The Wall Street Journal had an article recently called In Financial Crisis, Metaphors Fly Like Bad Analogies. I guess that when times are uncertain and situations are complex, people turn to methaphors (you know instead of saying someone is fast you say "he's a deer"). Maybe this comforts us. The invisible hand is a metaphor. But if you read this article judge for yourself if these new ones work as well as the one that Adam Smith used.
Here is an exerpt from the article, a quote from the famous investor, Warren Buffett
""Unfortunately, the economy, it's a little like a bathtub," billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, told CNBC this week, explaining why the average American suffers when investment banks collapse. "You can't have cold water in the front and hot water in the back.""
Other metaphors invoked in the article include meltdowns, hurricanes and even Little Orphan Annie!