2021 Predictions (Review)

Every year around New Years’ I do my predictions for the year ahead.  This is an important part of my year, and I pay attention to the news as the year plays itself out.  I can’t say that I’m rooting for my predictions to come true, especially when I’ve predicted something disastrous.  But at the same time, I do enjoy being right. 

Some years I am more right than wrong, and other years I don’t nail it as accurately.  I don’t have the pressure of a psychic or astrologer.  I’m just making educated guesses, so I don’t have to vague and cryptic.  No, there’s no, “this will be a year of greatness,” here. 

This means picking things that are pretty specific and really putting myself out there. 

Every year before I do my predictions, I score my predictions for the previous year, and I try my best to be brutally honest.  Since this is mostly an exercise within myself (it’s not like I have a ton of readers anyway), I can be very free to be as critical as possible.

This year, I’m champing at the bit to put in my 2022 predictions, but I cannot…will not…put those out the until I’ve scored my predictions for 2021.

If you are keeping score, I got 2 wrong. Four were a mixed result, kind of half right and half wrong. I scored 5 of them right. So, if 0 points are for a wrong, 1 for mixed, and 2 points for right-on-the-money, that means that I got a total of 14 out of 22. I can’t say that I’m happy with a 64% win rate. I’ve done better in past years. I do take a little comfort in having more right than wrong, or even half-right. But still, let’s hope I do better next year.

So, without further adieu…

  1. The stock market will have a losing year. On the first day of trading for 2021 (Jan 4th) the Dow Jones high was 30,674.  The S&P was at 3,768.  The NASDAQ was 12,698.  On the last day of trading for 2021, all three will be lower than those values.  I suspect that the Dow will have lost the most value, possibly even below 27,000.  The NASDAQ will be below 10k.

I got this one way wrong. 

Since I’m not doing this after Dec 31, I can only provide almost end of year numbers.  On 12/17, the Dow closed just over 35,000 and the NASDAQ was above 15,000.

I can’t say that I’m really happy about it, though.  My 401k is happy, and so is yours.  But if the stock market stays at record highs while the fundamentals of our economy are as weak as they are, then that means one of two things.  Either the free market speculative economics that have run the stock market since America’s inception are no longer in place, or the forces that are propping up the market higher and higher will eventually fail. 

If the first option is correct, then no one has any real way of understanding economics anymore.  Yes, you can have very low job participation rates, rampant inflation, and many companies facing crises that seem to be existential, and all the while stock prices do nothing but increase.

If the second option is correct, then a crash will be harder every month it’s delayed.  That will be worse for everyone, and no one should look forward to that at this point.

I did talk a lot about the market decreasing in November.  It had a winning November too, but so far it has had a losing December, with a few hard-hitting days. 

2. Oil prices will increase–and gas will too. The price of a barrel of oil as reported on the NASDAQ listing (CL:NMX), on the first day of trading was $47.62.  The prices in Q4 will be around $70.  These prices haven’t been seen since 2014.

Right – I got this one very right.  The oil price listed on the NASDAQ (CL:NMX) was $70.86.  Furthermore, the oil price was above $80 in November, before President Brandon released oil from the strategic oil reserves. 

We all know that gas prices have been outrageously high. 

3. The economy will be worse. The US economy will take a major hit, but that won’t be seen until at least later Q3.  I am guessing that when it hits, it will hit hard.  However, the media and politicians will say this is from both “the Trump economy” and “economic effects from COVID.”

Right – I got this one very right too.  The story of the back half of 2021 wasn’t just the economy not doing well, but it was even more that the economy was performing worse that the experts were predicting.  This sent the Democrats in control of the government trying to explain that things like low job participation rates and rampant employment were actually good things.

They have tried to blame Trump and COVID, but people aren’t believing it.  This has caused the administration to reach out to the media and ask them to only talk glowingly about the economic numbers.  Parts of the media have obliged, of course.  But it doesn’t matter.  Most American’s don’t believe the media anyway, and when you can’t eat at your favorite restaurant because it can’t find workers or gas up your truck without having a coronary, then it doesn’t matter what the media tries to tell you.

4. Houses will be worth less. Median house prices in Los Angeles county are currently at $720,604 (according to http://laalmanac.com/economy/ec37.php).  A big bubble will burst in the California housing market.  I am not sure if this will happen in 2021 or 2022, but when it does, it will be worse than 2008 for them.  Look for the median price to shrink to near $500k at least.  This will be even more striking if you look at the average house value.  Prices of real estate at the upper end of the market will see the biggest contractions. There will also be a decline in housing values in other places (maybe most places), but California will be worst.

