Six months ago I made seven predictions for 2012. Time to take a look at them and see where they stand and my current thoughts on each:
- President Obama will be re-elected – Too early to tell – We're still four months away from the election and Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney seem pretty close. So what do I think now? I think that the Republicans, recently defeated when the Supreme Court upheld Obama's health care madates, will try to make the election about health care as well as beat down Obama on the stagnation with the economy. I believe Obama will deflect that and win the election, so I'm holding pat on this prediction.
- The tide will begin to turn on strategic defaults and underwater mortgages – I'm thinking this one is looking correct – I could be wrong, but the number of foreclosures seems to be shrinking compared to what it's been the last couple of years. This might because banks are simply holding onto the inventory, but we probably won't know for a couple of years until the rest of the housing market shakes out. In any case, there are signs of a housing recovery here in Michigan, and based on that and the drop in news on foreclosure, I'm holding pat on this prediction.
- The Eurozone crisis will not go away but will get less attention – Correct on one account, incorrect on another – The crisis has definitely not gone away and has gotten more attention over the past few months (though in my defense, the first three months largely saw this ignored until Wall Street conveniently decided it needed a catalyst to explain the stop of the stock market climb). In any case, the Eurpoean leaders (and I use that term loosely) seem in no hurry to do anything to actually fix the problem, so unless something drastic changes, I will likely end up incorrect on this one.
- Blackberry will be history (or at least RIM will be) – Too early to tell – I think this could still be a possibility. RIM has tried to catch up and has fallen into place with some of the consumer and business demands, but they're holding on. For now. I think their demise could still occur in 2012.
- Apple will either provide a dividend or make a giant, unexpected purchase – Correct – Apple announced a dividend a few month ago.
- Unemployment will continue to dip, the economy will continue to improve, the bottom line of businesses will get better, but consumer spending will lag – Some right, some too early to tell. Unemployment did drop for a few months but now has lagged. The economy showed signs of recovery and also has been lagging. Business bottom lines have been getting better. Consumer spending is actually picking up but has shown signs of slowing. The next few months will be key. At this point, it wouldn't surprise me if the economy picked back up by the end of the year, nor would it surprise me if it fell into a mild recession. Nobody seems to know right now.
- Discovery will pull the plug on Oprah – Hasn't happened yet but things have gotten no better since I wrote my initial prediction, and Oprah herself seems pretty much at a loss. I'm still thinking that OWN will be history sooner rather than later.
What do you think of my predictions and where I stand on each one? Was I wildly off on any? What do you think about the rest of 2012? What has surprised you the most about 2012?