US Nobel laureates are naked in global hamaam

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Since 1990, of the 40 Nobel prize winners in economic sciences, 30 have held the passport of the United States of America.

In the last 10 years alone, of the 22 winners, 18  have come from the US of A.

Their subjects range from studies of economic governance of countries and macro and micro economics, to fluctuation of markets, economic governance of boundaries of firms, business cycles, etc.

All very imposing and impressive, indeed.


The group of thirty, often abbreviated to G30, is an international body of leading financiers and academics which aims to deepen understanding of economic and financial issues, and to examine the consequences of decisions made in the public and private sectors related to these issues.

The topical areas within the interest of the group include:

•    Foreign exchange, currency, etc.
•    International capital markets
•    International financial institutions
•    Central banks and supervision of financial services and markets
•    Macroeconomic issues such as product and labor markets, etc.

Their agenda looks grand, too.


Yet, there is a fundamental question to be asked.

Of what use is all this expertise, all this global recognition, if it is not of use to the world?

In other words, how is it that neither the Nobel prize winners, especially from US, nor the worthies of G30 have been able to predict the double dip recession that the United States is currently facing, which is affecting markets and economies of countries across the world?

It was the same story in 2008 -10, when none of them foresaw the subprime mortgage fiasco which affected the middle-class in the US and in Europe too. The unemployment and underemployment that touched the working class may stay permanently or at least for a decade more.

Maybe, the world lives in hope, which is why the dire predictions of the odd Cassandra like Joseph Stiglitz do not sound like music to the ears. Maybe, the world lives in hope, which is it respects the pessimism of “Dr Doom“, Nouriel Roubini, only in retrospect.

Or, maybe, it is not the job of the Nobel laureates at all to play soothsayers and “predict” what is going to happen next, although some like Paul Krugman have done that to no avail.

Still, looking at all the gloom that the US economy is causing around the world, the question needs to be asked if only to come to terms with what’s happening.

Photograph: The 2005 Nobel laureates in economics, Thomas Schelling and Robert Aumann (courtesy Nobel Foundation)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses to “US Nobel laureates are naked in global hamaam”

  1. Law of Omerta Says:

    Never ever trust a Noble Laureate. The Swiss think that they are capable of judging talent, but they are not. 99% of the so-called Noble Laureates that they have selected have turned out to be fakes.

    Look at India’s own Noble laureate for economics, Shri Sen, who is the brain behind the NREGA a mess. Today it has been amply proved that NREGA is mired with corruption and inefficiency, so where is the Noble Laureate now! Perhaps he should start returning his Noble medal.

    It is a well known fact that only people with leftist-liberal ideology get Noble prizes. A few people like Naipaul are an exception. A vast majority of the Noble laureates are the inhabitants of the so-called “Cloud Cuckoo Land” of the elite.

  2. srivaid Says:

    Well there are overriding factors too, like greed which goes beyond any logical predictions or analysis. The 2008 crash caused a lot of distress and millions lost their jobs, but the fact remains that those responsible for it laughed their ways to the banks (at least those that remained standing at the end of it all). In every one of these scenarios it is the common man who has to work hard for every penny who ends up paying the price while those responsible for it will have made a killing after milking the system and gotten out just in time.

  3. mounaprasad Says:

    LAW of Omerta,

    NObel prize is from Sweden and not switzerland…it was insitituted by Alfred Nobel who owned a bomb/dynamite making factory and he set aside a portion of profits from this industry to give away Nobel Peace Prize and nobel prizes in other categories. This is the irony of ironies.

