22 years ago, on September 11, 2001, the world watched in horror as two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York in one of the most spectacular terrorist attacks ever. Behind this immense tragedy, whose geopolitical consequences are still being felt today, lies the failure of the American intelligence apparatus, and the CIA in particular. Despite all the information at its disposal, the CIA failed to anticipate the attack. What explains this failure?
In the realm of economic and geopolitical forecasting, the pitfalls of assumptions can prove both humbling and enlightening. A striking example of this can be found in the Frontline report titled “Losing the War with Japan,” which takes us back to a moment in 1991 when prevailing beliefs about Japan’s economic supremacy and America’s decline were pervasive.(more…)