Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Economist didn't see the financial crisis coming

The New York Times reflects on The Economist's 2008 predictions:
For 23 years, The Economist has issued bold predictions for the coming year in its thick December special issue. ...

“About 2008: sorry,” reads a note from the issue’s editor, Daniel Franklin, in the prediction edition for 2009. Who would have seen the financial crisis coming, Mr. Franklin asked? “Not us. The World in 2008 failed to predict any of this,” he said. ...

“Oh, and we expected that by now Hillary Clinton would be heading for the White House,” Mr. Franklin wrote.
Like me, The Economist saw the housing bust coming, warned about it repeatedly over the years, but completely missed the financial crisis it would cause. I feel somewhat comforted that my failure to foresee the broader financial damage was matched by people much more knowledgeable than me. (In fact, most econ Ph.D.s didn't even believe there was a housing bubble.)

I was fearful of anything having to do with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, homebuilders, mortgage companies, and hardware retailers (e.g. Home Depot and Lowe's). I knew that Japan's earlier combined stock market/housing market collapse resulted in bad banks. Yet, I thought the economic damage would be "contained" to housing-related industries.

On the other hand, I've read the comments on this blog for several years, and many of you Bubble Meter readers did expect this. My hat's off to you.

As for the presidential election, at least The Economist got the political party right, but they had 50/50 odds going in.


  1. Financial crisis will be until the end of 2010..imho.

  2. wait - if you are indeed THE Financial Crisis as your title suggests, you know when you are leaving. Tell you what, I'll pay you $10 to go away NOW!!!

  3. Mild...i will pay you 10$ to STFU ok? i can comment here,right?

  4. Mild, the second guy is not the real "Financial Crisis" the real Financial Crisis is the one with blue letters. You sir are an impostor!!!