Reader Nominations for Best and Worst Predictions for 2011

It’s the time of year where pundits and professional forecasters pull out their crystal balls and offer their prognostications for the new year.

I’ve never been keen about forecasting. Even though we offer views of what might happen, it usually falls in the realm of applying well established patterns to new fact sets (as in the latest chapter of “Obama will sell out to the banks yet again.”) and thus falls short of what I consider to be an act of divination.

I thought readers might have fun sharing what they thought were the best and worst predictions for 2011, as well any sightings of non-predictions (as in so certain to happen or otherwise blindingly obvious as to not merit the label “prediction”). Please be sure to give the source.

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  1. Cedric Regula

    Ok, I can’t resist. For the non-prediction category, there is this:

    “I can raise interest rates in 15 seconds” – The Honorable Ben Bernanke, via 60 Minutes broadcast.

    But I’ll keep an eye out for serious stuff and get back with anything else. There was the Morgan Stanley prediction of the Fed raising rates on 6/2010, but Yves is asking for 2011 stuff already. Hmmm. Roubini predicts no more chance of double dip? I’ll have to think about that some more. Chanos says it’s a great time to short china? That’s tough to figure too. Schiller predicts home prices to fall further in 2011. That’s getting warm for a good prediction candidate. Everyone passes the stealth stress test in January and Ben allows all banks to begin raising dividends, and they do? To weird, I’ll not touch that with a ten foot pole. GM stock stays above its IPO offering price? The EU has solved its problems and it’s clear sailing for 2011, 2012, then something bad may happen in 2013?

    Obviously I need to think about this some more.

  2. KareninCA

    well, Celente’s predictions are always interesting:

    However, I am very skeptical re two:

    1) Celente expects big increases in crime in the U.S., due to economic desperation. But the demographics here just aren’t suited to a big crime increase. This country is growing *old*. What are we going to get, folks shoplifting Ensure??

    2) He also expects that the young people of the world will unite to rebel. ha. maybe in particular countries they will rebel – China, Greece, France. But the young people I know in the U.S. who don’t have jobs are not nearly miserable enough to become revolutionaries. Or, more specifically, my generation (Gen X) isn’t going to risk an encounter with a psycho legal system, and the boomers’ kids are still too pampered.

    1. attempter

      But the young people I know in the U.S. who don’t have jobs are not nearly miserable enough to become revolutionaries. Or, more specifically, my generation (Gen X) isn’t going to risk an encounter with a psycho legal system, and the boomers’ kids are still too pampered.

      That may seem to be true so far. But I think it’s time we stop telling people they aren’t going to rebel, and focus only on telling them that they are going to, and here’s why they’re going to, and give the reasons from there.

      A prophecy isn’t supposed to just be passively “correct”. It’s supposed to be active toward fulfillment, as much as possible self-fulfilling.

      BTW, it’s not misery in itself that makes for a political situation, but the downward change in economic conditions and the psychology of those experiencing that change. (Unfortunately, according to history this downwardly mobile middle class is more prone to turn to fascism. But it’s our job to help change that pattern.)

      1. Leviathan

        I’m with attempter, here. Gathering with family over the holidays I am, frankly, appalled and very saddened by the stories from 20-somethings, all bright, educated, and fairly clueless about where they are going in life.

        College grads are dividing into two groups: very directed, ambitious and motivated vs. the “caring” products of liberal arts schools who don’t know how to get onto a career track and are drawn into (often repeated stints) volunteering with Americorps. I am growing worried that the latter group is being exploited by non-profits that can only exist on government grants and heavily subsidized slave labor. These outfits will never actually hire young people because they can’t afford to. Now some of my cousins are entering their mid or even late 20s with few marketable skills and no clue how to find a “real” job. Worse, they’ve been poisoned into thinking “careers” are bad and only tools have ambitions.

        I am very worried. We are talking about 30% or so of an extended family that has done pretty well over the past two generations. Is this the beginning of the end? I hope they DO rebel, frankly.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          Isn’t this what always happens to the third generation of a successful family in the absence of compulsory military service? Was Aristotle making the same complaint around 330 BC?

