LOTS of people are currently trying very hard to figure out what's going to happen within the global economy over the next 1, 2, 5, and 10 years. It seems like the sort of thing one ought to be able to manage if one tries hard enough. It is, however, an impossible task (though some folks do have a talent for sketching out broad trends). I've been reminded of the futility of prognostication in doing a bit of research for a piece that will appear in the next print edition of The Economist. That research has taken me into our archives, to see what we were writing in 1931. It's a look back that has proven to be something of a revelation for me. I'll quote a few examples of what I found.
Our opening editorial in the first edition of 1931 was a rumination on the trials of the 1920s, in which we wish our readers a "Happy New Decade":
"We do not despair. We believe the world to be saner, both politically and economically, than ten years ago...The tasks before us are as formidable as at any time in our history. But our capacity to perform them is undiminished, if we will only use it. Our national advantages remain; the character of our people has not changed; the march of science is playing into our hands...Believing this, it is with good heart and confidence that we wish our readers a "happy new decade."
It is quite depressing to read assessments of the world economy, and the German economy especially, from the early months of 1931. Germany fell into recession a bit earlier than the rest of the Atlantic economies, as inward capital flows reversed, mostly due to investors sending money to America to bet on soaring stocks. By 1931, however, there were some signs of a levelling off of the economy's decline, and we noted in the issue of January 10th that, "It is not apparent yet whether the lowest point has already been reached, but it seems more likely that the decline will come to an end during 1931 at the latest."
Adéu a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalan AnalystDesprés de 13 anys d'escriure en aquest bloc pràcticament sense interrumpció, avui el dono per clausurat. Això no vol dir que m'hagi jubilat de la xarxa, sinó que he passat el relleu a un altra bloc que segueix la mateixa línia del Nihil Obstat. Es tracta del bloc The Catalan Analyst i del compte de Twitter del mateix nom: @CatalanAnalyst Us recomano que els seguiu.
Moltes gràcies a tots per haver-me seguit amb tanta fidelitat durant tots aquests anys.
dijous, 8 de desembre de 2011
La impossibilitat de la predicció
"The Economist" mostra la impossibilitat de la predicció econòmica i social i ho fa recuperants diversos articles publicats durant la gran depressió i que no podien estar més equivocats.
Publicado por NO a les 10:00 a. m.