Andrew Haldane 'Michael Fish' comments were just a frank admission of failure, says economist

Andrew Haldane 'crisis': 'it was a frank admission', says economist

A Bank of England coin

Friday, January 6, 2017

A leading economist has explained the statements made by a top employee at the Bank of England about the current state of the economics industry.

Chief economist Andrew Haldane yesterday admitted his profession was "in crisis" following the failure to predict the impact of Brexit, as well as the crash of 2008.

Furthermore, Haldane described the failure to foresee the 2008 financial crash as economists' "Michael Fish moment" - a reference to the weather forecaster who famously failed to predict the UK's great storm of 1987.

In an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer, Simon French, the chief economist for Panmure Gordon, said it was a "frank admission", adding that “it's consistent with the fact he's at the Bank of England, which is renowned for saying things other policy makers don't.

“Why Andrew Haldane referred to the Michael Fish moment is because that industry went away and invested in supercomputers and data collection to improve the profession.

"The short-term forecasts of what would happen post-Brexit were woefully wrong. The long-term impact we don’t know.

"Haldane's always laying a challenge down to improve the profession by calling on skills from other industries to improve an industry which has come up short."