First, a look back:
1. Gas will go above $4.00/gallon at some point, and will remain there for at least 26 weeks.
I haven’t actually checked to make sure about this, but my gut feeling is that I completely missed on this. Where I lived, gas was only above $4/gal. for a total of three weeks out of the year. In fact, gas was below $3/gal. more often than it was above $4. Maybe my state has a very low gas price average, but I doubt it, and so I’m going to say I missed this one.
2. Commodities will be up at least 10% at the end of 2012. For comparative purposes, we here at Le Cygne Gris will select a portfolio of five commodities for comparison. They are wheat, soybeans, feeder cattle, gold, and copper. The current prices are: $6.53/bushel, $12.13/bushel, $1.50/pound, $1,566/ounce, and $3.40/pound respectively. The predicted year-end prices are $7.18, $13.34, $1.65, $1,722.60, and $3.74 respectively.
I nailed the wheat, soybeans, and cattle prices, as all are up well over 10% right now. The year isn’t technically over, but there would have to be quite a collapse in just a couple of days for me to be wrong. I missed on gold and copper, but not by much. I got the trend but didn’t nail the specifics, as both are up roughly 7% or so, give or take a point. We’ll call this a half-point. (See prices here.)
3. Housing prices will tank. S&P’s US National Housing Index places the median house price at $130,3990. I expect it to drop below $120,000 by the end of 2012.
I really thought I was going to nail this one, especially since the Q1 index saw housing costs drop to $125k. They then bounced up to roughly $130k in Q3. The Q4 numbers aren’t out, but I doubt that there will be a $10k drop in a single quarter. However, there may be enough fraud going on in housing for me to make a case that I’m right. We’ll have to wait and see to know for sure, but I’m going to go ahead and call this one a miss.
4. There will not be any more QE.
Pure miss on my part. I thought the Fed would cave to pressure and that we’d have a new chairman in 2013 who would start up QE on the DL. I was wrong.
5. The United States will send troops into Iran in the attempt to engage in some sort of conflict.
Also a miss, pure and simple.
6. Obama will be reelected.
Nailed this one. This wasn’t too hard a call, even from a year out, because Barack is a magic negro, and because no one wanted to vote for Romney. Also, the GOP is run by dumb shits.
In all, I got 1.5 out of 6. Obviously, I suck at predictions, but that’s not going to stop me from making more.
Predictions for 2013:
1. Tech is going to start to collapse. The current depression coupled with increasing health care costs, education costs, and an increasing tax burden means that people will stop buying unnecessary luxury goods. Technology is among them. Instead of upgrading phones every year, people will wait two. Instead of getting the latest flat-screens with all the coolest features, people will learn to be content with what they have. Tablet sales should slow down as the market starts to get saturated. Since food is more necessary to survival than tech, expect people to start cutting tech from their budget when the squeeze inevitably happens.
I suspect the tech collapse will be reflected in the stock prices of tech companies, and therefore I predict that the stock prices of the following tech companies will drop 5%+ by the end of 2013: Microsoft (currently $26.96), Nokia (currently $4.00), LG (currently $37.88), MSI/Motorola (currently $54.88), and Amazon (currently $248.31).
2. I suspect that there will be a general period of deflation that is tempered by core inflation. As noted above, some things are not going to be as pressing over the next couple of years, like having the latest tech. However, some things will always be in demand. Since the general debt level is constantly expanding, we will continue to see some general, albeit mild inflation, which will eventually be concentrated in food commodities. Thus, I predict that the price of food commodities will go up at least 5% by year’s end. Specifically, I will target wheat, soybeans, and lean hogs. Prices are currently $7.72/bushel, $14.14/bushel, and $0.87/pound. (Source.)
3. I expect the Federal Reserve to announce another round of quantitative easing. If you’re keeping count, this will the fifth of quantitative easing, or QE5 if you prefer.
4. I expect Feinstein’s current gun control legislation to fail. Americans love their guns, and the house is a little too red to bend to the will of pusillanimous progressives. There will probably be a compromise, and it will likely involve tightening down background checks, particularly in the realm of mental illness. But Feinstein’s bill, as it currently stands, will not pass.
5. I expect to have a new Federal Reserve chairman. Bernanke is deeply unpopular, and appears to hate his job. I suspect that Bernanke’s replacement will be as bad as him, if not worse. Ultimately, though, I don’t expect Bernanke to stick around.
6. I predict that legislation completely nationalizing health care is passed towards the end of this year. The taxation effects of ObamaCare will take hold this year, jacking up everyone’s taxes. Employers are going to try to find every last loophole they can find, which means that lots of people will suddenly find themselves needing health care but being unable to afford it. The most obvious solution is to get the government to pay for health care (which it’s already doing to a limited extent), and the next step will be to nationalize health care. There’s no reason for this to not happen this year, since taxes will be going up while coverage will be going down, at least for poor people. This has the makings of a perfect political storm.