Vindication by Events: A Few Questions for Scott Sumner
By Bryan Caplan
I am always proud to claim vindication by bet. But I am extremely reluctant to claim vindication by events. Few things are easier than (a) making vague claims, (b) waiting for something or other to happen, then (c) crowing about your own foresight. Serious thinkers should avoid (a)-(c) like the plague.
Nevertheless, I was extremely puzzled by Scott Sumner’s recent self-deprecation:
Like Tyler (and Paul Krugman) I didn’t expect an end to the flow of
T-bond purchases to have a big impact on T-bond yields. I’m still not
sure exactly how large the impact was, but Evan’s results, combined with
the real time moves on last week’s Fed news, convinces me that if I did
know it would probably have been larger than I expected.
Questions for Scott: Wasn’t the key event Bernanke’s announcements about the Fed’s medium-term monetary intentions? And who’s emphasized the efficacy of monetary intentions more strongly than you? So if anyone has a right to claim “vindication by events,” shouldn’t it be you?