Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Michael Pascoe, with advice for Access

Deloitte Access has been taking some flack, as have the media for headlining its forecasts, which like official forecasts of the resources boom, have often missed the mark.

Micahel Pascoe has some tongue-in-cheek tips for avoiding forecasting embarrassment:

1. Never put a time limit on a forecast as eventually just about everything happens, you just have to stay alive long enough. The RBA likes to leave the timing of its big picture stuff wisely vague. Doomsday forecaster Steve Keen has been running away from the timing of his housing crash prediction ever since he lost his bet with Rory Robertson.

2. One step further from there - or perhaps really just a subset of the above - is making forecasts a long way in the future on the basis that you and everyone else will have moved on by the due date a couple of decades hence.

3. Make lots and lots of forecasts about everything and then only claim and boast about the ones that came off, relying on eforecasting has always been a mug's game. Something as complex as the nation's economy has all manner of variables at play, let alone when the vagaries of the world wide also are at work on it.

4. The Nostradamus special - make your forecasts as obscure and vague as possible so that you can subsequently interpret your Delphic ravings as meaning what you want them to mean with all the benefit of hindsight.

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. Your investment boom is about to end - Access

. Three wise economic monkeys

. The right way to present forecasts