Post mortem 2012, predictions 2013

 

Post mortem on 2012 predictions:

 

Here's what I wrote this time last year, and how well my forecasts held up against reality:

 

There is a tired feeling behind the clean/green movement. This means the initial surge of expectations is over, and the real yoeman's work is going on now. Will we see some of the results in 2012? hopefully. We should see some changes in the energy realm, as the oil-sands come on line, and large natural gas resources start to enter the marketplace.

 

Not really a concrete prediction, The work is going on and continuing. But it's still true, when cleantech/green becomes invisible, and “just how things are done” then it will have arrived.

 

On technology,

we should see a directed attack on smart-phones/tablets, especially as these items are allowed to interface into people's home and office networks on a regular basis.

 

I expected to see a large hack on ios or android. Nothing that's the broad sweep we used to see on a regular basis. Instead I think hackers are more targetted in their victims, we've seen it in phishing attacks, and with every phone being a personal device and ID'd by the phone number, this could be a way to get the information desired, and leaving fewer traces. Less press about these types of attacks, but more damage.

 

Economics

I think there will be a crash in the US and other parts of the world. In a world with relative scales, I think the dollar will still be the strongest currency. China and Australia look to be in a housing crash, along with Canada. The EU has already suffered from overhyped real estate. However, no one has gone through the pain associated with a

crash.

 

It takes effort and pain to work through the hangover of a bubble. In the recent past, we've been fortunate enough to jump from bubble to bubble, and avoid the harsh payment. But now, I don't think there's anywhere else to run. The west saw a huge release of resources with the fall of the iron curtain. But without that support today, without the flood of resources and talent, it's unlikely to support such a huge growth.

 

Crash? no. Not in 2012. Things didn't go well, the recovery may not be enough to really help. Do I still think a crash is around the corner? Yes. We've seen Japan, the poster child for imminent demise start to move down, but this is after 20 years of doom predictions. But until things get bad, I don't believe they'll get better.

 

Things are going to move in an uneven pace in 2012. Likely to see areas currently supported take off. And some fields continue to remain the same “2 years away” that they were last year. Electric cars will probably fit that description. Again, I think that automated vehicles and laws allowing these things will determine the success of electric vehicles. Right now, I still expect to see an island economy be the first to wholly adopt and drive the electric vehicle industry. Possibility Japan again.

 

This is still a blue sky prediction. I still want automated transportation. Taking the driving away from the average person. When more than 70% of people think they're better than average drivers, that indicates something's wrong. Definitely poor math skills, but also poor judgment on how well people drive. Which indicates that I want these people, including myself, to no longer be in control of the vehicle.

 

 

The oil sands might be the huge release of natural resources that can recover from a bubble. But that will help the US economy, not other parts of the world.

 

Seeing some movement in western PA in response to the Marcellus Shale activity. I'm hearing stories of some hotels/motels filled to capacity.

 

We should see an acceleration in the extraction of resources from South American and Africa.

 

Seems like China is still aggressively pursuing natural resources from these two continents.

 

I don't know if we'll see a hyper inflation in the dollar, we've already had a huge increase in the money supply, but with quantitative easing, we haven't seen those dollars enter circulation. Once we see the banks use that cash, it'll affect things greatly. But for now, we're in a deflationary scenario more than inflationary.

 

I think I got this right. Increasing prices are one indication of inflation. Inflation is the increase of money (dollars) in the money supply, thereby reducing the value of each nominal dollar, making things look as if they cost more, when in theory the intrinsic value of the good has not changed. When dollars are given to the banks/treasury and then dumped into a vault and unused/uncirculated, this is not inflationary pressure.

 

I've been criticized for being too much of a bear, which is probably right. What good news can I come up with right now? Once the recovery starts, it will be a strong, but slow growth. But it will be a time where, as Kipling said, “Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tool:”

The challenge still lies before us, and once we stop listening to the vampiric/parasitic industries and start building fundamental growth, we won't succeed. However, once the rebuild has begun, it can create true wealth and prosperity.


Still haven't seen the recovery, so can't say if it'll create wealth or prosperity.


 

Predictions for 2013

Europe:

My guess is at least one country will abandon its attempt to join the EU. I'm not saying that a country will leave the EU, Greece would be my guess on that. Rather, a Poland or other eastern European country will look at the mess in western Europe, and decide that their citizenry shouldn't bail out a Greece/Spain/Italy or other more 'prosperous' country.


 

Technology:

3D TV will continue to disappoint as a sales driver. Just like HDTV is now standard in all new TVs. 3D will become standard in high end TVs. But I don't believe that people will buy a new TV, especially not to replace a LCD/Plasma with a 3D monitor.


 

Netflix/Hulu/etc

These guys will probably fall along the way-side as did Tivo, when cable companies agressively include all their boxes with the ability to time-shift programming. This will happen because of the recent court ruling that ALL channels, including over the air broadcast channels, carried on cable systems, can now be scrambled/encrypted. This means that all of the older TVs set up without cable boxes will now need to have a cable box to receive anything. Plus the cable companies are probably tired of being a utility and want the higher margins that come with providing services.


 

Robotics/Manufacturing

There will be a time next year when people in one industry will turn around and see the movement towards 'dark factories' places where humans don't need to be present in order to make goods. These factories will be located close to where the customers are. Probably here in the US, probably located near a transportation nexus. Likely located where prior manufacturing activity took place. Manufacturing will return to the US, but not the jobs, not in the old numbers, and not in support of the union organizations.


 

US Housing

Until there is a full accounting for the shadow inventory and other games being played with asset valuation, it is unlikely that we will see the end of a long depressed market. Unless there's a rush to sell all foreclosure inventory, in which case we'll see the robo-signing/robo-witness process go into full force. Small allowances will try to hide big errors.


 

We will see how well I do with these projections next year. But until then -


 

Somethings never change:

No Customers = No Company

Better doesn't mean Good

Need/Wants/Expectations are all different


 

Have a Happy New Year