Sir Bob Jones

Of all fields of expertise and excluding the bogus ones (sociologists, chiropractors etc) none match economists for talking nonsense when it comes to forecasting. If that sounds extreme, bear in mind the fact that economic forecasting is invariably wrong is now a specialist field of study at Harvard.

How much of this is due to sheer stupidity? (that’s a brave question to put in print. I might be arrested for being unkind.)

Australian economist, described in the report as “eminent,” Dr Ross Garnaut, surely takes the winner’s medal on this count. Last week he told an on-line university audience that there is “no chance of Australia avoiding a deep recession.”

Get that; no chance. Having said that he followed up saying, “we can work to ensure its as shallow as possible.”

Given there’s “no chance” of avoiding it, an assertion incidentally a stop-go sign holder could have told us, how is it possible to “work” to make it shallower?

In fairness and notwithstanding the stupidity of those utterly contradicting assertions, he went on to talk sense in speaking up for global free trade.

Currently it’s fashionable to talk of an end to free trade, something which along with education has brought more people out of poverty than any other action in human history.

On the other side of the ledger, the ill-judged imitative over-reaction by politicians to the coronavirus outbreak is about to put more people into poverty than any other action in human history.

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Bob Jones
Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon. While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.