March 2001: 95% of Forecasters Predicted No Recession....Too Bad the Recession Had Already Started Then... Nouriel Roubini | Sep 08, 2006 These days I get asked daily in interviews and talks: "How do you explain that the market consensus is still so far from your recession call for 2007? Why does almost everyone on Wall Street believe that there will be no recession? What do you know that they do not?" Actually I do not know anything that they do not; we use the same public information and, of course, I have no inside information. My explanation of the consensus view about a "soft landing" is that there is a massive and systematic bias in forecasting recessions. Take the following telling example: in March 2001 in a survey 95% of US economic forecasters predicted that there would not be a recession in 2001; 95% of them! Too bad that the recession had already started exactly in March of that year!. So, even as late as March of 2001 when it was totally obvious that the economy was spinning into a recession 96% of all forecasters were still living in the delusional dream that the US would avoid a recession. This even after the tech and investment bubble had totally busted in 2000; even after the 2000 Chrismas sales were a disaster and growth was already crawling down to zero by the end of 2000; this even after the Fed went into a panic mode on January 2nd 2001 and cut the Fed Funds rate in between FOMC meetings because of the collapse of Chrismas sales and the collapse of the NASDAQ that day was clearly signaling a coming recession. There was systematic delusional bullish bias among forecasters, among investors and in the Fed.