The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions

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Wiley, Dec 20, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 308 pages
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The Fortune Sellers contains in-depth explorations of the seven most prevalent forecasting professions today - meteorology, economics, investments, technology assessment, demography, futurology, and organizational planning. As Sherden uncovers their historical roots and traces their track records, he deftly reveals just how accurate - or inaccurate - their predictions really are. Fascinating historical facts, scores of actual examples, and a wealth of eye-opening statistics illuminate the difference between reliable real-world information and spurious guesswork. In the Fortune Sellers, you'll discover: how anyone who is counting on a weather forecast more than a day or two in advance might just as well flip a coin; how economics earned its nickname - the "dismal science"--And why it sticks; how profits from prediction work on Wall Street; how academia, business, and the media feed our fascination with science fact and fiction and future technology; how futurists - predictors of societal change - use the infirm foundations of social science to predict everything from utopia to techno-totalitarianism; and how prognosticators failed to predict many milestone events, including the stock market crash of 1929, the recession of the 1980s, and the fall of East Berlin.

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THE FORTUNE SELLERS: The Big Business of Selling and Buying Predictions

User Review  - Kirkus

A series of acute essays on the strange pseudoscience of predicting the future. Sherden, himself a consultant to companies like AT&T, here exposes the art of prediction as a skill not far removed from ... Read full review

The fortune sellers: the big business of buying and selling predictions

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Sherden, a business consultant, explores seven of the major fields involving prediction--meteorology, economics, investments, technology assessment, demography, futurology, and organizational planning ... Read full review

About the author (1999)

WILLIAM A. SHERDEN is a consultant to international corporations such as AT&T, Citicorp, and Dunn & Bradstreet and a recognized expert on business forecasting. He is the author of the book Market Ownership, as well as more than 25 articles for top academic and business publications. He lives in Boston with his wife and two children.

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