        2. Doug Terpstra

          Your “solidarity” with attempter is good for a chortle. Thanks for the levity.

          If I understand correctly, you are deeply worried that pseudo-compassionate liberal arts students, clueless about legitimate profit-oriented careers in finance, state security, and/or war, will be unwittingly exploited by non-profit slavers into foolish humanitarian missions including science and research into renewable energy, health and sanitation, hydrology, ecology, regenerative agriculture or sustainable urbanism. And it is your sincere hope that these dunces will awaken and dedicate themselves to more worthy ambitions like “real” jobs at Wall Street or Wal-Mart and rebel against the squandering of taxes and government grants on such fruitless missions.

          I’m not sure if attempter shares your vision, but I like your sense of humor. Even the Dalai Lama himself would surely enjoy a great Buddha belly-laugh from your timeless wisdom.

          1. Paul Repstock

            Doug Doug..It is the wrong season for that type of slam/slur.

            It would have been enough to say “liberal arts students, clueless about legitimate profit-oriented careers”…Which can easily be characterized as an inevitable result and first casualty of an economic downturn.

          2. attempter

            I think he was trying the turn-the-tables trick, which I like when I see it done well. I try to do it myself whenever there’s an opportunity.

            But this was pathetic. Non-responsive, really. What’s it even replying to?

        3. kareninca

          “Now some of my cousins are entering their mid or even late 20s with few marketable skills and no clue how to find a “real” job. Worse, they’ve been poisoned into thinking “careers” are bad and only tools have ambitions.”

          boy, they are pampered little beasts
          welcome to reality, kids

          1. smithy

            My prediction for 2011 is that more boomer parents who lived through a time of relative peace and the greatest economic expansion in US history will be forced to move in with their kids or rely on on us to help them pay their bills but will continue to be disrespectful and tell us what brats we are.

          2. smithy

            I should probably explain that one, though it might be self-explanatory.

            Millenials fully expect to take care of our parents when they are older. This is not just an opinion. You can look it up on Pew Research. Boomers don’t. Boomers expect to independent in retirement and are incredibly disgruntled when they aren’t getting it. We are tired of divorce and the lack of close-knit family ties. We are tired of family coming second to material concerns. Millenials are the one group still willing to give up future tax earnings to save Social Security and Medicare for Boomers. Healthcare reform helps Boomers, but does little for us (the subsidies to buy insurance are too small, it’s just a plan to get us to subsidize their higher risk with little benefit), when we are the ones that need health care the most. Boomers want to cut programs that help us, like education and other social programs for children (most Millenials are still children and I think half are children of recent immigrants).

            Sooo, let me say that one again. Most Millenials are still minors and about half are children of immigrants. Now, why do you think there isn’t a lot of successful protesting going on??? Millenials are also community oriented. They want solutions, not to create problems. There have been plenty of protests. The media doesn’t carry them often. The Iraq War protests are still the largest in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD, but I doubt you will see Millenials destroying private property, no…that’s a Boomer thing…think Town Hall meetings with the Tea Party…

            When we figure out solutions to your problems, we’ll let you know.

        4. noash

          Not sure if the 20-somethings will rebel out of injustice, but based on my experience there are two groups as well – the hard-working and dedicated and the ones who think that the world revolves around them and they should have been made VP of a company after 6 months on the job. If this second group rebels it will be because no one is giving them what they think is “owed” to them.


            “Revolutions do not evolve in a vacuum….”

            It will never be the the lazy and the entitled that rebel. Rebellions are always led by the resourceful and productive citizens of a nation…. “Successful” rebellions always target injustice, exploitation and corruption. If things get bad enough, every one of you will hop on the “REVOLUTION” band wagon. “It’s in your genes….

            What…! Is this something new…?

            Best regards,


      2. kareninca

        “But I think it’s time we stop telling people they aren’t going to rebel, and focus only on telling them that they are going to, and here’s why they’re going to, and give the reasons from there.”

