The Economist just announced its ranking of the 25 most influential economists, which includes powerful names like Yale Economics Professor Robert Shiller and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. But a quick perusal of the list reveals that one very pivotal person in America’s economy was left off: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The publication decided to step away from the usual way of rating economists (which calculates their research papers on economic topics) and, with the help of startup Appinions, which analyzes influence online, it created its own formula.
Appinions looked at a list of 500 economists — the 450 atop the research paper list, plus some the Economist apparently just chose, and “tracked how much attention was paid to their utterances in the mainstream media, the blogosphere and in social media over a 90-day period up to December 11th 2014. That produced an alternative influence ranking.”
Alternative is right. The person who sits at the top of the list as the person who is most influential in the economy, also holds the title of having the worst year in American public life by Townhall, Jonathan Gruber.
In reality, MIT’s Gruber isn't likely to be influencing much right now, as more of his questionable statements on Obamacare come to light.
An article in Slate covered this issue, noting that while the list supposedly excluded all serving central-bank governors, it did include five key members of the Federal Reserve.
“It is odd that the criteria was somehow just broad enough to include these men but just narrow enough to exclude Yellen.”
Yellen easily made HousingWire’s Women of Influence in Housing list for 2013, and would have been named in 2014 except the list precludes past winners. HousingWire defines influence in a variety of ways, but it's always about "moving markets forward," either in a private or public capacity. (Click here for the full list of women of influence and how the list was compiled.)
While Gruber might have a lot of "influence" on social media, that would seem to be about his controversial opinions on the stupidity of the American people, and the fact that Americans (even the ones being called stupid) apparently love drama.