Saturday, April 20, 2013

Top Harvard economists get caught making stuff up and nobody cares

Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff are the Crosby and Ovechkin of economics.

A few years ago they wrote a book that provided the indisputable proof that the likes of Angela Merkel et al need to justify the austerity enema.

Economies just can't grow if they have too much debt.

That's music to the ears of slash and burn right-wing politicians everywhere.

"See! Your pension and your wage and your benefits are crippling the economy! We gotta cut back now!!!!... "

So along comes an economics student a few years later and tries to replicate their theoretic models. He tries and he tries with no success.

Finally he respectfully requests their original data. They oblige.

And their model still doesn't work!

In other words, the link between their research and their conclusion is mostly imaginary.

One would like to think that the revelation of such nefarious hijinx would result in outrage, opprobrium, loss of tenure... something.

Instead, it has resulted in next to nothing. Krugman writes about it in his blog and that's about the extent of the outrage and opprobrium.

There are of course very sound reasons why mainstream media are happy to let this story float by.

Mainstream media is owned by the same folks who think your pension and your wages are way too generous.

More austerity please!

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