The success of Freakonomics and similar books tell their own story: until the crisis broke in 2007, it was assumed that the big picture was largely sorted and economists needed to concentrate on micro-economics, where much good work has been done, incidentally.
As a profession, economics not only has nothing to say about what caused the world to come to the brink of financial collapse last autumn, but also a supreme lack of interest in it. If, for example, you scroll down the list of papers scheduled for publication by the Review of Economic Studies, one of the prestigious UK journals, there is not the slightest sense that the world of general equilibrium and real business cycle models has been turned upside down in the past two years. There is, on the other hand a paper on "Generalised non-parametric deconvolution with an application to earnings dynamics", which includes the insight that "Monte Carlo simulations show good finite-sample performance, less so if distributions are skewed or leptokurtic". Got that? And that's just the abstract. The full article is even more fun – if you get your kicks from fantasy economics divorced from reality.