The Crowd: “Lars, you are fat!”

On Friday I was doing a presentation on the global economy (yes, yes mainly on global monetary policy) for 40-50 colleagues who are working as investment advisors in the Danske Bank group.

As I was about to start my presentation somebody said “The audience have been kind of quiet today”. I thought that was a challenge so I immediately so I jumped on top of a table. That woke up the crowd.

I asked the audience to guess my weight. They all wrote their guesses on a piece of paper. All the guesses were collected and an average guess – the “consensus forecast” – was calculated, while I continued my presentation.

I started my presentation and I naturally started telling why all of my forecasts would be useless – or at least that they should not expect that I would be able to beat the market. I of course wanted to demonstrate exactly that with my little stunt. It was a matter of demonstrating the wisdom of the crowds – or a simple party-version of the Efficient Market Hypothesis.

I am certainly not weighing myself on a daily basis so I was “guestimating” my own weight then I told the audience that my weight is 81 kilograms (fully dressed). I usually think of my own weight as being just below 80 kg, but I was trying to correct it for the fact I was fully dressed – and I added a bit extra because my wife has been teasing me that I gained weight recently.

As always I was completely confident that the “survey” result would come in close to the “right” number. So I was bit surprised when the  “consensus forecast” for my weight came in at 84.6 kg

It was close enough for me to claim that the “market” – or the crowd – was good at “forecasting”, but I must say that I thought the “verdict” was wrong – nearly 85 kg. That is fat. I am not fat…or am I?

So once I came back home I immediately jumped on the scale – for once I hoped to show that the Efficient Market Hypothesis was wrong. But the verdict was even more cruel. 84 kg!

So the “consensus forecast” was only half a kilo wrong and way better than my own guestimate. So not only am I fat, but I was also beaten by the “market” in guessing my own weight.

I need a cake

PS My height is 183 cm – so my Body Mass Index is 25.08 – that is officially overweight (just a little – above 25 is overweight).

PPS I have done this kind of experiments before. See here.

Leave a comment


  1. Ravi

     /  November 18, 2013

    This really made me laugh!

  2. LoL, same thing happened to me recently 😀
    Im going to start jogging again, tomorrow (thats what I said then).

    • Petar, maybe we should start a global Market Monetarist workout team! We need to set a proper LOWER target for our weight LEVELS.

      • Tom H

         /  November 18, 2013

        “Hi, I’m Lars Christensen and I’m here to talk to you about the Market Monetarist Level Targeting fat burner workout system! No crash diets, no cleanses, just consistent exercise for consistent results!!”

  3. Arne L R

     /  November 18, 2013

    Lars, when you said that your weight was 81kg everybody knew you were lying 🙂

    “Men underestimate their own weight, while women are regarded as fatter than they are – by themselves and their male partners alike, a study shows.”

    Have a nice evening Lars!

    By the way I would not recommend to test if it is correct that men regard their wives fatter than they are!


  4. Benjamin Cole

     /  November 19, 2013

    Lars is a heavyweight in monetary policy circles.

  5. Tobi

     /  November 19, 2013

    “PS My height is 183 cm – so my Body Mass Index is 25.08 – that is officially overweight (just a little – above 25 is overweight).”

    If it helps, the BMI cut-off for overweight is not correct since people who are modestly overweight live longer than does who do not. And 25 is just about right.

    The relationship between BMI and overweight/underweight is thus similar as the relationship between the interest rate and easy/dear money. You only know when you look at life expectancy or NGDP. 😉

  6. Ravi

     /  November 22, 2013

    Hi Lars – Intrigued by your comments on Sweden and the ZLB on Twitter the other day. Is a post in the works, or were Svensson’s comments off the record? Thanks!

  1. Wise Crowds Tell No Lies
  2. “The Wisdom Of Crowds” Is Very Distinct From The Efficient Markets Hypothesis | squarelyrooted
  3. ラルス・クリステンセン 「『君はデブだ!』 ~「マーケット」の冷酷な宣告~」 — 経済学101
  4. Prediction market: Fed on track to hit 4% NGDP growth in 2015 | The Market Monetarist

Leave a Reply to TobiCancel reply