CHAPTER ONE

Seeing Around Economic Corners

Businesspeople, policy makers, and investors—indeed, most people in the United States—have a significant stake in understanding the outlook for the economy. Are we at the beginning or middle of an economic advance—or a downturn, with more to go? Or are we at the end of the current trend? Are we about to encounter a significant change in direction for the economy and, if so, for the better or for the worse? Is it even possible for economic forecasters to determine, most of the time, what the next six to twelve months hold, particularly in predicting major turning points? And what are the implications for the stock market?

Any corporate CEO or investment manager will confirm that even though economists ...

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