sure it's rare though...

Pierre-Louis said...

Paul Volcker doesnt have a phd...but he doesnt consider himself an economist...in his wrods he was a central banker!

Veronika said...

I believe Greenspan did not have a PhD either and I have seen more than one case at the World Bank when a lead economist would "just" have a Masters. I totally agree that the mere fact that someone had enough determination to make it through the PhD level will not make them by default more knowledgeable or more qualified to talk about issues related to economics.

TomasHozik said...

Greenspan has a PhD from NYU.

Anyway, I think getting a PhD has a non-negative effect on your chances to become a great economist (regardless of how you define a "great economist").
It's like with monkeys, if you keep on training them to do some task, they'll eventually get better at it. If you're forced to do econ for 3-5 years, you'll get better at it...

But education is definitely only part of the story...

(I think I am unbiased as I probably won't pursue a PhD)...

Veronika said...

Greenspan was given his PhD by NYU almost 30 years after finishing his undergrad. No one (on the public side at least) ever saw his thesis. He started his PhD at Columbia right after undergrad but dropped out.

Anonymous said...

If you want a famous, current Central Bank Governor, who was also a famous academic,
why not check out the Governor of the Bank of England.