Do certain (pun intended!) people achieve fame by concentrating on narrow factors and exaggerating their importance to larger issues? Consider an example, altered to protect the possibly innocent, from a major newspaper:

On Monday, the Institute of B----- issues its C---- Index for January. On Friday, the government issues its report on the nation's employment for January. The Institute's C---- Index, which is created from a broad survey of businesses around the nation, shows that the economy has been growing for the previous three months, and although growth may slow this time the report will probably continue to point to a recovery.

R---- S-----, an economist with T----- Economics in V-----, DE, asserts that the Institute's Index is "the best single indicator of where the economy is going." S----- predicted ....

Really? An obscure survey, identified by an obscure savant, is the brightest ray of light we have to shine into the future? Or could it be that S----- wouldn't have been quoted if s/he hadn't been so darned sure of herself or himself? And how often have S-----'s predictions, based on the C---- Index, been confirmed by an objective observer? I'm just curious ....

(see also OnHubris (27 Dec 1999), MoneyWisdom (20 May 2001), ScienceAndPseudoscience (6 Oct 2001), PredictivePower (23 Oct 2001), ...)

TopicScience - TopicEconomics - 2002-12-16

(correlates: StatusGenetics, RunningMan, SyntacticSugar, ...)