From the inability of wealth to make us happier, to ourcatastrophic blindness to the credit crunch, Economythsreveals ten ways in which economics has failed us all.
Forecasters predicted a prosperous year in 2008 for financialmarkets - in one influential survey the average prediction was foran eleven percent gain. But by the end of the year, the Standardand Poor's 500 index - a key economic barometer - was down 38percent, and major economies were plunging into recession. Even theQueen asked - "Why did no one see it coming?"
An even bigger casualty was the credibility of economics, whichfor decades has claimed that the economy is a rational, stable,efficient machine, governed by well-understood laws.
Mathematician David Orrell traces the history of this idea fromits roots in ancient Greece to the financial centres of London andNew York, shows how it is mistaken, and proposes new alternatives.Economyths explains how the economy is the result of complexand unpredictable processes; how risk models go astray; why theeconomy is not rational or fair; why no woman has ever won theNobel Prize for economics; why financial crashes are less BlackSwans than part of the landscape; and finally, how new ideas inmathematics, psychology, and environmentalism are helping toreinvent economics.