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Bill Gates says economics is predictably unpredictable. In an interview with Quartz, Microsoft's co-founder takes a dim view of economists’ ability to know what’s going on in the economy.

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Contributions

  • Bill Gates finds the current economic climate confounding, and he believes economists don't have enough to add to the discussion. My colleague Allison Schrager (an Economics PhD) and I pressed him on that view in a recent interview.

  • No one understands macro. but that doesn't meant we shouldn't try.

  • Here's a tidbit for you related to the kicker of this story: Writer Thomas Carlyle first called the political economy the "dismal science" while referring to slavery. Per the Atlantic (link below) "Carlyle couldn't find a justification for slavery in political economic thought, and he considered this

    Here's a tidbit for you related to the kicker of this story: Writer Thomas Carlyle first called the political economy the "dismal science" while referring to slavery. Per the Atlantic (link below) "Carlyle couldn't find a justification for slavery in political economic thought, and he considered this fact to be "dismal."" So actually, this phrase was ANTI slavery, pro-freedom and dignity of others, contrary to how it's used today. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/why-economics-is-really-called-the-dismal-science/282454/

  • Sorry Mr Gates understanding macro isn't the problem it is the application that is difficult.

    Politicians with simple solutions and ideological convictions continue to tinker.

    Then there are the transnational companies operating oligopolies/olisopolies and because they have more economic power than

    Sorry Mr Gates understanding macro isn't the problem it is the application that is difficult.

    Politicians with simple solutions and ideological convictions continue to tinker.

    Then there are the transnational companies operating oligopolies/olisopolies and because they have more economic power than many of the countries they operate iare dictating economic policy.

    Both groups making decisions based on self interest and you think it is the economists that don't understand.

    What would happen if governments were able to operate as holding companies. They could charge businesses rent for services rendered instead of taxes and they could take ownership positions ( not control) by creating sovereign wealth funds and earn income. Wouldn't this be better than giving grants, subsidies and tax concessions, which politicians like to call investment .

    For those that don't know Sovereign wealth investment is not new but it seems to be well hidden.

  • Come on Bill, no one has ever been able to grasp macros. This is why Google Docs almost crushed Office.

  • Well said! How are we going to predict future if there is no consensus on the reason for past events!