Fortune Tellers

Book Name : Fortune Tellers_x000D_
The Story of America's First Economic Forecasters

By by Walter Friedman

Sub Title : The Story of America's First Economic Forecasters

Written by : by Walter Friedman

Subject Category : Academic Business

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about this book

The period leading up to the Great Depression witnessed the rise of the economic forecasters, pioneers who sought to use the tools of science to predict the future, with the aim of profiting from their forecasts. This book chronicles the lives and careers of the men who defined this first wave of economic fortune tellers, men such as Roger Babson, Irving Fisher, John Moody, C. J. Bullock, and Warren Persons. They competed to sell their distinctive methods of prediction to investors and businesses, and thrived in the boom years that followed World War I. Yet, almost to a man, they failed to predict the devastating crash of 1929. Walter Friedman paints vivid portraits of entrepreneurs who shared a belief that the rational world of numbers and reason could tame--or at least foresee--the irrational gyrations of the market. Despite their failures, this first generation of economic forecasters helped to make the prediction of economic trends a central economic activity, and shed light on the mechanics of financial markets by providing a range of statistics and information about individual firms. They also raised questions that are still relevant today. What is science and what is merely guesswork in forecasting? What motivates people to buy forecasts? Does the act of forecasting set in motion unforeseen events that can counteract the forecast made? Masterful and compelling, Fortune Tellers highlights the risk and uncertainty that are inherent to capitalism itself. Princeton University Press; November 2013 ISBN 9781400849864 Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format Title: Fortune Tellers Author: Walter Friedman Imprint: Princeton University Press Subject categories Academic Business > Economic History Economics > Economic history and conditions Business > Planning & Forecasting Social Sciences ISBNs 1400849861 9780691159119 9781400849864 In The Press "Timely, trenchant, and entertaining, Walter Friedman's Fortune Tellers is a captivating history of modern economic forecasting. With graceful prose and penetrating insight, Friedman shows how scientific pretension and cultural persuasion gave birth to a new industry. Through their frustrated attempts to predict the future, Friedman's cast of oracles, gurus, entrepreneurs, and academics finally began to shape it. This is a fascinating tale about doubt and certainty in modern economic life."—Jonathan Levy, author of Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America About The Author Walter A. Friedman is a historian at Harvard Business School and the author of Birth of a Salesman: The Transformation of Selling in America.

About The authore

Walter A. Friedman is a historian at Harvard Business School and the author of Birth of a Salesman: The Transformation of Selling in America.

Related subjects

Academic Business - Economic History Economics - Economic history and conditions Business - Planning & Forecasting Social Sciences

ISBN

1400849861 - 9780691159119 - 9781400849864

In The Press:

"Timely, trenchant, and entertaining, Walter Friedman's Fortune Tellers is a captivating history of modern economic forecasting. With graceful prose and penetrating insight, Friedman shows how scientific pretension and cultural persuasion gave birth to a new industry. Through their frustrated attempts to predict the future, Friedman's cast of oracles, gurus, entrepreneurs, and academics finally began to shape it. This is a fascinating tale about doubt and certainty in modern economic life."—Jonathan Levy, author of Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America

Imprint

Princeton University Press