        Are you f*cking joking? I’m not going to “tell” anyone to get entangled with our psycho police state. who are you, attempter, that you feel you should have that role??

        if they have any brains, they won’t listen to people who “tell(ing) them that they are going to (rebel), and here’s why they’re going to, and give the reasons from there.” Unless you mean by “rebel,” something like picketing, then well, okay. in which case they’ll still probably get the sh*t kicked out of them by the police state.

        1. attempter

          Stop being foolish. The police state is already assaulting us and will do so no matter what we do. If you think meekly hiding in a hole is going to save you, you’ve got another thing coming.

          And you sure are clueless if by “rebel” you thought I meant run out onto the street and start physically fighting with the paramilitaries. Get a grip already.

          I was trying to expand the discussion. Thank goodness not everyone is as craven and conformist and box-thinking as you.

          Who am I to say we need to resist? A citizen. If I, and others like me, don’t say it, who’s going to?

          News flash: No hero is going to come from on high to save us. We’re not keeping things warmed up for when the A team arrives. If anyone’s ever going to do anything, we’re it.

          But I’m glad I was able to expose your core knee-jerk elitism, that you were so offended that a mere peasant like me would presume to express thoughts on what we the people should do. (He doesn’t even write for an A-list blog, let alone the legitimate media! Good heavens, look at the heathens they let into this place!)

          Sorry, elitist. I’m a citizen. That’s my credential.

          But you can go back to your sheep pen. I won’t disturb your “baa”-ing again.

          1. kareninca

            attempter, read again what you wrote:

            “But I think it’s time we stop telling people they aren’t going to rebel, and focus only on telling them that they are going to, and here’s why they’re going to, and give the reasons from there.”

            and then read my post again. I wasn’t objecting to rebellion, I was objecting to your presuming to *tell* other people to rebel. I am no conformist. in fact, I am such an anti-authoritarian that I find people who tell other to rebel, obnoxious. my generation – GenX – is not a generation of sheep. we went through the 70s as our formative time, and we are extremely cynical, and for good reason.

            speaking of cynicism, are you yourself rebelling? if so, how? or are you just telling others to?

          2. attempter

            1. I wasn’t objecting to rebellion, I was objecting to your presuming to *tell* other people to rebel.

            So much for politico-moral exhortations and strategy/tactical leadership throughout history. Gandhi, King, etc. – how dare they! I mention them not to say I have their level of ability, but only to stress how your doctrine would reject them, along with all other self-appointed leaders. (I bet you use terms like “self-appointed” as a pejorative.) That’s what you’re getting at, right? You hate direct action, and those like me who advocate it, and believe only in duly authorized change through the electoral process, or some such wretched concept? At any rate, that’s what I infer from your attack.

            2. speaking of cynicism, are you yourself rebelling? if so, how? or are you just telling others to?

            My whole life is basically two things: Calling for political and economic transformation through relocalization, doing so here, on my blog, and elsewhere, and involving myself in food relocalization activities in particular. I’m also tossing around the idea of putting together a presentation on Foreclosuregate and then presenting it at community gatherings.

            So it seems to me I’m doing all I can with the resources I have – advocating a new way of life, and trying to live it.

            And yes, most horrifying to you – every day I tell others, here and elsewhere, that they should do the same thing. Yes indeed, anarchists are supposed to proselytize.

            I don’t know what “generation X” is except for a marketing ploy and excuse for laziness on the part of what’s otherwise normal laziness. I’m part of that cohort, and I’ve never understood what was supposed to have been so bad about being a child in the 70s. It seems to me that as far as having a decent childhood goes, I got in just under the wire, before the real nightmare set in.

            So we’ll have to chalk up your cynicism, as you call it, to your own failings. Your delusions of reformism and your cringing and outrage over any non-famous* citizen calling for the anarchist mindset and direct action are nothing new, and therefore can’t be accounted for by any mythical Gen X apathy curse.

