The press swallows $3.8 billion worth of junk economics.
Addendum, March 21 , 9:30 a.m.: Carl Bialik, "The Numbers Guy" columnist at the Wall Street Journal, beat me to the Challenger story earlier this month, nailing the consultant. Bialik's 2005 column ridiculed the "consultant" for estimating the productivity loss from the 2005 NCAA tournament at $889 million. A $3 billion increase in one year? Get out of here! Bialik also whacked Challenger for his 2005 estimate that Super Bowl water-cooler talk would cost $1.06 billion. While we're giving out credit, let's also salute Hannah Clark of Forbes, who took Challenger down earlier this month.