Unlocking Real Value Blog

How Did I Do? Review of my Top 10 Predictions for 2023

Time to review how I did with my 2023 predictions (comments in bold). Given where we are, 2024 predictions are going to be pretty hard!

I thought that 2022 would be a more normal year – but it hasn’t been. From Russia invading Ukraine, to China once again locking down as the rest of the world reopened, to the overturn of Roe V. Wade, to the unexpected midterm election results, to ….

Black swan events are becoming more common. So, this year, rather than hope for more normal times, I’m going to go with the assumption that the world’s craziness will continue – and make some seemingly outlandish predictions; who knows, some of them might even come true!

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

10 – Donald Trump will not be a candidate for President by the end of 2023. I don’t think he really wants to run – witness his lackluster announcement – and many Republicans seem ready to move on, at least for now, as DeSantis gains momentum. He will also be indicted at least once if not twice in 2023; he thought that running again would shield him from prosecution, but I don’t think that that will be the case. Some undisclosed illness will probably be the reason for dropping out so that he can save face. Once Trump drops out, headlines will be dominated by questions about Biden’s future (I am assuming he announces early in the year that he is running), and whether he will be challenged in the Democratic primaries, or decide to withdraw himself since the Trump threat will be gone. What has resulted from what I got right here and what I got wrong is a great example of where our politics stands today. Trump was not indicted once or twice – he was indicted four times. But rather than force him out of the race, it has helped him increase his lead, at least with his MAGA Republican base, and fundraise. Biden did indeed announce his bid for reelection and he shows no signs of changing his mind in the face of increasing concern – even among Democrats – about his age. No serious challenges have emerged.

9 – Kevin McCathy will become Speaker of the House, but will be ousted by the end of the year. I’ve been going back and forth on this one, but I think he ultimately gets it simply because nobody else really wants it, and he seems willing to give up almost anything to get it; in fact, he will have to give up so much to get to 218 that he will effectively be a leader with no power from the start. Got this one exactly right – although I didn’t think he would last as long as he did. He had to give up so much to even get the job – which lead to concessions that doomed him from the start. And while the Democrats could have saved him, they didn’t trust him to keep his word.

8 – There will be no major legislation passed in 2023 (other than related to regulation of Cryptocurrencies), as the Republican-lead House will focus on Hunter Biden and impeaching Mayorkas and perhaps others. It will be the revenge tour for the January 6th Committee and the Trump impeachments. Grid lock and anger in Washington for sure. Pretty accurate here. There really was no major legislation that became law – the House passed a lot of bills that were never voted on or approved by the Senate. Definitely gridlock and anger (both between the parties and within the parties). Lots of focus on Hunter, still talk about impeaching Mayorkas and of course the Republican inquiry into impeaching Biden.

7 – Elon Musk will no longer be involved with Twitter on a day-to-day basis by the end of the year. This has been in the news of course this past week as I make these predictions, as he lost his own on-line poll about remaining as CEO. He already seems to be vacillating on his promise to name a new CEO – every day brings a change. I believe that this back and forth will continue for a while, so I decided to leave it in my predictions. He still may own the company (I wouldn’t be surprised either if he sells or it goes bankrupt), and even if he steps away he will never truly give up all control, but I think he will come under increasing scrutiny and pressure from the shareholders of Tesla and he will be forced to name new a CEO eventually, even this person is just ultimately a puppet. This is a tough one because while he did name a CEO, he is still by all accounts running the show, and running what is now called X into the ground. The new CEO is indeed a puppet and has had some pretty disasterous interviews which kind of confirm that she isn’t running the show. He has done more damage to this brand in a short period of time than I think anyone could have seen coming. Major advertisers are abandoning him left and right. And he probably doesn’t really care – more like a hobby for him.¬†

6- Putin will no longer be in power and the war between Russia and Ukraine will end. Again, I’m not exactly sure how this happens, but I think his position has become increasingly untenable. Perhaps an assassination, or perhaps a military coup, or even the likely-Trump route – a medical excuse to save face. Well, there was an attempted coup by the Wagner group. But Putin is still in power and the war continues. One could argue that his position is untenable, but he continues to survive, and the breakout of war in Israel has channeled much attention from Ukraine, a boom for Putin.

5 – China and Iran will continue to make minor concessions to quell recent uprisings, but these changes will be mostly cosmetic to appease the protesters, and the grips on power by the authoritarian regimes will continue. The Chinese economy will struggle during the first half of the year, as Covid cases and deaths rise, resulting in some new supply chain issues throughout the world. These issues begin to work themselves out in the Fall. North Korea will continue to provoke, but no major breakouts in hostilities will occur. Since China will be consumed with events at home once again, tensions surrounding Taiwan should not escalate. This was pretty accurate. North Korea continues periodic missile tests, but nothing too major. The supply chain issues did work themselves out earlier than I thought that they would. China and Iran do continue to hold their grips on power, although Iran made a lot of noise when war broke out between Hamas and Israel.

4 РIt will be a much quieter year for European politics, certainly as compared to 2022. There will be no major leadership changes as there were in 2021, although if there is one it will be in Spain. The Mideast overall will be quiet, but there will be increasing tensions within Israel (between the Jewish citizens and the Palestinians) as the new Netanyahu  government will continue to go further right; it has to in order to keep the far right parties in the coalition. I expect riots at some of the holy places in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, and increasing strains with the U.S. Рwith both the Biden Administration and Jewish groups as the building of settlements will accelerate, and some rights of the Palestinians and LGBTQI+ citizens are threatened. Riots? Maybe a little more than that, and while the West Bank (and Northern Israel) saw fighting, the real flair-up was in Gaza when Hamas attacked Israel in early October. Relations were kind of strained before the war as the Israeli government tried to reduce the power of the Supreme Court, but the U.S. has firmly support Israel in the war against Hamas Рuntil the international pressure over the number of civilian casualties has begun to cause some strain. Another year in the Middle East and more violence. The brief cease fire is set to end as I write this at the end of November.

3 – The U.S. will go into a mild and shallow recession. But inflation will continue to ease, food prices will finally start to come down, and the recession will be very short. The U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates two more times (25 basis points) early in the year, and while there will be hope for an interest rate cut before year-end, this will not come to fruition, as the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) will remain determined to keep inflation under control. I was a little early on the recession call (stay tuned), but inflation has eased. The Fed raised interest rate three times, not two, but did pause at the end of the year and did not reduce rates during the year.

2 – While the stock market usually likes political gridlock, as government spending is kept in check, 2023 will be another volatile year for stocks, although not nearly as bad as 2022. Bonds, however, will start to perform better. All of the major stock indices will end the year essentially flat to slightly down. Cryptocurrencies will remain in the headlines, and as mentioned above, some regulation of the industry will be the only significant legislation passed during the year. The overall performance of Cryptos will be negative. Well, not so good here. A rally during the first half of the year, followed by a bad third quarter, and a rally near year-end, left indices higher overall than I thought that they would be. No legislation on Cryptos quite yet, although they were in the news, and many cryptos did rally during the year, led by Bitcoin.

1 – Finally, sports. I am going to go with my heart, hope for another Black Swan event and pick Michigan to beat Georgia to win the college football national championship. The Buffalo Bills will win the Super Bowl. Virginia will win the NCAA basketball tournament. The Boston Celtics will be NBA champs, and the Boston Bruins will win the Stanley Cup. Finally, the Houston Astros will win the World Series. I continue my pathetic sports picks for another year! At least the hometown Texas Rangers won the World Series (although I am not a huge baseball fan). I should stop making sports predictions – but I won’t!

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