Economic bravery

Eminent Scottish economists are brave to make predictions about economic performance whether there is a Yes or No vote. (“Scotland faces 25 years of economic misery after independence, MPs told”, 6 February, and “UK must decide on currency union now”, 8 February). It was a rara avis who foretold the global financial crisis and the subsequent deep recession.

Aren’t there too many economic and political unknowns both in domestic economies and the global economy? Perhaps we should heed economist John Maynard Keynes who commented when asked about the future: “In the long run, we are all dead.”

US economist JK Galbraith for instance, was most conscious of the dominant influence of the larger economy. He observed – after 70 years in economics – that “those who foretell the future given unpredictable ­political and economic forces do not know and normally do not know that they do not know”.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

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