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Predicting the future is a mug’s game
July 22, 2013
Hello,

I just read the title to this conversation by Olivia – on fortune-telling - and was off. I have made a point of not reading a word of what Olivia is saying and so might return to this another time.

Why was I was so pricked by the title? It is because for most of my professional life, I have been a fortune teller - an economics fortune teller. My first job in the Treasury was the World Economy Prospects forecast (called WEP). This was in the mid 1970s – oil prices had quadrupled, inflation was going through the roof and we later discovered (but had no idea at the time) that the post-war world boom of twenty five years was over. So my forecasts were worthless. And then for the next twenty five years I continued with worthless forecasts – on economics and financial markets mainly. These were occasionally not too bad but were mainly not that great and as you had no idea which it would be ahead of time, they could all have been binned.

Now clients come to me, fearful of their very own forecasts. These are never about economics of course but are much more personal and often relate to how they forecast they will cope with whatever they are expecting in the future.

My job is to find a way to demonstrate that most of what they are doing is a worthless mug’s game. And I have a lot of personal experience and am worth listening too.

Inspired by Olivia Fane’s “the conversation no 4” – on fortune-telling

best wishes
Andrew


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Andrew Richardson

For those of you who have followed my 12 signs of emotional health, there is a new page on my website that summarises each of the twelve comments - click here. You can also download the pdf file from that page in the right hand column.

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