July 09, 2016
Sir, Tim Harford discusses how economists could have presented their case against Brexit more effectively. In doing so Harford refers to Dan Kahan, a Yale law professor, when arguing that “Giving people evidence that threatens deep beliefs is often counterproductive, because we start with our emotions and trim the facts to fit them”, “Economists face up to Brexit fail” July 9.
Interesting because that is very similar to what I have been asking myself:
How can I get my fellows economist colleagues to understand that, in banking, what is ex-post more dangerous, is what has ex ante been perceived as safe, and which therefore signifies that bank regulators are basically 180 degrees off the charts with their current risks weighted capital requirements for banks?
And how can I get my fellows economist colleagues to understand that if you allow banks to earn higher expected risk adjusted returns on equity when lending to what is perceived as safe than when lending to what is perceived risky, the banks will dangerously overpopulate the safe havens and, equally dangerously, under-explore the risky bays our real economy needs to be explored in order to move forward, so as to not stall and fall?
What deep beliefs do economists hold that block them from understanding risks? Might it only be they have spent too much time at their desks and too little on main street?