The future’s rubbish
Might dustmen be the people to ask about 2012?
Back in 1984 The Economist conducted an unusual survey for its Christmas issue. We invited four former finance ministers, four chairmen of big multinational companies, four Oxford University students and four London dustmen to offer their predictions on the economy over the next ten years. A decade later we checked the accuracy of their forecasts, and marked their performance. The dustmen scored joint top, along with the company bosses. On the price of oil, the binmen demonstrated more foresight than any other group.
Strangely, since then the world’s banks and news organisations have not rushed to rummage through dustmen’s economic forecasts. Until now.