Pundits and experts of every description love to predict and pontificate. That they are often famously wrong doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
The Great Depression began on October 29, 1929 with the stock market crash. On October 17th, Irving Fisher, a professor of economics at Yale University, said, “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” A month later Fisher said, “The end of the decline of the stock market will probably not be long, only a few more days at best.” The Great Depression stretched for ten years, in good part due to the “progressive” policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was elected and reelected to four terms!
Not to be outdone, the Harvard Economic Society issued a number of predictions that were equally idiotic. “Since our monetary and credit structure is not only sound, but unusually strong…there is every prospect that the recovery which we have been expecting will not be long delayed.” It took the advent of World War II to energize the manufacturing sector and increase employment. By the time the war was over the U.S. had, for its time, a huge national debt, but it was far better positioned for recovery than Europe or other war damaged nations.