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The Zurich Axioms: The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers by Max Gunther

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The Fourth Major Axiom: On Forecasts

Human behavior cannot be predicted. Distrust anyone who claims to know the future, however dimly.

Back in 1969, when the Consumer Price Index rose by about 5 percent, the consensus of leading economists was that the inflation rate would rise a bit in the early 1970s but then would taper off later in the decade. It didn’t. It doubled.

In 1979, when the index leaped by a scorching 11.5 percent, the consensus of the seers was that the rate would stay at double-digit levels through the mid-1980s. It didn’t. It was back down to 1969’s peaceful levels by 1982.

It makes you wonder. Why do we go on listening to economic prophets when they plainly know no more about the future than you or I?

We listen, no ...

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