Arun Jaitley takes a jibe at economists, market commentators

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New Delhi | Published: July 7, 2015 1:40 AM

Taking a jibe at some economists and commentators, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said they change their views according to the evolving situation...

Taking a jibe at some economists and commentators, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said they change their views according to the evolving situation as it happened in the domestic capital market today in the aftermath of the referendum in Greece.

Citing another issue, of economists predicting oil prices over the past few months, he said in a lighter vein that even “astrology is getting credibility”.

“I was watching television last night when the results of the Greece referendum were just coming in. And I heard one very authoritative commentator on Indian screen mention that Mondays are known to be very bloody as far as the markets are concerned and all kinds of adjectives which were used and tomorrow is going to be a big shock.

“Till about noon this prediction continued and then more sober realty started sinking in and thence watching the situation move the other way, the views immediately changed and so did the analysis,” he said.

He was speaking at a release of book ‘Hubris – Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to avoid the Next One’ by Meghnad Desai here.

Domestic stocks, which fell in early trade as a knee-jerk reaction to Greece’s ‘No’ vote to euro-zone bailout conditions, rebounded in late-afternoon trade, with the BSE benchmark Sensex rallying 115.97 points to close the day at 28,208.76.

The 30-share Sensex started off sharply lower at 27,857.2 and swayed between 27,774.8 and 28,235.31 before ending at 28,208.76, a gain of 115.97 points, or 0.41 per cent.

Jaitley said he was “equally puzzled” why economist have failed to predict crisis or events that will happen and added “of course there were those, who after the event, always believe in ‘we said so’. But there are not many who have been able to do that”.

Referring to views on how crude oil prices would behave, Jaitley said: “…these days I find amongst the very transient details in the last one year particularly as to which way the oil prices are going. And the more I hear economist speak on it, the more I realise that astrology is getting credebility…”

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