Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Why People Make Idiotic Economic Forecasts? Because They Don't Invest
These two pieces about Niall Ferguson have been brought to my attention by Barry Ritholtz:
Both show that Niall was completely, utterly wrong in his economic predictions. As far back as since 2004, if not much earlier. What can I say? Anybody can make forecasts in sport and economics not paying any penalty. In sport, it's an absolute truth. In economics, not so absolute. If you don't invest/manage your own money, you can say anything you want. But let's see what would happen if Niall followed his own advice:
2004: Niall thinks China is going to stop buying US debt. Logical conclusion: short Treasuries. Result: huge loss of capital.
2009: Niall predicts collapse of US Treasuries market. Logical conclusion: short Treasuries. Result: huge loss of capital.
2011: Niall predicts double-digit inflation for 2010s. Logical conclusion: short Treasuries, corporate bonds and stocks, buy gold. If anybody acted this way, s/he should be bankrupt by now.
My advice to Niall and anybody else making economic forecasts: put your money where your mouth is. And we'll see how it works.
Posted by Alex Filonov at 10:44 AM