Economics

"Why Are Economists So Bad at Forecasting Recessions?"

Easy: macro is hard.

recent working paper by Zidong An, Joao Tovar Jalles, and Prakash Loungani discovered that of 153 recessions in 63 countries from 1992 to 2014, only five were predicted by a consensus of private-sector economists in April of the preceding year. And the economists tended to underestimate the magnitude of the slump until the year was almost over.

Remember: "There’s only one reliable rule of thumb in macro".


"Why is Ayn Rand Still Relevant: Atlas Shrugged and Today's World"

I hold no brief for Atlas Shrugged--rather than a novel, it would have been far better as a philosophical tract at about one-sixth the length--but this take on one of its central messages is useful and quite correct:

Atlas Shrugged shows us an all-too-familiar pattern: Washington do-gooders blaming the problems they’ve created on the free market, and using them as a pretext for expanding their power. And more: it provides the fundamental explanation for why the government gets away with continually increasing its control over the economy and our lives.