I have just finished reading Fortune Tellers: The Story of America's First Economic Forecasters by HBS's Walter Friedman. Friedman's book is a series of fascinating biographical accounts of the leading forecasters in the first three decades of the twentieth century – Roger Babson (see video clip below); Yale economist Irving Fisher; John Moody; Charles J. Bullock and Warren Persons, who led the Harvard Economic Service; and economist and NBER founder Wesley Mitchell along with politician Herbert Hoover, who both saw economic forecasting as a public good, which should be provided by government agencies.
This is one of the best books which I have read over the last number of years. It is very readable and exceptionally thought provoking. Anyone with any interest in economics, investing or forecasting would profit from reading it.