Institute for Financial Transparency

Shining a light on the opaque corners of finance


Economists never learn: follow-up

I received significant feedback on my earlier post on why Economists never learn, particularly from someone without a PhD in Economics.

This feedback highlighted just how insurmountable the barriers to learning are and why it will take a miracle for the Economics profession to once again have more to offer than Astrologers.

As someone I highly respect in the Economics profession said to me,

by talking about transparency and developing the Information Matrix, you effectively ended academic research in this area which isn’t paid for by Wall Street to promote opacity.

Why this should be true wasn’t immediately apparent to a non-academic like myself.  So naturally, I asked some individuals I know who are academics.  They explained why any academic researcher in Economics/Finance looking at the issue of information since the financial crisis began should have cited my work and why doing so would be problematic.

On the one hand, if academic researchers don’t cite my work and publish a paper reaching the same conclusions, they expose themselves to massive negative career risk.  Apparently plagiarism is still frowned on and claiming I didn’t publish in an academic journal isn’t a career saving excuse.

On the other hand, if they cite my work, they are giving credibility to a non-PhD.  Doing this threatens the Economics/Finance professionals.   This is particularly problematic when it comes to the issue of transparency.  Transparency is the foundation on which all Economic and Finance theories are based.  Giving credit to a non-PhD would be acknowledging this individual had transformed Economics and Finance by introducing the idea and demonstrating that buyers and sellers transact all the time where neither has an informational advantage or the information necessary to know what they are doing.

By giving credit, the Economics/Finance PhDs are in essence saying they are not the individuals who should be reached out to for answering questions like how to end our ongoing opacity driven financial crisis and reform the global financial system.

I can see why Economics and Finance PhDs wouldn’t want to do that.