The Asymmetry of Super Forecasting


We would all like to benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week's meals. Unfortunately, people in general tend to be terrible forecasters! As they are part of a collective thought the process. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, 'even experts predictions are only slightly better than chance'. However, an important and underreported conclusion of that study was that some experts do have real foresight. 

The Arkent Scenario - A Bleak Global Economic Outlook for 2018-2020

We have mentioned that we expect a trade war to unfold between Trump’s America and China this year so how does that translate into the global markets?

Early in 2017 we created what we called the Arkent Scenario as the sequence in which we expected the markets to roll over into global economic trauma. The Arkent scenario was a road map to follow markets and prepare for the worst. It articulated the following signs in this specific order:

Cryptocurrency madness

The week before last, out of the blue I was bombarded with simultaneous questions about bitcoin by friends and 'Breaking the Code of History' readers, some on behalf of their children. They all announced that they were proudly mining coins and what did I think?

Naturally, I looked at the price history shown below; the price was 7500 at the time. I responded that it was a bubble and most likely the bitcoin price had made a blow off high following which the price would decline significantly back to the 3500 level.

Transformation within Crisis: Part IV The Robotic Revolution Part I

Most of us are aware of the Industrial Revolution in Britain in the 19th century, but how many people have truly appreciated the social impact of the arrival of these new technologies? This tumultuous period is known as the First Phase of the Industrial Revolution which heralded the advent of new manufacturing processes from 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840.

11 Predictions for the next 10 years: Part XI Revolutions in war fighting

1. A return to the Cold War paradigm The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 commenced 10 decades of the British Empire’s control of the globe. During that period, the strength of its navy and the absence of major competitors allowed its army to be configured for small colonial wars. However, this changed rather belatedly with the rise of Germany and its challenge in 1914, forcing Britain to build a large continental army for the first time.

11 Predictions for the next 10 years: Part X Population pressure, food and water

1. 2015-2025 The relentless growth of the human population to an estimated 11bn in 2100 will put immense pressure on food supplies.

2. 2015-2025 Population expansion combined with climate change and demand for more protein will pose grave challenges for the food production process.

3. 2015-2025 Africa will become the major breadbasket of the world.

4. 2015-2025 Food and water security will become key strategic considerations for all nations, and a vital national economic resource.

11 Predictions for the next 10 years: Part IX Climate change is a reality

1. 2015 The world will fail to take the rapid action required to prevent the acceleration of climate change and its pervasive negative impacts. Thus, temperatures will rise above the 2C mark (that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “IPCC” had set as a target) above pre-industrial levels within two decades.

11 Predictions for the next 10 years: Part VIII New alliances to contain China

1. 2015 The West needs to reverse the disastrous consequences of the war in Ukraine and to attract Russia away from China which will be necessary to complete the containment of the latter. To not do so will have terrible long-term strategic consequences.

2. 2015-2020 The rise of China and fear of its growing power is driving a new alliance structure between Japan, Australia, India and America. This will become increasingly formalised in the years ahead.

3. 2015-2020 China’s neighbours will all seek to join the US-led alliance for fear of Chinese aggression.

11 Predictions for the next 10 years: Part VII Africa

1. 2015 Africa will continue to be the continent that constantly demonstrates the greatest economic growth.

2. 2015-2020 Africa is in a stage of BTCH regionalisation and the structure of its regional civil war is taking shape between the expanding Islamic population and the tribal Christians to the south of the Great Desert.

3. 2015-2020 African governments, especially in the Sadaq region, will slowly become more effective in governing their countries, as the middle classes expand.

11 Predictions for the next 10 years: Part VI The Middle East is in a state of regional civil war

1. 2015 Using the nomenclature of BTCH the current Middle Eastern civil war is classified as a regional civil war with the unconscious social purpose of creating a unified region with a leadership and value system that maximises the enfranchisement of the majority of the population.

2. The three core competing groups for Middle Eastern domination will be the Shias, the Sunni moderates (Islamic democracy) and the Sunni radicals (Jihadists).

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