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Nor is it likely that they can be reliably modelled from past data, because there are too many people employed to look for precisely this kind of systematic variation by institutions hoping to anticipate market movements and make large amounts of money. Speculation based on these models will change the pattern; any systematic 20 Recent Developments in Macroeconomics element in the data becomes unreliable for forecasting. Thus, though variations in real exchange rates in a floating rate system tend to be large, they are also to a large degree unpredictable.

Public recognition that the new situation requires a significant degree of cooperation between different governments is reflected in the occurrence of regular 'economic summits' of international political leaders. These summits often appear to be largely cosmetic affairs but have occasionally had tangible results, as in the decision to take expansionary measures to raise real output in 1978, and the move to bring down the value of the dollar in 1985. Their most important function may well be to help politicians to resist xenophobic or protectionist pressures at home, thus reducing the likelihood of the kind of breakdown of the international economic order that occurred in the 1930s.

First of all, whilst there is no guarantee that an individual agent's expectation will prove correct any expectational error will be completely random and any forecast error will possess an expected mean value of zero. Moreover, any forecast error will be completely uncorrelated with any information known to the agent since, if such correlation existed, it would logically be included in arriving at the initial expectation. Thus, any remaining forecast errors will (i) be essentially random; (ii) possessed of a mean value of zero, and (iii) reveal no discernible pattern.

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