Mixed – I was very wrong on this one too.  House prices have gone up almost everywhere.  I did say that this might start is 2022.  I do still think that this will happen.  The Federal Reserve has announced that they will be increasing interest rates up to 3 times next year.  That might start the decrease in demand and lead to a housing market crash. 

5. There will be bankruptcies. 

Mixed – I talked about Sears, and while they aren’t completely gone, there are now only 21 stores left operating the United States.  So, basically they are gone.  Belk also filed for Chapter 11.

However, the bankruptcies largely decreased from 2020.  It might pick back up in 2022 after Christmas sales and in the absence of government stimulus money.  We’ll have to see.

6. Big political struggles will increase, and changes will happen. 

Mixed – The political struggles are always there, and so this seems like a bit of something that will always be true.

Except… partisanship in America and in Washington in specific are beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.  People I know that are in Congress have told me the same thing from their perspective.  This isn’t really a new thing either.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but people were screaming about how evil they thought George W. Bush was.  I remember seeing protest signs with the words “Bush = Hitler” and seeing shirts and bumper stickers with Bush morphed into a monkey or with a Hitler mustache.

They day that Trump was sworn in to office there was a protest where the same types of signs and rhetoric was bantered about.  Trump was accused of being a racist, a fascist, a nazi, and all of the other things they’ve been accusing Republican presidents of for eons. 

I sometimes wonder if Lincoln (the first Republican president) was called a racist too.

But what is different is that people on the other side have become true fascists.  It is funny that Antifa (which stands for Antifaschista Aktion – a German pro-communist group that was vying for power in the leadup to Hitler’s takeover of Germany) goes around in all-black threating violence against people who believe different things than they do. 

Incidentally, the first fascist, Benito Musolini who coined the very term “fascist,” was supported by thugs wearing all black who threatened violence against people who believed different things that they do.  In America, we used to allow that.  It was inherent in the whole freedom of speech and press thing. 

But now anything one side doesn’t want allowed is labeled “hate speech” and is removed from the public discourse, even violently if they deem it necessary.

No, I was so far not correct about attempts to remove the filibuster rule, pack the court, or outlaw firearms.  But, that mostly means that the Democrats haven’t really felt they needed this tactic yet, but I wouldn’t ever put it past them.

7. Censorship is only beginning. 

Right – This one is a clear winner in my predictions.  The bans issued by social media have increased.  One might have thought that this would all wane after the social media channels were able to steer last year’s presidential election the way they wanted.

If you don’t believe me, in the weeks leading up to the election, a laptop that Hunter Biden had basically abandoned at a computer repair shop surfaced.  National intelligence services have verified its veracity.  It implicated Joe Biden in several scandals, mostly involving Ukraine.  If you haven’t heard much about it, I’m not surprised.  Twitter and other socials banned the mention of that story completely, and even removed posts about it. 

An MRC poll https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/rich-noyes/2020/11/24/special-report-stealing-presidency-20209 recently showed that when told about the story, 9.4% of self-identifying Biden voters report that they would have changed their votes.

If you still haven’t heard of this story in the months since the election, I’m still not surprised.  A google search of “Hunter Biden’s laptop” nets mostly New York Times, Politico, etc. stories that present the story from the pro-Democrat perspective.  For stories such as the MRC poll linked above, I had to use DuckDuckGo.

There have recently surfaced some reports that are even scarier of Gmail censoring emails https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4896227/user-clip-gmail-censoring-republican-campaign-emails , which only add to the growing stories of people losing their jobs for liking the wrong thing on Facebook, or calling someone by a now abandoned pronoun.

8. Many companies will tire of the strife.

Mixed – There were both signs that this is happening, while most companies are still going with the woke agenda.

However, the companies that have rejected a call to bow to the fake progressive mob.  Companies like Goya Foods, Trader Joe’s and Hyatt have in the last year dismissed the cancel culture mob.

9. Racial hysteria will lessen. 

Right –  There are definitely not people rioting in the streets and looting.  There are no “autonomous zones.”  The racial animosity against white people and Asians is seething under the surface, but there are currently no Republicans to pin the label of “racist” on that warrants people in the streets to advance the narrative.

Notice that I didn’t say animosity or division. I said that the hysteria, people on the streets, riots, etc. will mostly bubble under the surface. We haven’t seen the last of this, definitely, but it doesn’t suit the media and Democrat parties agendas at the moment.

10. Sports will start to return.

Right – All sports are back in full swing, although they have settled into a “new normal” where players out for a week or two due to covid is a regular part of life.  Baseball was the first major sport in the United States to have no restrictions on fan attendance.

11. International relations will become very heated. 

Wrong – While I think this will be the big story of 2022 and 2023, this cannot be said as a big story this year.  I’ll take the loss on this one, but comfort myself with feelings of being ahead of my time.

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