The Flinchum File

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The Wisdom of Crowds?


All year, I’ve been advising clients that the economy would “bottom-out” in the fourth quarter. Last week, the latest survey of the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) showed that 90% of economists believe the bottom will be late this year. (As a member, I naturally participated in that survey.) Maybe, I should feel comforted that so many economists agree with me, but there is an old joke among economists that the purpose of forecasters is to make astrologists look respectable.

At this point, my forecast for the U.S. economy remains the same, but something very different is happening to the financial markets. While there has never been a sharp V-shaped recovery from a credit-driven recession, this appears to be happening in the market now, and the only explanation I can believe is that the reversal is coming from the emerging markets, which are not as dependent on credit or capital. Stay tuned . . . we certainly do live in interesting times!

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