via Wall Street Journal
Why have economic forecasters recently been so wrong? Just two years ago, for example, the common perception was that the big emerging markets would drive global growth. That oil prices would remain above $100 per barrel. That interest rates would move higher. All of these predictions have been wildly wrong.
Yet these variances are neither a coincidence nor a temporary phenomenon. We have entered an age in which economic and financial forecasting is much harder and less reliable.
Why? Because financial markets and financial investors are increasingly driving the world economy and it is inherently volatile. Total global assets under professional management have now increased to an astonishing $75 trillion, according to Boston Consulting Group. These gigantic amounts are rocketing around the globe looking for returns. The result is that commodity markets, corporations, governments and other sectors are being relentlessly financialized—or tied to the fortunes of investments in markets—and thus less predictable.