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bad predictions

Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 9 years, 5 months ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recommended reading:

 

Jeffrey Frankel believes that with regards to Why Did Economists Get It So Wrong? Krugman is Right, and adds that while macroeconomists should not be let off the hook for not being more helpful in predicting and handling the crises of the 80’s and 90’s, Frankel believes the field did a better job with the emerging market crisis of 1994-2001.

 

 

Worst 2008 Predictions:

 

from Yahoo! Finance:

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Here are some of the worst predictions that were made about 2008. Savor them -- a crop like this doesn't come along every year.

 

1. "A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!" -- Richard Band, editor, Profitable Investing Letter, Mar. 27, 2008

At the time of the prediction, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 12,300. By late December it was at 8,500.

 

2. AIG (NYSE:AIG - News) "could have huge gains in the second quarter." -- Bijan Moazami, analyst, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, May 9, 2008

AIG wound up losing $5 billion in that quarter and $25 billion in the next. It was taken over in September by the U.S. government, which will spend or lend $150 billion to keep it afloat.

 

3. "I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE - News) and Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM - News) are fundamentally sound. They're not in danger of going under I think they are in good shape going forward." -- Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, July 14, 2008

Two months later, the government forced the mortgage giants into conservatorships and pledged to invest up to $100 billion in each.

 

4. "The market is in the process of correcting itself." -- President George W. Bush, in a Mar. 14, 2008 speech

For the rest of the year, the market kept correcting and correcting and correcting.

 

5. "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble." -- Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator, Mar. 11, 2008

Five days later, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM - News) took over Bear Stearns with government help, nearly wiping out shareholders.

 

6. "Existing-Home Sales to Trend Up in 2008" -- Headline of a National Association of Realtors press release, Dec. 9, 2007

On Dec. 23, 2008, the group said November sales were running at an annual rate of 4.5 million -- down 11% from a year earlier -- in the worst housing slump since the Depression.

 

7. "I think you'll see (oil prices at) $150 a barrel by the end of the year" -- T. Boone Pickens, June 20, 2008

Oil was then around $135 a barrel. By late December it was below $40.

 

8. "I expect there will be some failures. I don't anticipate any serious problems of that sort among the large internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system." -- Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, Feb. 28, 2008

In September, Washington Mutual became the largest financial institution in U.S. history to fail. Citigroup (NYSE:C - News) needed an even bigger rescue in November.

 

9. "In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules." -- Bernard Madoff, money manager, Oct. 20, 2007

About a year later, Madoff -- who once headed the Nasdaq Stock Market -- told investigators he had cost his investors $50 billion in an alleged Ponzi scheme.

 

10. A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win, the title of a book by conservative commentator Shelby Steele, published on Dec. 4, 2007.

Mr. Steele, meet President-elect Barack Obama.

 

 

 

Dow 36,000:

 

Economists are notorious for making bad predictions. There are endless examples, but the first one that comes to mind is a book written by economist Kevin Hassett and co-authors entitled Dow 36,000. The title was their prediction of where the Dow Jones Industrial Index should be based on fundamentals. The book came out in the year 2000 with the Dow at about 10,000, substantially higher than it is today. The Dow’s highest point ever was in the 14,000’s.

 

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/an-economic-prediction-that-actually-came-true/?apage=4

 

 

 

 

 

This one must be the worst prediction ever:

 

http://www.newsweek.com/id/106554/page/1

 

The Internet? Bah!

 
By Clifford Stoll | NEWSWEEK
Feb 27, 1995 Issue
 

HYPE ALERT: WHY CYBERSPACE ISN'T, AND WILL NEVER BE, NIRVANA

After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.

 

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

 

Consider today's online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it's an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

 

Won't the Internet be useful in governing? Internet addicts clamor for government reports. But when Andy Spano ran for county executive in Westchester County, N.Y., he put every press release and position paper onto a bulletin board. In that affluent county, with plenty of computer companies, how many voters logged in? Fewer than 30. Not a good omen.

 

Point and click:

 

What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is tht the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading. Logged onto the World Wide Web, I hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Hundreds of files show up, and it takes 15 minutes to unravel them--one's a biography written by an eighth grader, the second is a computer game that doesn't work and the third is an image of a London monument. None answers my question, and my search is periodically interrupted by messages like, "Too many connectios, try again later."

 

Then there are those pushing computers into schools. We're told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun. Students will happily learn from animated characters while taught by expertly tailored software.Who needs teachers when you've got computer-aided education? Bah. These expensive toys are difficult to use in classrooms and require extensive teacher training. Sure, kids love videogames--but think of your own experience: can you recall even one educational filmstrip of decades past? I'll bet you remember the two or three great teachers who made a difference in your life.

 

Then there's cyberbusiness. We're promised instant catalog shopping--just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet--which there isn't--the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

 

What's missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee. No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who'd prefer cybersex to the real thing? While the Internet beckons brightly, seductively flashing an icon of knowledge-as-power, this nonplace lures us to surrender our time on earth. A poor substitute it is, this virtual reality where frustration is legion and where--in the holy names of Education and Progress--important aspects of human interactions are relentlessly devalued.

 

 

 

 

 

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