• Long profile of George Soros. “In the twilight of his life, he’s achieved the recognition he has always wanted,” Wien said. “Everything is going for him. He’s healthy, his candidate won, his business is on a solid footing.”
  • "People are willing to pay heavily for expert advice. Economists are consulted to tell us how the economy will change, stock analysts are paid large salaries to forecast the earnings of various companies, and political experts command large fees to tell our leaders what the future holds. The available evidence, however, implies that this money is poorly spent. But because few people pay attention to this evidence, I have come up with what I call the seersucker theory: No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence of seers."
  • "When financial columnist James Surowiecki wrote The Wisdom of Crowds, he wished to explain the successes and failures of markets (an example of a "crowd") and to understand why the average opinion of a crowd is frequently more accurate than the opinions of most of its individual members. In this expanded review of the book, Scott Armstrong asks a question of immediate relevance to forecasters: Are the traditional face-to-face meetings an effective way to elicit forecasts from forecast crowds (i.e. teams)? Armstrong doesn’t believe so. Quite the contrary, he explains why he considers face-to-face meetings a detriment to good forecasting practice, and he proposes several alternatives that have been tried successfully."
  • "Why would a forecaster publish a persistently biased forecast? There are three possible explanations. One is that the forecaster lacks the skill to utilize information efficiently, and fails to learn from recent forecast errors. A second is that the forecaster has the skill to utilize information “rationally”, but insufficient data to learn about which changes in the target variable are permanent and which are transitory. The third possibility is that the forecaster has skill and sufficient data, but willfully introduces “rational bias” in response to financial or reputational incentives to make an optimistic or pessimistic forecast. Our aim in this paper is to review explanations for bias in forecasts, particularly forecasts of the macro-economy."