We don't know how many blood-curdling economic forecasts are the result of career planning rather than sincere professional conviction. What we do know, though, is that such forecasts are the best method of deepening the gloom, frightening the credulous, and making the worst more probable.
An economist can gain notoriety and fill his appointment diary with lucrative conferences by having some of his forecasts for U.S.
economic data, made two years ago and looking quite eccentric at the time, come gloriously true. This random event inspires me to put forward the sketch of a
theory of rational forecasting.
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