Market Prophets
Can Forecasters Predict the Financial Future?


By David Stamp
Pearson Education / Longman
July 2002
ISBN: 1903684072
288 Pages
$75.00 Paper original


"In Market Prophets, David Stamp enjoyably shows how fallible financial forecasts are. Yet the public demand for them, particularly by exactly the same politicians who claim to be most skeptical, shows no signs of abating. One needs a balanced judgment on the uses and abuses of economic forecasting. This book is good on the potential abuses of forecasts. I hope that he will also write a companion on how to use forecasts more sensibly."
- Charles Goodhart, Professor of Banking and Finance at the London School of Economics

Can the U.S. economy fully recover from the twin blows of September 11 and the technology crash, or will the prosperous 1990s fade to a distant memory for ordinary Americans?

If the United States stumbles, what hope is there for people across the industrial nations, let alone the hundreds of millions trying to escape poverty in the Third World?

Will Wall Street soar, crash or stagnate?

Are world interest rates heading up or down?

Is the euro’s nose-dive finally over and will Britain ever adopt the common currency?

Financial markets have spawned a forecasting industry to answer such questions serving everyone from private investors to multinational corporations, central banks and the
world's governments. But can anyone predict the seemingly unpredictable?

Market Prophets is a guide to the financial forecasting business: an analysis of how the pundits succeed and fail in predicting the ups and downs of markets and economies. It asks if we should pay attention to these soothsayers and, if so, which ones?

Author
David Stamp
was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the Northeast of England in 1958. After studying German at Liverpool University and journalism at University College, Cardiff, he joined Reuters in 1981 as a trainee reporter. Since then he has completed postings in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Austria, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic. He has reported from central and eastern Europe before and after the fall of Communism as well as from the former Yugoslavia, Australia and the South Pacific. Since 1997 he has worked for Reuters in London, focusing on forecasts for the British and continental European economies.
David lives just outside London with his wife and two daughters.

Review
"Forecasting the future of markets and of economies is much harder than forecasting the weather, since the weather is not influenced by the forecasts made by us, whereas markets are. Markets, and to a lesser extent economies, will adjust now in response to future expectations, so that future changes are bound to be driven primarily by what is currently unpredictable. In this book, David Stamp enjoyably shows how fallible are such forecasts. Too true, yet the public demand for them, particularly by exactly the same politicians who claim to be most skeptical, shows no signs of abating. One needs a balanced judgment on the uses and abuses of economic forecasting. This book is good on the potential abuses of forecasts. I hope that he will also write a companion on how to use forecasts more sensibly."
Charles Goodhart, Professor of Banking and Finance at the London School of Economics


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