Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Economists Who Couldn't Shoot Straight

This morning NPR featured a National Association of Business Economics survey (available to members only) which predicts a modest upturn in the US economy. Here's David Greene introducing this "news":
"We've taken a look at a new survey of top economists and they conclude that this recession will probably end by the second half of this year but according to that survey from the National Association of Business Economics the job market will still remain weak..."
Frankly, when a news station tells me that some non-public survey predicting economic recovery reflects the opinion of top economists - I want to know who they are and whose interests they represent. Especially when the organization sponsoring the survey brags on its website:
"Past Presidents have included several former Federal Reserve Governors, the former Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System, Alan Greenspan, and other senior business leaders."
In addition to the basic information about who these surveyed jokers are, it would have helped to note that NABE's previous survey predictions have been less than accurate - as noted by blogger, Walt Thiessen and by Barry Ritholz at RGE Monitor.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

this recession will probably end by the second half of this year but according to that survey from the National Association of Business Economics the job market will still remain weak..."

I thought our President already saw signs to be "cautiously optimistic".

The predictions of economists and politicians (particularly those with vested interests in a certain outcome) are about as accurate as those of Punxsutawney Phil on groundhog day. Probably worse in ther case of the politicians with a vested interest.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Ravi Bhatra, on Thom Hartmann yesterday, said this optimism was based on nothing but optimism, and that the bottom is still gonna fall out, in July, probably. And it's all going into the shitter...

Bhatra makes Nouri al Roubini look like the tooth-fairy...

Anonymous said...

And where the hell did David Greene come from anyway?

gopol said...

I've been wondering what CIA pod this Greene-acre hay seed hatched from. I found this from 2007.
"Capitoilette" is good.

Anonymous said...

I would be thrilled if NPR would rise to the level of high-school newspaper sports reporting and provide the equivalent of a batting average when introducing their guests.

It would be helpful to introductions like "Our guest this morning is Clifford May, with an .017 average over the last nine years," and so on.

Eventually listeners might start to wonder whether NPR could interview any 300 hitters, if only for contrast.

Not that I'm holding my breath.