product description page
Fortune Tellers : The Story of America's First Economic Forecasters (Reprint) (Paperback) (Walter A.
about this item
The period leading up to the Great Depression witnessed the rise of 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. 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 failed to predict the devastating crash of 1929.
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--raising questions that are still relevant today. Masterful and compelling,Fortune Tellers highlights the risk and uncertainty that are inherent to capitalism itself.