Unlocking Real Value Blog

How Did I Do? Review of my Top 10 Predictions for 2022

Time to review how I did with my 2022 predictions (comments in bold). It turned out to be another crazy year in so many ways!

While we were all hoping for a more normal 2021, unfortunately that did not happen. The drama started early in the year – January 6th to be exact – and continued with Omicron and dysfunction on full display in Washington as the year ended.

I am trying to be as optimistic as I can as I look forward to 2022, but I honestly see another year of turmoil ahead. Hopefully, amidst whatever transpires, we can each find some peace and tranquility within ourselves and with loved ones.

Here we go (and as always – this is what I think will happen – not necessarily what I want to happen):

11 – I am adding an 11th prediction because I don’t know if this will happen in 2022 or not – but I wanted to be on the record with my prediction in case it does. Donald Trump will NOT run for re-election. While he will probably extend the drama for as long as he can to maintain his grip over the party, he could surprise us all and announce something before the end of 2022 (he has already said that he will wait until after the midterm elections). This will likely become a 2023 prediction. As always, Mr. Trump was full of surprises. I was wrong (for now ….. wait until my new predictions), and he likely moved up his announcement thinking it would make it more difficult to indict him. That remains to be seen. But the kick-off to the campaign was met with resistance from many Republicans, he lost some credibility when Walker lost the Georgia race, and his legal woes compounded during December.

10 – Speaking of the midterm elections … The Republicans will retake both the House and the Senate. It will be close in the Senate, because it is a very difficult path for the Republicans, but they will emerge with 52 seats. The House will not even be close, and the Democrats will lose more seats than they ever have in a midterm election. The Democrats did surprisingly keep control of the Senate, and actually added a seat, helped by the poor quality of many of the Republican candidates. And the red wave in the House did not materialize after all. It seems that the overturning of Roe v. Wade motivated more Democrats and woman to vote. It was the Republicans to lose, and even though they won a slim majority, getting anything meaningful done will be very difficult.

9 – The primary season leading up to the midterms will be the ugliest yet – within both parties, the extreme factions of each party will pull farther apart. On the Republican side it will be the MAGA wing v. the so-called RINO wing, and on the Democratic side it will be moderates v. liberals. Trump-supported candidates will not do as well as expected and neither Herschel Walker or Dr. Oz will win Senate seats (although Walker might become the party’s candidate). Neither Walker or Oz did win, Trump candidates did poorly overall and there were some contentious primaries. Both parties seem as fractured as ever. On the Republican side, McCarthy is struggling in his attempt to become Speaker of the House, and on the Democratic side, while new, younger leadership has been elected, the progressives remain unhappy with the general direction of the party.

8 – The January 6th commission will continue to be stymied by witnesses who refuse to testify (and delay), but they will release a report before the election, sensing that a Republican majority will disband the committee. There will be some damning evidence presented against former President Trump and some of his allies, but overall reaction will be muted (given the partisan divide); two members of the House will resign because of their roles in the planning. No prosecutions will take place in 2022. A mixed bag here. There were no prosecutions (yet) and no House resignations. The committee was largely ignored by Republicans, and there were some refusals to testify, although some Trump administration officials did testify and provide damning evidence against the former President. I should have said that the committee would rush to get the report out before year-end – not the election – which they have announced that they will. And it now seems that the committee will recommend to the DOJ that some people get indicted (not clear who yet at the time I posted this), but these recommendations are not binding.

7 – Former President Trump will be indicted in NY State for business-related irregularities at the Trump Organization, and perhaps for tax evasion . And speaking of Trump, little or no progress will be made in launching his new media platform (True Social). While Trump himself has not been indicted yet, the business was found guilty of tax fraud. One can argue either way about True Social, but I would argue that it has not become nearly as popular as Trump would have hoped.

