One of the founders of the classic S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices said it’s about time that economists and policymakers better understand basic human characteristics and traits as they apply to capitalism — such as sleaziness.

He’s not proposing that we try to ban sleaziness within the economy. But we do need to understand it, accept it to a certain degree, and regulate it to a certain degree so it doesn’t get out of hand, he says.

Maybe Shiller can come up with a new S&P Case-Shiller Sleaziness Index? The world could use it. Think about it: Some sort of statistical formula to indicate the probable existence of widespread sleazy behavior at work, and then identifying and solving the problem before it’s too late, such as, oh, when the entire economics establishment missed the existence of the possibly greatest economic orgy of all time, i.e. the pre-2008 housing bubble, and how they should have known about its existence when every other person’s ne’re-do-well brother-in-law was involved.

File under: Nobel Economics Prize Potential

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