… to be an Economist .. of course. This is apart from the fact that a recent study conducted by the University of Arkansas showed that the job market for economists in Developed Countries has been on the wane. These statistics can however afford to be ignored since related research also does show that jobs for Economists in Developing Countries are on the rise.
Whether its the media savvy Ben Bernanke (Federal Reserve Chairman), the inconspicuous Jean Claude Trichet (ECB Chairman) or even the bespectacled Dr. Subba Rao (Reserve Bank of India Chairman), the press seem to be hounding their every turn each time a new statistic is broadcasted.
From the Private Sector, you have the globally renowned experts such as Nouriel Roubini who shot to fame after he predicted the 2008 crash. Marc Faber with his Doom and Gloom report follows closely behind. Mark Mobius, (Fund Manager at Franklin Templeton Investments) is another renowned figure who specialized more on Emerging markets. Then of course you have a whole host of Economists who work at various Financial Institutions across the globe who also get their share of screen time every time there is a rally.
An interesting point to note is in almost all of the recent crises till date, there were forewarnings issued by noted economists. In 1994, Paul Krugman published an article about the “Asian Economic Miracle” thereby predicting the South East Asian crisis 2 years before it would happen. Mark Mobius was one of the first in line to predict the Dot Com crash of 2001. Most recently however, it could so easily have been Nouriel Roubini who should have been credited for calling out the 2008 Financial Meltdown, except for the fact that there is now a queue of such candidates with similar claims.
Given the highly coupled age that we live in, the equations can really go haywire. A live example of this can be seen by how helpless Emerging Markets are in reining in inflation. When prices of global commodities can indirectly affect inflation, interest rates and consumption power of global citizens, the usual weaponry that these Central Bank Governors could wield to control their systems are rendered ineffective. Moreover, Central Bank Governors around the world are slowly discovering that Economics in a Free Globalized Market is a lot more unpredictable than how they imagined it to be.
Between periods of meltdown, or boom and bust cycles, economists always seem to take their place in the background, their opinion sought after now and then or when matters reach the hilt. Till then however, the spotlight would turn to Industry leaders such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Carlos Slim and many of the other Industrialists for their soundbytes. Someone once said, when Economists become highly sought after and gain in pre-eminence, then markets, nations and netizens have a lot to worry about.
First Published at Technorati : http://technorati.com/politics/article/there-has-never-been-a-better/