Do economists fully understand how the economy works? Yes they do.
Do other people understand how the economy works? No, they don’t.
This is according to a transcript of a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee ( held in the offices of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 16, 2004. Chairman Alan Greenspan explained (emphasis added by us, though):
We run the risk, by laying out the pros and cons of a particular argument, of inducing people to join in on the debate, and in this regard it is possible to lose control of a process that only we fully understand.
(Thanks to Paul Krugman for bringing this to our attention.)