Too much information, too little intelligence. The sentiments ring true for many scenarios in the contemporary marketplace, and it’s the subject of this guest piece from Marketing Focus marketing analyst Barry Urquhart.
Data, facts and cause: -effect relationships abound. However, the capacity to accurately predict the consequences, manifestations and implications of them is narrowing. Unrecognised, unforeseen and unanticipated countervailing forces frustrate “well-informed” being able to project, define and articulate the future.
The Governors, Chancellors and Chief Executives of Central Banks, regulatory authorities and well-resourced “think tanks” are openly, but reluctantly, conceding their own inability and capacity to determine local, regional, national and global economies by the use of the traditionally applied and blunt instruments of fiscal and monetary policies.
In the past the mere suggestion that official interest rates would increase had dramatic and immediate effects on share markets, property values, investment plans and consumer behaviour. The resultant trends were typically downward. Not so now.
Public declarations by central bank spokespeople that interest rates may increase can, and have, had the reverse effects.
For example, the comparative international value of the Australian dollar has remained stubbornly high, despite concerted efforts over three years by the Australian Reserve Bank to reduce the currency reduce in value, to below US$0.70 cents.
Meanwhile, economists still boldly make public pronouncements. Most are widely inaccurate. Questions have been raised about the bases and justifications for such prognostications. Reading tea leaves seems to have parallel levels of integrity.
The introduction of new labels, like “Behaviour Economists” – to enhance the accuracy and relevance of many economic forecasts and projections – seems to be well-intentioned but largely ineffective.
In similar vein, the results of the “Brexit” referendum in Britain have been well known for months. The fact is that Britain is leaving the European Union. However, few, if any, can agree on the consequences and when they will evolve and transpire.
Eight years after the August 2008 Global Financial Crisis, debate continues on its intermediate and long-term consequences, with little evidence of consensus and what is needed to address and redress the prevailing sub-optimal market circumstances.
Interestingly, this does not imply “paralysis by analysis”. Rather, it suggests a situation of “analysis irrelevance”. That might just be one thing on which many can agree.