  4. kulkarni Says:

    The article touches the bare issue after a long time by E R Ramachandran thanks to ajji and amma to leave him alone , specifies one topical issue related to us -slaves as
    “Macroeconomic issues such as product and labor markets, etc”

    Macroeconomic catalysts who contribute under the celebrated headline of globalization like MMS and NRN are still pawns who can be easily used to penetrate the markets, inflate (currently around 13%) and still educate them of the global vastness and uncontrollability of the syndrome!! surrogacy for single parents outsourced now :

    If there is harvard graduate knowing unknown numbers in India , there is always his appa in US who creates unknown numbers with random distribution.
    the only thing is when these brainwashed economists who actually get graduated with extreme struggle for becoming “globalised pawns” under random distribution actually stop cursing the society of believers under their individual egos. they have proved it again atleast a generation and this time its a whole bunch of majority in their 20-30s.

  5. Faldo Says:

    It is indeed not the best of times to be an economist with crises looming large in the US and many other western countries. My own view is that we must be a little more charitable to this tribe. Just because some people are well known in a certain field it does not mean that their findings or advice can be directly applied to solve real world problems. If we were to use the same analogy to other spheres we would still see similar results. For instance even with after consulting with the best doctors worldwide, many people still succumb to common ailments and even with the advice of top cricketers being available at the drop of a hat, the Indian team still finds new ways to lose.

    Coming to the Economics Nobel Prize there has been a lot of controversy surrounding it for several decades.
    In fact, noted economist Friedrich Hayek said during the 1974 Nobel Banquet that if he had been consulted whether to establish a Nobel Prize in economics he would “have decidedly advised against it” primarily because “the Nobel Prize confers on an individual an authority which in economics no man ought to possess. This does not matter in the natural sciences.
    This link explains some of the controversies around the prize Some even dispute if economics should be called a science.

  6. twistleton Says:

    Economics sans human nature is not economics at all…

  7. T Azeez Luthfullah Says:

    I hear the death pangs of capitalism here. It will die a painful death. The world has suffered a lot because of greedy capitalists. These greedy capitalists would extract their pound of flesh no matter what happens to their people or country. For them money is dearer than anything in this earth.

    The only remedy lies in establishing just, pious and God-fearing society. And then abolishing usury and interest and introducing interest-free banking.

    The time for liberating the crying world community from the clutches of interest based economy has come.

  8. Ulta Pultu Says:

    @aJEEZbhai: The only remedy lies in establishing just, pious and God-fearing society. And then abolishing usury and interest and introducing interest-free banking.”

    Wasn’t this remedy tried once by establishing Pakistan – just, pious, and God-fearing society with interest-free Islamic Banking?

  9. Alok Says:

    How do you establish a just, pious and God-fearing society? When is a society just? How would you define pious? and which God should everyone fear?

  10. Agoli Manjanna Says:

    Surely, most of the Middle East and North African countries all follow the same religion, worship the same God, and they are all just, pious, and God-fearing countries? Nobody there is interested in charging interest at all, right? Yet, we read about rebellions, uprisings, discontent, etc.

    So, what really is wrong?

  11. babuds Says:

    We have a saying ” Ellavannoo Sastradalli heLidante maadidaroo saha konegu naayi mari huttittanTe”.

  12. Abhi Says:

    3 points to err:
    1. Capitalism is no good: debatable. It seems to be doing better than earlier ones – socialism, communism or monarchy.
    2. nobel laurates could not see recession coming: If someone can prophesize economy for sure’ it must be god. these things are far more complex than your 2 sentence analysis.
    3. 30 out of 40 nobel laurates are americans: (i can sense a tone of complaint). 20th century belonged to usa. You take 30 outof 40 anything, you will have america. You may not like it, but thats the reality.

  13. Vinay Says:


    Well said. Agree to all three points.


    Maybe part of your delight at this article is due to USA’s situation. Almost everything you take for granted today is a gift to the world from the USA. The automobile, the cell phone, the internet, the PC, music players, television, GPS, Air travel – you name it, and its likely that the USA has given that to you.

    On the other hand, I don’t see anything useful having come out from the “just, pious, and God-fearing societies” we see around us. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, eh? Any answers?

  14. twistleton Says:


    Never come across a certain Paul Krugman?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: