RE: [OPE] estimating the severity and duration of a capitalist economic crisis

Date: Fri Mar 28 2008 - 08:33:34 EDT

> What is truly amazing is just how much you can predict, if you overcome 
> the obstacles of the type that I mentioned, i.e. if you remove the source of 
> unpredictability.
Hi Jurriaan:
You've made similar statements before but I honestly can think of no 
concrete examples of "truly amazing" macro-  or microeconomic forecasts 
for or within capitalist social formations.  What specific examples are you thinking
Rather than being amazing, most economic forecasts *when they are right*
are generally no-bainers.  It often is simply a matter of assuming that the rate
of change of major variables continues in the same direction as has occurred
in the recent past.  This is often all well and good if you are making a projection 
for a period which is characterized by relative economic stability, e.g. a 
short-term forecast during one period of capitalist expansion for another moment i
n time of that same  expansion. But, such forecasting models are not generally 
very good at predicting major  changes in market activity.  
If you think that capitalist economies are characterized by a chaotic dynamic
process then they limits the effectiveness of the forecasting models. Minsky-
type models aren't exactly forecasting models, are they?
In solidarity, Jerry

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