Sunday, March 1, 2009

Is Robert Shiller writing for 30 Rock?

In his new book Animal Spirits, Yale economist and noted behavioral finance expert Robert Shiller looks at the role of human psychology in driving financial markets. Clearly someone at "30 Rock" has read his work:

This is a terrific episode that takes a satirical look at how a financial panic can spread--in this case, by the semi-literate, profoundly crazy character Tracy Jordan.

I recently attended a panel discussion with Shiller at the New School for Social Research, which focused on the current crisis and the degree to which markets became "irrational". Shiller has been challenging the efficiency of financial markets for most of his career, and is likely to gain more prominence in the coming years.

For a non-fictional (but still entertaining) account of the current financial crisis, check out this PBS Frontline documentary posted at Freakonomics.

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