JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. -- Hey hey.
How wrong is wrong?
Are there degrees of wrong?
What's the statute of limitations for wrongness?
These are the questions that spring immediately to mind in the wake of a the following
discourse on the subject.
Tell us what you think on
Message Boards. There's an economic forecaster out there who for more than a year now has proven wrong about the economy -- "a material drop in stock prices will drive the growth rate down to something with a one-handle" -- wrong about central-bank action -- "there will be no tightening this year" -- and wrong about interest rates -- "the yield on the bond will not hit 6%."
Here's someone who ought to be sentenced to filling every blackboard in
with an I-need-to-accept-the-fact-that-maybe-the economy-ain't-slowing idea. Here's someone who ought to be devoting every available column inch to seeking some forgiveness for calls that have not exactly hit paydirt.
And yet no.
What do we get today?
Said seer actually has the
to trot out (paraphrased) the following nugget.
We are more than a bit amused by how those who have for years issued such absurdly confident proclamations of imminent price danger seem to grow more confident about their calls by the month.
The people who have been increasingly more bullish on Treasuries even in the face of a yearlong, twentysomething-point
plunge in the bond contract are amused by the "absurdly confident" forecasts of others.
Now that's ... rich.
There's a fund manager out there who refuses to quit putting forth calls for the coming spending slowdown.
The pattern is repetitive.
Claim that consumer spending is slowing (or
quote someone else who does).
(b) Wait about a fortnight.
(c) Look right past the fact that freshest consumption numbers show spending
growing at its fastest pace of the cycle.
(d) Wait longer. About a month and a half.
(e) Look right past the fact that the freshest consumption numbers show spending
growing even faster than it was a month ago.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
We've been bombarded with the "slowing rapidly"
thing routinely for more than two years now.
It's tough to argue that this isn't a wrong assessment of the U.S. economy.
And so one wonders.
By now you'd kind of expect that even if these folks won't own up to the fact that they've been dead wrong about economic slowdowns for ages, at least they'd refrain from predicting said slowdown.
There is (of course) a moral here.
While said fund manager does confess some of his mistakes, sometimes people who rant most about a lack of accountability in others might be better off steering clear of such subjects. Or at least training more of an eye on themselves from time to time.
The record shows that they can be as guilty of precisely the same charges they're leveling against others; sometimes they write as if they're not even aware of their own calls.
So while some mistakes are confessed, other mistakes are left unexamined.
So let's examine. Check out the message boards where I'm sure said fund manager will most definitely appear. And let's talk about S... the "sluggish" economy.
Best birthday present?
Cyclone II foosball table.
News that World Series is canceled.