(see also PREDICTION)
Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.
Marshal Ferdinand Foch in 1911.
With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely
to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.
Business Week, 1958.
Whatever happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.
Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, on December 4, 1941.
Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.
Economist Irving Fisher on October 16, 1929 (March 1991,
Fiedler's forecasting rules
1. Forecasting is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.
2. For this reason: He who lives by the crystal ball soon learn to eat ground glass.
3. Similarly: The moment you forecast you know you're going to be wrong, you just don't
know when and in which direction.
4. Nevertheless, always be precise in your forecasts because: Economists state their GNP
growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of
5. Another basic law: If the facts don't conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.
6. If you've always had doubts about the judgments of forecasters, it's quite
understandable because: An economist is a man who would marry Farrah
Fawcett-Majors for her money.
7. By the same reasoning, your suspicions about the narrow range of most forecasts are
justified: The herd instinct among forecasters make sheep look like independent thinkers.
8. When presenting a forecast: Give them a number or give them a date, but never both.