Every January I try to make a few predictions for the upcoming year. This is not astrology, tea leaf reading, or prophecy. I am simply making some informed guesses based upon observations. My track record is pretty good, but it is certainly less than 100%. Here are a few:
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average high on January 1st was 16,500+. On the last trading day of the year, The Dow will be a net loss (under 16,500) for the year. I am guessing that there will be a large correction period this year, but it could also be from fallout from a major political event, or a world event.
- There will be a major political change in North Korea. I cannot see the Kim Jung Un regime lasting another 12 months. I know that part of North Korea’s strategy is to appear weaker than it actually is (see Stratfor’s analysis), but I think the regime is more tenuous than many believe. This regime change will likely come from an internal coup rather than an external invasion. I must admit that this is more wish than anything, but I do believe this has a good likelihood.
- The NSA related security issue will be one of the biggest stories of 2014, just like it was this year. However, part of 2014’s story will be about the private sector trying to both solve consumers’ desire for security. There will be new products and maybe even new companies creating products and services to safeguard consumers’ private data. Some of these will be mostly hoaxes, although there might be some new creative technology. There will also be a rising popular push for keeping private information off of the internet
- There is a high likelihood of Israel being a much more significant newsmaker than last year. The possibility of a strike on Iran has increased significantly after the last American and Iranian presidential elections. The ramifications of this would also be huge. Even if there is no Israeli strike on Iran, I believe there will be significant West Bank/Palestinian related violence, perhaps even another intifada.
- Gas prices will end the year lower than the $3.12 they are at now.
- Hollywood movies will be remarkably more upbeat in tone than they were in 2013. This will be especially true of the Summer Blockbusters, which will feature less apocalypse porn than in recent years.
- Hilary Clinton will formally announce her candidacy for President this Summer. She will announce this Spring that she is going on a “listening tour” and will announce her presidency surrounded by a sense that people are crying out for her to run.