The story is told of a Australian whose favorite hobby is ballooning who decided to practice her favourite sport one Sunday afternoon. She miscalculates the wind and gets blown across the Pacific Ocean and lands in a field someplace in America. As she is lying there half-stunned in the basket, an American rushes up and says, "What happened?" The Australian woman says, "Where am I?" The American replies, Why, you are in a basket in the middle of a field." To which the Aussie woman asks, "Are you an economist?" Yes I am, how did you know?" said the American. "Because the information you have given me is completely accurate and totally useless."
The nationalities and genders and occupations of the individuals have been changed for the hell of it. The joke comes from Howard J Ruff's 'How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years - A crash Course in Personal and Financial Survival' written in 1978. On the same page he refers to the 1973 US Budget deficit that was reported to be $3.5 billion but was actually $95 billion. A truth in government accounting bill introduced by then Congressman Phil Crane died a quick death.