My friend Aditya Kuvalekar recalls an anecdote of Thomas Sargent (Nobel laureate in Economics):

Apparently, Sargent was asked a few months ago about a question on Financial Crisis and some policy action to be taken. Sargent answered, “That is a question to be resolved by the model and the data”

When a Nobel laureate is that humble in admitting that economics is far harder than what may seem and most questions don’t have “obvious” answers as many bloggers and journalists think, maybe there’s some food for thought for those who think before they speak. For many Indian policy bloggers/journalists of course, these rules of humility do not apply.

Nail on head.

Aditya studies economics at N.Y.U. I’m hoping he finds time to compile a list of good economists/writers whose writings ought to be followed and a list of bullshitters who must be ignored.

These days I am wary of any writer too confident of his views, in particular while dealing with complex systems. Even if a writer has the perfect solution, tone is important in getting a point across. A pretentious writer is a bad writer and not a person I would ever trust. Pretentiousness works against self-analysis, which is critical in making one a better thinker.

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Niall Ferguson argues in an op-vid that mainstream economists are stupid. Pardon the over-the-top production. Concentrate on the message.

Op-vids are this new thing where instead of writing an op-ed, the writer says the same thing dramatically in a video.

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Here’s one out-of-the-box solution to the debt crisis, explained by Salman Khan (of Khan Academy). He breaks it down to be simple enough for anyone to understand:

Sounds reasonable to me but don’t take my word in economic matters. Or anything really.

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