            *I gather there are celebrities who could’ve said the exact same things I say, and you’d find it wonderful and inspiring. I wonder who it is?

          3. kareninca

            oh, wow. food relocalization. that’s really sticking your neck out. ha ha ha. and thinking of putting together a presentation re foreclosuregate. sounds like I’m easily doing as much as you are, despite my cynicism.

            back to my community garden plots

          4. kareninca

            *I gather there are celebrities who could’ve said the exact same things I say, and you’d find it wonderful and inspiring. I wonder who it is?”

            huh? I have absolutely no idea what you are referring to. I don’t follow celebrities.

            Food localism is the navel-gazing reformism of people who don’t want to get involved with big ugly things like our wars and our lack of civil liberties. I love food localism; it’s a nice hobby and world view and certainly better than nothing. But it’s no real rebellion; for most of its practitioners it’s a way to spend loads of time avoiding dealing with the hard stuff.

          5. kareninca

            Okay, I went to your blog. You do talk about the hard stuff. But then, voila, responding to it in the real world consists of actually physically doing the same sort of stuff I already do, e.g. food localism. However, I have enough sense to realize that that is no big accomplishment. You just blab a lot more. Well, no harm in blabbing; just don’t think that it counts as rebellion.

          6. attempter

            You’re officially the most clueless person I’ve ever seen on the Internet.

            Even casual observers know food relocalization is considered by many to be one of the pivotal battlegrounds of our time. That’s why Big Ag and the Congress just rammed through a bill whose goal is to destroy it.

            And you clearly understand nothing about the real implications of Foreclosuregate. Since I find it hard to believe that you find boring the idea of trying to leverage it into an assault on property-in-land itself, I have to assume you’re just incapable of comprehending it.

            But don’t worry. Whatever movement arises will do just fine without sheep like you. We’ll definitely be better off without you.

    2. Iolaus

      “…my generation (Gen X) isn’t going to risk an encounter with a psycho legal system…”

      Nobody of any generation wants to risk dealing with our psycho legal system. If our beloved government can throw Bradley Manning into solitary without even charging him, they can do it to any of us, and I think we all know it. I realize the inflammatory nature of typing the phrase “police state,” but with my limited imagination I lack a better phrase.

    3. East Coast Cynic

      Based on the 20 somethings I’ve known in recent years, I tend to not expect revolution and crime, but rather more video game playing, more drinking, more political apathy and shacking up with friends or relatives with increasing unemployment and underemployment.

  3. mannfm11

    The air is going to come out of this mess and they are going to discover there can’t be a double dip because there hasn’t been a recovery. See the weekly unemployment claims that are still at recession levels.

    Hopefully they will get around to discovering there are crooks at work on Wall Street.

  4. John Locke

    I predict that financial markets in 2011 will be
    just as rational as they were in 2010. Neither
    more rational, nor less rational.

    I don’t believe in a meaningful recovery in 2011
    for the job market in the US. There was a lot
    of “wealth” destruction in 2008-2009.
    But it might happen if credit expands,
    if richer people spend more than expended,
    or if there’s growth in US exports.

    The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
    will issue its final report around January.
    I expect the report to mention unregulated
    derivatives (CDS, which served as “protection”
    for CDOs etc in 2008) and say that
    unregulated derivatives sold by anywho
    are a “bad thing”. Will Congressional
    Democrats agree? Maybe some, but I expect
    many would rather wait till the next crisis
    for positive proof; things are complicated
    in high-finance.

    Bill Clinton said the other day that Congress
    will have to work by Dem/Repub compromise.
    I guess that’s true; the other way is

    I expect dissatisfaction with so-called
    mortgage-gate to continue, but there are
    no elections in 2011 and lots of people like
    watching TV anyway.

  5. Taylor

    Celente expects big increases in crime in the U.S., due to economic desperation.

    With the lawlessness on display in the government (torture) and big finance (where to start? foreclosure fraud?), I think we are increasingly going to see a decline in the rule of law throughout society. The explosion of the “black” economy is going to be one manifestation of this.

