As we turn the corner into the New Year, pronouncements and predictions will be forthcoming from every direction.
Most will reach into their grab bag and base their forecast on HOPE. On the contrary, I always say hope is not a strategy.
As for my 2012 forecast, I will say that everything (and I mean everything) goes into my analysis not only for the coming year, but also for many years beyond.
As an economist and financial consultant, I have no book to talk, nor do I isolate a few pieces of information in order to base my opinion.
I won’t for one moment ignore America just to focus on Europe, and then a few months later ignore Europe in order to focus on the U.S.
The fact that our debt exceeds 100% of GDP is very important. However, just as important is that the GOP will take a conservative position on reducing debt and then ultimately cave at the last minute.
Most people have heard of the Mayan calendar.
They usually chuckle and think to themselves, “isn’t that the thing that predicts the end of the world in 2012?” Ha Ha!
On closer study, the Mayan calendar is actually predicting a major change in the world with a movement from greed, materialism, and self indulgence to a higher consciousness of giving rather than taking.
Not exactly the end of the world.
However, as history has proven, prior lifestyles do not go away quietly into the night. Whether it was from agrarian to industrial, or industrial to information, turmoil was always the order of the day.
So it is now as we de-lever and move away from a world that was built on debt and operated on debt. The next sixty months will be more cataclysmic, but also more cathartic, than most people can imagine.
The perfect storm is certainly upon us. Now, let’s talk about 2012 specifically. Most pundits will point to an election year as a positive.
However, in my opinion, because of uncertainty, just the opposite will be the case. Unemployment will continue to fall.
However, it will only be mathematical government manipulation. More and more people will be unemployed, or settle for starter wages, contrary to government reports. Violence in Europe will escalate, as it will in the U.S.
Obama will forgo the race card in favor of FDR’s class warfare strategy. Hedge funds will continue to struggle, and mutual funds will flood the airwaves with advertisements for buying stock.
Bankruptcies, layoffs, foreclosures, and sovereign collapse will be the order of the day, and fear will be the overriding emotion.
Panic will not set in until much later, beyond 2012. As for the 2012 stock market….a very real test of the March 2009 lows. Day after day, the upcoming Presidential election will loom larger and larger, yet the underlying world deterioration will be similar to Chinese water torture.
It’s safe to say that 2012 won’t be pretty, but deleveraging never is.
In fact, many will ask “who is John Galt?”