Uncertainty = How Little We Really Know About the Future


My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at one of our favorite old themes, Uncertainty.

The print version had the full headline The ‘uncertainty’ meme reveals how little we really know. (The online version is merely There’s nothing new about uncertainty).

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

“Since then, the uncertainty trope has become the general catch-all for explaining (or mis-explaining) a variety of future events. The list of uncertainties is long: The fiscal cliff, U.S. tax policy, health-care laws, what happens in Greece, will we have a recession next year or not, is housing recovering, what happens to the euro zone, will the euro currency collapse, what about the U.S. elections?

I recall no one saying that investing was difficult due to the uncertainty caused by a potential nuclear conflagration between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The sword of Damocles hung over everyone’s head. Is the Greek situation today more dire or uncertain than the policy of mutually assured destruction ever was?”

I really like what the Post did in the dead tree version of the paper — the layout and art work is great:
click for ginormous version of print edition


The ‘uncertainty’ meme reveals how little we really know
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, July 8 2012

Gx6-11 (PDF)

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