My admiration for economists is limited. The solemnity of their pronouncements is seldom matched by the accuracy of their forecasts. Much of what they say seems to fall into one of two categories: error or banality. I was in a taxi once when I overheard an eminent economist on the radio, who had occupied several of the most important and powerful positions in the economic world, both academic and governmental, give his assessment of the situation after a precipitous fall in the stock market: there might, he said, be a recession, or there might not; but if there were one,…
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