Sunday, January 01, 2006

here's hoping for a better 2006

Happy New Year. Here's hoping that an asteroid does NOT hit our poor planet in August 2006, as one psychic is predicting. In the same article are predictions of Schwarzenegger's re-election, a Brazil win at the World Cup, the re-establishment of a draft in the US, and a stumble for Google.

Any of those could happen. But let's look at this set of particularly hapless predictions for 2005. Investment guru James Cramer predicted that in 2005:
1. Wal-Mart would stumble. Didn't happen, although they got bad PR. On the other hand, they took advantage of their response to Katrina to generate some positive PR and goodwill
2. There would be a new oil rush in North America. Not aware of it.
3. Fresh water would become the next great growth commodity. This could be true, but does not appear to have begun in 2005.
4. Housing would stay hot. Nope -- getting soft in hot areas like California, the DC area.
5. Merck would be transformed into a victims trust. Didn't happen.
6. After a series of suicide bombings here in the US, a national ID card would be instituted. Neither happened.
7. Every airline except JetBlue and Southwest would go out of business. Gosh, I just flew United a few weeks ago. Obviously didn't happen.
8. De facto President Bush would succeed in forcing reform of Social Security. Didn't happen.
9. The market’s love affair with the Internet and profitable growth would take a new form. You might be able to make a case for this.
10. The Chicago Merc would buy the New York Stock Exchange and merge it with the NASDAQ. Didn't happen.

Pretty unimpressive record there, Cramer. Better get a new magic eight ball. Remind me to buy an investment book by you and do the opposite of whatever you suggest.

Anyway, I'm already on record with one prediction for 2006 -- the Cleveland Indians will win the World Series. I think I'll stick with just that one.