MM: It's interesting with the financial crisis and the Iraq war. The people who "predicted the crisis," or said the war was a bad idea, were, by and large, not correct about what happened, or why it was a bad idea.
ST: Yes, that's true. Although, just to be clear, in almost all cases of major policy mistakes, there were people who predicted what would happen. That is, the information that could have allowed you to know what was going to happen was available, but policy makers ignored it or discounted it.McArdle's book tells us how to succeed through failure, and McArdle states that the people who made the correct assessment regarding the financial crises and the Iraq war just happened to be on the winning side of those issues. Their predictions about the outcome of events were wrong and their analysis of why the events would fail were wrong. This is not true and Dr. Teles was obligated to clarify the issue. Some might have been right for the wrong reasons but plenty of people were right for the right reasons.
Which makes it all the more curious that Megan McArdle was paid to write a book on success through failure. By all rights the people who were right should be the ones being paid to give advice. They should be teaching how to make correct decisions, instead of how to profit from failure while ignoring the consequences of those failures. Of course we need to learn to learn from our mistakes and improve our ability to reason but we do not need to indulge the callous, careless warbloggers and economically illiterate econobloggers while they attempt to cash in for a little while longer.