A financial disaster of the caliber not witnessed since the Great Depression. Millions unemployed. Foreclosures running rampant. It's not hard to look around these days and see economics failing. In light of this catastrophe, George Soros and Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Rob Johnson are looking to re-imagine the very field of economics with their project Institute for New Economic Thinking (or INET). The two sat down with Reuters to discuss why they took up this task and what they hope to accomplish:
While economists have thought of themselves as hard scientists, Soros debunks that idea. "What [economics] deals with is society, human beings and the thinking of human beings... And therefore events with human particiapants simply can't be predicted." Johnson shares the same feeling. "Economists... have retreated to a monastery and become fascinated with the technical details, mathamatics and statistics, rather than addressing the important problems." The first step in changing this dynamic is the creation of an entity like INET, which can begin evolving a new way of thinking about economics. The road to that change will be long -- but it will be necessary.