Unlocking Real Value Blog

Top Ten Predictions for 2024

While I was hoping that the world wouldn’t get any more chaotic in 2023, that indeed has not been the case. From an unexpected war in Gaza, to the unceremonious “firing” of the Speaker of the House, to a near-coup in Russia. Let’s not forget multiple indictments and a civil conviction of a former President – all of which are actually bolstering his re-election campaign – and the highly unusual expulsion of a Congressmen by the House of Representatives.

And now we enter the all-important Presidential election year which all but assures that things will not normalize (whatever that even means anymore). I really should have my head examined for wading in here, but I can’t resist a challenge! Here we go (and as always – this is what I predict will happen – not necessarily what I want to happen).

(Things are moving so fast and furious these days I waited until the last minute to publish this as some of my predictions in draft form were already becoming outdated! Under number two I had predicted that Kevin McCarthy would not run for re-election – he beat me to the punch!)

10 – Joe Biden will be re-elected President of the United States. While the odds seem stacked against him today, and while I would love to predict that we won’t have the universally hated Biden-Trump rematch, we will. There is a long time between now and election day. Trump’s recent misstep over calling for the unpopular (even among Republicans) repeal of Obamacare, to his increasing blunders in speeches, to his talk of a one-day dictatorship, show that there is plenty of time for Biden to gain momentum. At the end of the day, concerns over Biden’s age will take a back seat to the prospects of a second Trump term.

(I am going to add a caveat here because, as mentioned above, the world is moving at warp speed right now and both candidates are older and facing other issues which may negatively impact or even end their runs. In the highly unlikely event Trump is not on the ballot, Nikki Haley will be the Republican nominee and she will win the Presidency. On the flip side, if something happens to Biden, the Democratic nominee will be Gavin Newsom – by reason of default – and he would beat Trump but lose to Haley.)

9 – The Republicans will recapture the Senate, while Democrats will retake the House. There are just too many Democratic seats up in 2024 in the Senate. West Virginia will almost certainly go to a Republican, and Democratic seats in states like Ohio are truly up for grabs. In a bright spot for Democrats, Ted Cruz is going to lose to Colin Allred in the Texas Senate race. On the House side, the Republicans have shown themselves to be unable to govern effectively, and many of the gains from the last election, particularly in New York State, will be lost. It won’t be a huge majority for the Democrats though – probably between 5 and 10 seats. The right wing of the Republican party will also gain seats within their caucus heading into the new Congress in 2025.

8 – There will be one short government shutdown in either January or February (when the two short-term continuing resolutions expire), but it will only last a few days. TheRepublicans will likely be blamed for the shutdown, and they will want to minimize the negative press in an election year and will quickly compromise; by forcing a shutdown they are just trying to make a point of showing how fiscally responsible they are so that they can use the issue to campaign on. Mike Johnson will survive as Speaker through the election, although his popularity will continue to decline within the Republican Caucus. (New leadership elections won’t take place until early 2025 so no predictions yet – but as an early hint to my 2025 predictions – there will be a lot of leadership changes in the next Congress.)

7 – There will be an agreement in early January which provides funding to Ukraine and Israel and will include a compromise on the border (but the legislation will not be as strong as the majority of Republicans would like to see). Since it is an election year, no other major legislation will be enacted into law. The focus, other than the election, will be on how to deal with, and regulate, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how to reign in Cryptocurrencies in light of the recent collapses of a number of Crypto exchanges. The House will continue its investigation of President Biden, which is now an official Impeachment inquiry, but it will not go to trial. The Republicans will realize by mid-year that the issue is hurting them in the polls and they will quietly put it aside to focus on the election.

6 – Turning overseas, Benjamin Netanyahu will lose his job as Prime Minister of Israel and be replaced by Benny Gantz. I am not sure if there will be any post-mortem on what happened on October 7th in 2024, but if there is, Netanyahu will shoulder most of the blame for the lack of preparedness for the attack. The Israeli ground offensive will end early in the year and troops will withdraw from Gaza before mid-year, as Israel will recognize that any continued occupation brings with it diminishing returns. Some international or UN peace keeping force will move in as a temporary solution (pressure from the U.S. will force Israel’s hand here) as the world tries to find a way to have the Palestine Authority take over (either in its current form or more likely in some kind of makeover so that it is not perceived as being corrupt). While tensions will remain high in the region, and flareups in the West Bank and in the North will continue, no further war will begin – none of the parties can really afford it. Iran-backed rebels will also pull back from their attacks on ships in the Red Sea as the U.S. will used continued military force to deter them.

5 – 2024 will indeed by the year that Putin loses power in Russia (and possibly his life). The change in leadership will finally lead to a cease fire and negotiations that will end the war, as the Russian people have lost patience for the war and the new leadership will realize that they simply can’t win in any case. Russia will withdraw its troops from Ukraine but remain in Crimea – so by the end of 2024 we will basically be back to where we were before this senseless and costly war.

4 – North Korea will continue to be provocative , but other than saber-rattling, will pose no real threat to the rest of the world. China will once again be consumed by domestic economic issues, so there will be no invasion of Taiwan. In fact, the fall of Putin will actually help bring the U.S. and China a little closer and may even bring the return of the Pandas! Trudeau will continue to lose support in Canada; while I don’t see an early election, it will become clear that his future as leader is in doubt. Ditto for Macron in France, whose popularity will also continue to fall. There will be a general election called in the UK (the PM could wait until mid-December to call an election, which would mean that the election would take place in early 2025, but I don’t think he will wait that long) and Labor will regain power.

3 – While it will be close, and the data is mixed and hard to read, I think that the U.S. will avoid going into recession in 2024. The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) will not raise interest rates again, and in fact there will be three interest rate cuts during the year. The stock market will end the year up less than 5%, with good economic news at home being counterbalanced by global geopolitical uncertainty. AI stocks will continue to outperform, but will not perform nearly as well as they did in 2023. There will be continuing trouble in the commercial real estate market, but the residential real estate markets will pick-up as interest rates go down.

2 – Miscellaneous people thoughts: Elon Musk will continue to do what he does – be provocative and controversial. X will continue to lose advertisers and subscribers, and its very existence will be called into question by year-end. By then, I’m not sure anyone, including Musk, will really care. Trump’s Truth Social will file for bankrupcy. And speaking of Trump, he will be convicted at least once as he campaigns throughout the year. Tucker Carlson will not be Trump’s running mate; in fact, he will end up picking someone pretty mainstream (Sarah Huckabee Sanders, perhaps?) not someone from the MTG/Gaetz side. Jim Harbaugh will leave Michigan for the NFL. And the romance between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce will end (sorry).

1 – Finally, my achilles heel in recent years, sports. This is what I wrote in my first draft of this blog on 12/2 before the season’s final games: “I just can’t see Georgia going undefeated for three straight years. And I know if I pick my Wolverines I will jinx them, so I am going to go ahead and predict that the Washington Huskies will win the national championship and keep my fingers crossed that I am wrong.” Now that the games are over and the four teams have been selected, I am going to switch to the Alabama Crimson Tide winning it all. The San Francisco 49ers will win the Super Bowl (I am sticking with this pick even though they lost badly to the Ravens on Christmas Eve; even if this becomes the Super Bowl match-up, it’s hard to beat the same team twice). ¬†Purdue will win the NCAA basketball tournament. The Milwaukee Bucks will reclaim the title of NBA champs, and the New York Rangers will win the Stanley Cup. Finally, the Los Angeles Dodgers will win the World Series. ( I actually drafted this last prediction before they signed Ohtani.)

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