No very deep knowledge of economics is usually needed for grasping the immediate effects of a measure; but the task of economics is to foretell the remoter effects, and so to allow us to avoid such acts as attempt to remedy a present ill by sowing the seeds of a much greater ill for the future. — Ludwig von Mises, (1881-1973) Philosopher and Economist
There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: The bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect tht can be seen and more importantly, those effects that must be foreseen. The bad economist pursues a small, present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil. — Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850) Economist
The wisdom of von Mises and Bastiat in these quotes is simple in the abstract, but often difficult in practice. Their message is to look through the short term and immediate effects of policy initiatives in the marketplace and look down the road at the ultimate implications of government policy. Conventional analysis tends to ignore or downplay the intermediate or longer term effects. There is a feeling of safety and security staying with the herd as it responds to the short term effects even if the outcome is negative.
Our approach is to “look through the windshields of two or three cars in front of you.” The farther out the less clear the details however it helps combat Normalcy Bias and a helpful risk management tool. Normalcy Bias can insulate the magnitude or probability of a significant event simply because it has not happened on one’s lifetime of experience. We remain vigilant to this natural bias and incorporate it into our analysis. For example; most western economies, including the US, have adopted the Keynesian economic philosophy of deficit spending, increased debt, regulation, money printing and artificial interest rate management. Since these polices have not yet materialized in significant negative consequences, normalcy bias leads conventional thinking to believe the prospects of a negative event are minimal or inconsequential. We disagree.
So why do we describe our style as Independent-Entrepreneurial oriented? We are independent of being locked into myopic conventional analysis and entrepreneurial in our assessment and management of risk. Entrepreneurs know that independent thinking and risk can create an environment for opportunity.