U.S. Economic Forecasting: GE vs. the Fed

The International Economy, May 2001 | Go to article overview

U.S. Economic Forecasting: GE vs. the Fed


NAME                  PREDICTION

David Resler          In response to your survey, I would opt to
Chief Economist,      attend the next GE Board meeting. GE is
Nomura Securities     arguably the most diversified corporation in
International, Inc.   the world and its board members include
                      leaders from industries such as food products,
                      paper, and auto parts that are less
                      important to GE's operations. In contrast, the
                      District Bank presidents do not seem to
                      have better data on ALL businesses which can be
                      gleaned from public sources. The exception, of
                      course, is their information on the banks in
                      their district, but that information would be
                      generally less useful to forecasting than the
                      up-to-the minute assessment one could hear
                      at a GE Board meeting.

Susan M. Phillips     The Federal Reserve's twelve regional
Dean, School of       presidents. After listening to their comments
Business & Public     in FOMC meetings, I came to respect the breadth
Management, George    of their knowledge and critical analysis of
Washington            industrial, agricultural, financial and service
University & former   sectors, often coming from conversations with
Federal Reserve       CEO's or sector leaders, and surveys and
Governor.             regional  studies. After such a session, I
                      always felt I had a better understanding of
                      the breadth, depth, and diversity of
                      economic conditions affecting various parts
                      of the country.

Matthew Spiegel       I would pick the Fed officials. Interest
Professor of          rates and the money supply have a lot more
Finance, Yale         to do with the overall economy than nearly
School of             anything else.
Management.

Robert Dederick       Of the two, I'll take the Fed
Executive VP &        presidents--but Alan
Chief Economist,      Greenspan's private thoughts
The Northern          are my real choice.
Trust Company.

Richard N. Cooper     For the near-term future direction of the U.S.
Maurits C. Boas       economy, I would prefer to listen to the
Professor of          private thoughts of the twelve regional
International         Federal Reserve presidents. They sit on
Economics,            the Open Market Committee, and their job,
Harvard               inter alia, is to track developments in
University.           the U.S. economy. They poll their respective
                      regions and draw on competent staffs to form
                      their judgments. General Electric's board
                      meeting, while drawing on much practical
                      experience, would be too parochial, too
                      focused on GE's next strategic acquisitions
                      and dispositions to rely on for an
                      overview of the U.S. economy. … 

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