I liked this brief blogpost by Chris Dillow, which points out that the G20 hoo-hah shows how newspapers in the UK
believe the fate of the economy hangs upon the actions of policy-makers, but are ignoring evidence of whether it might recover anyway
Chris puts forward a few ideas as to why this is – availability bias, leadership illusion, and glamour bias. All these are very plausible reasons.
The one I’d add to the list is “narrative bias” – the fact that newspapers favour reportage that creates narratives over items that are factual. The strong narrative line is that we’re in a uniformly disastrous situation, and the PM, or Obama, or whoever, can personally shift the global economy for good or ill. The weak narrative line – as ever – is that it’s very complicated and hard to read the signs.