Thomas Carlyle, who died in 1871, called economics the “dismal science”. How right he was. Jacoline Loewen said that “banks and dealers should have as many economists on staff as possible to increase their chances of having one that’s right”.
Along with Wall Street, it is quite incredible that central banks and the IMF, with all the firepower they devote to economic analysis and forecasting, did not pick up on this credit bubble and a possible crisis.
The second largest financial crisis in a hundred years wasn’t on the radar screens.
Worse still, since the crisis first started, policy makers have vastly underestimated its rapid spread and devastating impact every step of the way.
Actually, all of us in the financial business should be wondering why we did not see this crisis coming. All the signs were there. We should have picked it up.
There were a small handful, probably less than one-half of one percent of all economists and market participants, who did foresee some of these major problems. But when everyone is making money, no one wants to listen to a naysayer.
In the future we must do a better job of forecasting.