ALAN BUDD defends the forecasting record of the Treasury as if he is an economic equivalent of Michael Fish. Weather prediction deals with forces which it makes no pretence of causing or affecting. The Treasury deals with human factors; it is responsible for shaping policy by acting intelligently upon them. Amid economic devastation not felt for more than 50 years, for which the Treasury bears a large share of guilt, how can Alan Budd pretend that it is nothing to do with him?
With far fewer reasons to feel responsible, Michael Fish was publicly rueful about the hurricane. Does the Treasury really believe it is nothing more than a financial Met Office? That would certainly explain much that otherwise defies comprehension.