In these all-too-interesting times, it is unfortunately a safe bet that 2016 will not be a dull year. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything we foresee will be bad news. To wit:
Donald Trump will be our next president, sparing Americans the disgrace of electing to the highest office in the land a woman who has known only appalling failure in her political life and whose chief character trait, recognized even by her supporters, is dishonesty Surprising everyone, Trump will carve out a reputation as the Education President. By 2018, even his worst detractors will realize that they can trust him over the education establishment to reshape our schools so that students actually learn skills needed to succeed in life. After loathing Michelle Obama and her entourage for eight years, Americans will have a love affair with Melania Trump. Mrs. Trump, who, it will soon become apparent, likes everything about America, will go on to become the most popular first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy. Fortunately for us all, Obama will leave office a few crucial yards shy of his lifelong political goal: destroying America and everything it stands for. Obamacare, the worst piece of legislation ever enacted by Congress, will be repealed in the nick of time. However, this will happen too late to spare 100 million Americans from back-to-back, 25% increases in healthcare premiums that are coming in 2016 and 2017. Two years after our groveling Apologist-in-Chief is gone, the West will decisively rout ISIS in Syria and Iraq, freeing up resources to deal seriously with al Qaeda and the Taliban. The new face of terrorism – Islamist paramilitaries armed with automatic rifles and explosives – will grow ubiquitous with attacks on an increasing number of soft targets in Europe and the U. S. Liberty itself, more than lives, will be the main casualty. After topping out in April, U. S. stocks will collapse, catalyzing a global bear market that will take four years to run its course. The Dow Industrials, currently trading around 17425, will be cut in half. Property values across the U. S. will fall commensurately, catalyzing an outright bust in California, and San Francisco in particular, that will be even more severe than the Great Depression. The U. S. dollar will continue to strength, overwhelming the efforts of the Fed and other central banks to stave off global deflation. Long-term interest rates will fall toward an eventual low of 1.64%. Investors who are positioned for this will reap huge capital gains of 35% or more. The smart money will finally get its comeuppance, with ‘private equity’ going the way of the dodo bird. Warren Buffett will be the last man standing as William Ackman, Carl Icahn and all the other glorified paper-shufflers descend into bankruptcy and disrepute. With a veto-proof Republican majority, Congress will finally overhaul and hugely simplify the tax code. This will pave the way for a genuine economic recovery during Trump’s second term. Gold, currently trading for around $1060, will make an important low near $814 in late 2016 or early 2017. The food industry, led by Chipotle, will embrace a new technology, teraherz spectroscopy, to guarantee the safety of the food chain. This will have implications not only for all sellers of food, but for hospitals, which will use the same process to accurately and instantly diagnose any of a hundred different ailments and diseases. Yet another use of this technology will be to detect explosives in shipping containers and other transport vessels. RICK’S PICKS
This post was published at Rick Ackerman on Sunday, January 3, 2015.