6 – The pandemic will become an endemic – it is something that we are just going to have to live with. Annual boosters will become necessary, and by the end of the year one will be developed that will also include the flu so that only one shot per year will be necessary. This should be developed by the fall. Other named mutations will occur, since much of the world remains unvaccinated, but the US will not shut down. (Even if the government tried, many people would not heed it, and I think the government knows that.) Continued lockdowns in some parts of the world, including Europe may continue, but so will protests and eventually the realization that we must live with it will proliferate and the number of  lockdowns will decline. Mostly right here. Annual boosters against new variants seem probable moving forward, but the flu shot remains separate for now. Lockdowns continued in China but were met with unprecedented protests, leading the government to “give in” in December and re-open the economy. We are going to have to live with Covid; disappointing however has been the low percentage of Americans that are getting boosters. 

5 – On the international front, the US will continue to be pressured to impose sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, but will continue to resist and no invasion will take place. Relations with China will remain tense but I don’t see a serious deterioration or any major blow-ups over Taiwan. China will be focused at home and continue to crack down internally as Xi continues to amass more power. The Olympics will be postponed because many athletes will not be able to get there. Talks with Iran on a nuclear deal will continue, but no new deal will be reached. The coalition government in Israel will fall, and Netanyahu will become Prime Minister again. Macron will lose the French election in a shocker, and Boris Johnson will survive a no confidence vote. Another mixed bag. Most of us were wrong about Ukraine, Macron did get re-elected, but in a much closer election than anticipated, and well Boris did not survive. But China is having its own internal problems, so while relations with the US aren’t good, they haven’t changed significantly. I was right about Netanyahu and no Iran deal.

4 – Inflation will remain high throughout the year, another factor that will hurt the democrats in the midterm elections. The Fed will raise interest rates two times during the year, not three as previously announced, as global economic growth will be slower than expected. The supply chain issues will continue to work themselves out and thing should be back to normal on this front by late summer. But with continued worries over Covid, the labor markets will continue to be unstable, with employers (retail, restaurants) continuing to have problems hiring. Mostly right other than the number and magnitude of the interest rate increases. Inflation remains a problem as does hiring, but the supply chain issues have improved dramatically. However, more economists are predicting a recession in 2023 (which rattled the markets in early December before better than expected inflation numbers mid-month led to a rally).

3 – The economy will chug along at a moderate pace, hampered by the labor issues mentioned above. Consumer confidence will be hampered throughout the year by higher prices, but gas prices should come down by mid-year. The hybrid work model will continue to become permanent, and many companies will adopt a flexible model of allowing employees to work from home at least a few days a week. A much smaller Build Back Better Bill will pass, but the bitterness caused by the delay, coupled with the impending elections, will make this the only major piece of legislation passed in 2021. The economy did, and continues to chug along, a smaller version of the Build Back Better Bill did pass, although was given an awful name that will haunt Democrats in 2024! While some companies did adopt more flexible models for employees, I was surprised by the number of companies – including many financial institutions and technology companies – that have now ended any remote work options. 

2 – The word of the year in the stock market will be volatility in light of the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid variants. But company fundamentals remain strong, as companies have been able to pass costs on to consumers. There will be a 10% correction during the year, perhaps in response to Fed tightening , but this is a normal part of any stock market cycle, and the markets will end up modestly for the year – but less than 5%. Cryptocurrencies will continue to gain in popularity, and they will continue to be extremely volatile, but will end the year higher overall. I was a little too confident here! There was a correction, but much larger than I thought, making 2022 a losing year, and well we all know what happened to Cryptos. But … I was right on the volatility part!

1 – Finally, my Achilles Heal the past few years, sports. Georgia will win the college football national championship, capping off an undefeated year and sadly beating my Wolverines. Predicting who will win the Super Bowl is a tough one, because as of now I see a lot of mediocre teams. But since I have to make a prediction, I am going to go with the Kansas City Chiefs. Baylor will win the NCAA basketball tournament. The Phoenix Suns will be NBA champs, and the Minnesota Wild will win the Stanley Cup. Finally, the Los Angeles Dodgers will reclaim their place as baseball champions. Well – I did get Georgia right! Not much else. Sigh.

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