Many are familiar with the old aphorism that in real estate the three most important determinants of value are location, location, location. Things are a bit different in making economic forecasts and predictions, where two variables matter most: accuracy, of course, but also timing.

Regarding accuracy: a lengthy list of economists — some quite eminent — have ended up with egg on their faces because of inaccurate predictions and forecasts. In this regard, there’s the observation by the distinguished economist Irving Fisher, 92 years ago today on October 16, 1929, that stock prices had reached ‘what looks like a permanently high plateau’. Since the Great Crash occurred two weeks later, Fisher’s timing wasn’t so great either.

A less eminent, but once high-profile Indian-American economist named Ravi Batra published popular books in 1989 and 1999 predicting global depressions in 1990 and 2000, which depressions never…

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