You should watch the superb movie Inside Job if you get a chance, which in a very entertaining fashion tells the very insane story of how the American end of the financial crisis came to pass.
I was struck by how discredited a path economics was and my heart went out to my little brother. See, the junior Hargadens have taken weirdly parallel paths. The handsome charming one (me!) has decided to go into the God-bothering business. The smart intellectual one (everything is relative!) has decided to go into the econometric business.
Now leaving aside the obvious and spurious jokes about both paths being faith based practices, it does seem to me that there is an overlap between the task of the currently training economist and that of the currently training theologian. In both cases, the applied end of our work has been utterly discredited by corruption that led to very real human tragedy. For me it is the church and its covered up and concealed abuse. For the economist it is the market and its propped up and bailed out collapse.
There is, whether we like it or not, a link between the theory of the theologian and the practice of an errant bishop and wayward pastor.
There is, as Inside Job clearly demonstrates, a link between the theory of the economist and the practice of an errant regulator and wayward banker.
Is the solution to both morasses the same? I suspect that the solution on my end is that theologians would more commonly remain practitioners or at best, the indentured slaves of people who practice Christian leadership. My brother probably thinks that the market can be restored by sacrificing our children and some nutrient rich geriatrics. But he’s an economist, so cut him some slack. They only got invented in the 1800s.
Your Correspondent, You say I don’t make money but I found a euro while I was waiting for the bus.