The dismal science, aka economics, remains one of the great ponzi schemes of all times. Let me remind you what a ponzi scheme is: cigar chewing salesman gets you to buy snake oil with the promise of major returns. In order to make good on his promise to you, he finds two other dupes to invest in snake oil and he uses those investments to pay you off, and then goes looking for four other suckers to invest in the first three. The best ponzi scheme is one where the head snake oil vendor lets the investors in on the secret and tells them that the only way they can recoup their investment is by getting others to take on the risk.

Isn’t that how economics works. Lets see:

  1. IMF/World Bank gets Manmohan Singh to sign off on neoliberal policies

  2. FM/PM recruits chief ministers

  3. Chief ministers recruit businessman

  4. Businessmen sell dreams to the aam aadmi.

  5. Aam aadmi takes the fall for all the above

The only way economics succeeds is by getting the next generation of dupes to buy into the latest theory of how the world should be run by a shadowy cabal. In other words:

“Pointy heads in the service of fat wallets ”

Be that as it may, it looks like a new group of pointy heads is on the march, as data and software begin to eat into economics. Surprise surprise, Silicon Valley economics is gaining ground over Kennedy School economics.