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20/20: 20 Great Lists by 20 Outstanding Business Thinkers by Diana Renner, Steven D’Souza

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6.THE PRETENCE OF KNOWLEDGE

“It’s not a good idea to take a forecast from someone wearing a tie.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

When Friedrich Hayek won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1974, he entitled his winner’s speech “The Pretense of Knowledge” and warned against making policy based on the omniscience assumed in classical economic theory. Since then research has consistently shown that there are problems attached to relying on experts’ predictions – because they are often wrong.27

In November 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, after the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, Queen Elizabeth II visited the London School of Economics. To the crowd of distinguished economists, experts and students, she asked the simple yet devastating ...

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