The economists have had another terrible year. It’s time for a complete re-think

This may or may not be a good time for democracy, but one thing is certain about the past year of political upsets; it’s heaped further humiliations on the economics profession.

A substantial majority of economists thought the mere act of voting for Brexit would pole-axe the economy. Not only did voters ignore these warnings, but so far the “experts” have proved almost wholly wrong.

Internationally, the story is much the same. The profound shock to global confidence anticipated by the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, Uncle Tom Cobley and all, failed to materialise; Brexit had no discernible impact on the world economy. Having cried wolf over the short term consequences, the profession should not be surprised if rather more credible warnings of pain delayed are widely disbelieved.

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