One econ major. Three (or more) opinions.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has published a great article that is, partly, indirectly, about why the idea of the National Security Agency (NSA) having our work e-mail archives is scary, and, also indirectly, about why the idea that anyone knows how  the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will really work is a little nuts.

Taibbi based his articles on a collection of rating agency internal e-mails created in connection with lawsuits stemming from the recent financial crisis.

The gist is that the people inside the rating agencies were complaining bitterly about problems with the process used to justify the agencies’ ratings.

Taibbi quoted one analyst who was affected by t, “I had difficulties explaining ‘HOW’ we got to those numbers since there is no science behind it . . .”

On the one hand: Scandalous.

On the other hand: No kidding.

On the third hand: I think the real message is that, once you get into the world of the types of people who know what PPACA is, no one really has that much of an edge over anyone else when it comes to predicting the future.

Because, let’s face it: Whatever any of us do, or how well or poorly we do it, things look messier up close. Most people with weaknesses in self control have probably sent an e-mail explain why they think wherever it is that they work is going to heck in a handbasket.

The same, of course, is true for the exchange builders, and the consultants and interest groups trying figure out what PPACA World will be like.

Actuaries, analysts and forecasters can give us interesting background materials, and analyses about how to think about what PPACA will do, but that’s about it. No one knows what the future holds.

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