You can't just say, 'I have a model for tremors that works great, I just can't explain earthquakes.'
Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, speaking of the crisis of faith that's rumbling through the academic economics community as a result of their general failure to see the financial crisis coming, in Paradigm Lost in the 21 December issue of the Boston Globe.
In the same piece Justin Wolfers of the University of Pennsylvania, "describes these intellectually challenging but less policy-relevant questions" that have occupied the academic community since the 1980s, "as a sort of scholarly 'luxury good.' 'During good times we all consume more luxuries,' he says, 'but during a bad economy, it feels to macroeconomists that what we should be doing is stuff to help today.'"
The Globe continues: "Some economists have suggested that this focus may account for why so many failed to see the warning signs of the financial crisis, and to predict the size and scope of its fallout."
Update: Krugman links to a few who had an inkling »