It’s a famous adage on Wall Street that markets are sending mixed messages this year: Bond investors and trade-war worrywarts tell stories of economic doom, while stock traders recite bullish tales about Corporate America. Maybe we should all read Twitter instead.

To Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, ideas that go viral are more important than you might think for predicting where an economy is heading -- as much as growth figures and asset prices.

In his latest book “Narrative Economics,” the 73-year-old famed for his analysis of asset bubbles argues stories can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies with the kind of potency that mainstream economics often overlooks.

With trade headwinds dampening international growth while most measures show U.S. output in rude health, it’s a theory whose time may have come.

The good news is that the odds of a recession in 2020 are less than 50%, Shiller said in an interview with Bloomberg News at London’s Ned Hotel.

“In September 2008, we had the Lehman bankruptcy and the WaMu takeover and talk then shifted to, is this 1929 again?” he said. “It brought back fearful stories, but right now those stories aren’t so prominent.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Shiller said he’s rooting for Joe Biden to be the Democratic presidential candidate and eventual victor in next year’s election, although he confesses he’ll take any contender over Donald Trump.

The left-wing ideas of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, like raising taxes on the wealthy, are going to make winning a national poll difficult and would hurt the stock market, he warned.

The transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Why are stocks and bonds both near historical highs?

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