Sunday, December 30, 2012

My 2012 Predictions Revisited

About 3/4 Accurate

Tarot Deck | 5 of Wands
 ~ So how good was my prognostication of the past year? Not bad, although I did make some creampuff predictions that boosted the grade. Using a scale of 1 (utterly wrong) to 10 (perfectly prescient):

  1. President Obama will be re-elected. In the end, it wasn't terribly close, and would have turned into a rout if Obama had shown up for the first debate. Grade: 10
  2. The US Congress will switch sides. Ha! The GOP was widely expected to win the Senate, but who could have foreseen the inexplicably stupid antics and statements of some of their candidates? The Democrats would have retaken the House (they won the popular vote) but GOP gerrymandering after the 2010 midterms let them hold on, albeit with a reduced majority. Grade: 2
  3. US economic growth continues to gain. It gained, as did the ephemeral "confidence" but only somewhat. Grade: 8
  4. Unemployment will continue to inch down. Still above 7%, but trending steadily downward. Grade: 10
  5. The foreclosure crisis will get worse. There was little change in 2012. Home prices in most markets stabilized and even inched up, although not in beknighted exurbia. The shadow inventory remains as large as ever, with the banksters continuing only to posture on modifications, and the government remaining utterly feckless. This story is not yet over. Grade: 6
  6. The Euro will survive. For another year. Grade: 10
  7. The Chinese bubble will burst. GDP is decelerating rapidly even as wages rise and expectations increase by Chinese workers seeking to enter the middle class. No recession yet in China, but one is surely coming, especially with the rise of lower cost manufacturing in countries like India and the emerging trend in re-shoring US manufacturing. Grade: 6
  8. Federal energy policy will continue to go nowhere while state policy goes backwards. I expect this to continue for years, despite occasional bravery and vision from scattered states. Grade: 9
  9. US government support for cleantech shrivels. The 1603 program was not renewed and the production tax credit won't be renewed tomorrow, held hostage to the fiscal cliff Kabuki, despite its historical bipartisan support. Oil and gas subsidies continue, mostly unexamined. Grade: 10
  10. The Keystone XL pipeline will be denied, then revived. Obama denied it on a technicality, pleasing no one, and then allowed the southern portion to go ahead, despite its evident problems and swirling controversies about using eminent domain to benefit a foreign corporation. Grade: 9
  11. Fracking will grow as regulatory fighting continues. And continues. The GOP still wants to kill the EPA. Grade: 9
  12. The decline in startup investment levels off. Investment remained relatively robust, although the focus stayed frustratingly narrow. Grade: 4
  13. Oil will rise to over $120/BBL and gasoline will hit $4.50/gallon next summer. Not on the oil, but close on the gas. Grade: 3
  14. The smart grid will still not be built. When all is said and done, there's a lot more said than done. In this case, there was hardly even any talk, and even less got done. Grade: 10
  15. Sustainability practices grow in business. It makes dollars and sense and has entered the realm of best practices. Grade: 9
  16. Public support for public transportation grows. Ridership is up and bond measures to expand systems are passing. Obstinate throwbacks like Kemper Freeman are increasingly out-of-step. Grade: 8
Better than last year, but clearly I need to make some bolder and more measurable predictions. Tomorrow!

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