Below the introduction to a piece in The Mandarin today.
We shoot the breeze about who’ll win the next election or footy match. Virtually none of it helps predict the future. But we’re driven on … as if somehow it will.
We do it with the economy. People ask economists how they see the future and most role-play the expert when the honest, indeed expert answer would usually be the answer Treasurer John Kerin gave to journalists when they asked when economic recovery would take hold. “Your guess is as good as mine”. Still, refusing to play the role is no way to hang onto it. Kerin was relieved of his duties as Treasurer shortly after this outbreak of candour.
Even so, myriad decisions are predicated on specific views of the likely future. And skilful effort can improve economic foresight. If only a little. That’s why Treasury asked Warren Tease, veteran econocrat fresh from a lengthy mid-career in the private sector, and now principal adviser in Treasury, to report on its forecasting.
The rest of the article on the link above.