Well, calling the advantage of better finances unfair makes sense if competitive balance has some value for you as a spectator. If not, I guess you would not mind following a sport like football (aka soccer), here only half a dozen clubs in all Europe stand a chance of winning the Champions League.
The American sports leagues don't work like that though. They all function as de facto monopolies, imposing their rules on their discipline (which allowed them to artificially limit player salaries and implemented racial segregation for decades for example) and redistributing resources, allowing teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Kansas City Royals (considered for a long time as a developement organisation by the New York Yankees) to go on making profit without even trying to be competitive.
I agree that there are a lot of overconfident hacks (those that neglect a few crucial variables and rules of thumb in applying them), but you'll find that in ANY discipline.
Economics does not translate in practise as easily as hard sciences like physics or chemistry. According to my experience and observations, very few decisions made by corporate or public organisations are based on the undisputable findings of economists. As Moneyball (the book) shows, there is a strong resistence to implement the theory. And if econometrics is used, it is often with flawed models, as demonstrated by the risk models that allowed the 2008 crisis to occur (see Michael Lewis's other great book The Big Short). I would say practitioners resist with good reason in most cases, because in terms of explanatory or predictive value, economics is still in its infancy, because it still fails to take most of reality's complexity and randomness into account.
Sorry for the digression from the Movie talk, feel free to open a new thread if you want to discuss it further.
I don't care about sports. My understanding is that if a team I root for beats the spread, that's pretty much a victory. I'll watch when there're grudge matches, because that usually indicates a good game. An team organization will be able to put in what its fans put in. That is all. Economic fairness doesn't mean its going to be fair on the field in the strict win/lose probability scenario. But this whole subject is annoyingly tedious. I'll cheer for the El Paso Diablos whenever they have a fireworks display scheduled after the game.
Moving on to the actual topic at hand, I don't know where you could possibly be getting this from. Econometrics is applied WHENEVER it's most likely to be helpful, which is actually ALWAYS when it comes to businesses that can afford the use of it. This is why we're bombarded with surveys all day and desk jobs usually consist of crunching numbers in Excel. Businesses wouldn't be able to come up with expected utility functions without econometric techniques FINDING the utility functions in the first place using probability models that, regardless of what you've heard, actually work quite well and much more than often.
Economics is hardly in its infancy. The mathematics needed to predict these outcomes are pretty solid. There's always room to grow, but as far as those that understand its methods are concerned, it's NEVER considered a good idea to brush it aside as a theory in its "infancy". No, what is ACTUALLY in need of progress to maximize the applications of these methods on a large enough scale like Wall Street is better methods of gathering data. We simply don't have the ability to account for every variable, and there's a good chance we never will, and that's BECAUSE of the fact that there are new variables constantly popping in and out of existence in the economy, and any one of them can drastically change the game. This is why I'm against the reckless use of such models in general that try to predict outcomes in systems they have absolutely no control over (like, say, in Washington). There's simply no way of gathering enough data to account for all of it. But in smaller scales, Econometrics is ALWAYS being applied with great results.
Amazon is my favorite example of the triumph of Econometrics in business (mainly due to the fact that their example was used in my Business Statistics textbook).
Si vis pacem, para bellum