    With a trigger-happy police force armed with tasers and eager to use them, I don’t think we’ll see so much open confrontation. OTOH Wambaugh’s New Centurions comes to mind as their role in our evolving society….

  6. Doly

    A good example of bad predictions:

    The last prediction – “expect black swans” – is just classic cover your ass in case you get it all wrong

    My corresponding predictions would be:

    · The US recovery will just not happen and the good signs so far will just show to be a temporary relief while going down the Devil’s staircase.
    · Europe and Japan will also be going downhill.
    · Emerging markets will go up, down, sideways and out of the page – not necessarily in that order – but certainly won’t follow a single direction all year long.
    · Interest rates will come out of freezing zero in several of the biggest currencies, just because central bankers have to be seen doing something and they don’t have many options on what to do.
    · Commodity prices will go up but not gradually – it will be rather in volatile leaps.
    · Inflation as usually defined may or may not appear in developed economies depending on how central bankers choose to do their job, but their usual consequences on ordinary people – in other words never having enough money to buy what they used to be able to afford – will be clearly felt in both developed and emerging economies.
    · Global imbalances will get worse.
    · The euro won’t disappear just yet but by the end of the year it will be common knowledge that it’s doomed and just a matter of time till it dies.

  7. aet


    For people in general, I have but the one, not original to me, and it is of some antiquity.

    Whatsoever a person sows, that they will also reap.

    For myself, I predict that, as usual, I shall continue to climb fig trees trying to pick grapes, but I’ll only fiond walnuts.

    1. kareninca

      “Whatsoever a person sows, that they will also reap.”

      huh? I take it that you mean in some sort of afterlife. I sure don’t see that holding true on earth.

      1. aet

        I meant literally: when I plant carrot seeds, I get carrots, not ponies, at harvest time.

        Why must people seek so hard for obscure meaning?

        1. hibikir

          When I plant carrots, I will tell other people that I planted ponies, make a mint in the process, and others will be disappointed when they see the result.

          The original quote implies that the world is, in essence, fair: That the quality of your work dictates your reward. Many of us don’t believe this is the case at all.

  8. fundana

    I apologise that this is outside of the guidelines of the question but I’d like to post possibly one of the worst calls for 2010 made by surely one of the worst economists to have ever stolen oxygen from more worthy beings (e.g. cockroaches). That is Brian Wesbury’s call made on CNBC in December 2009:

    Brian Westbury on CNBC on, 12/22/2009, “But I still think by the end of next year we will have 5, maybe even 5 and a half percent interest rates because I expect an economy that’s growing at 5, 5 and a half percent.”

    This is the same guy that for most of 2008 didn;t think the US economy would not have a recession even though it was already in one.

    Just had top put this out since there is no accountability in the msm for the poor predictive abilities of economists.

    1. jim

      Brian Wesbury? Oh yeah, he is part of the Kudlow propaganda news show. The ELITE have to control public perception, and Kudlow, Brian Wesbury, and many others are there for the job of fooling the public. Not to mention FOX news and the rest.

    2. Paul Repstock

      Don’t be so hasty now….I don’t know about you, but I would be very happy if I could borrow half a mil at under 5%..

      1. aet

        At that daily rate of interest, I’m sure you’d not have a problem…provided you could provide some solid security for the loan.

        1. Mikko

          Hey Fundana, didn’t Wesbury predict an economic recovery, rising stock prices and higher commodity prices as well? So, he was right 3 out of 4. Not bad. I’m glad I listened to him and went long stocks. By the way, bonds have been hammered in the last few months.

    3. Mikko

      Hey Fundana, didn’t Wesbury predict an economic recovery, rising stock prices and higher commodity prices as well? So, he was right 3 out of 4. Not bad. I’m glad I listened to him and went long stocks. By the way, bonds have been hammered in the last few months.

  9. Haitian Eviction

    Expect more assurances that we live in a Police State; the moneyed tiers continue to be shielded from it completely; occassionaly passing judgement or amusement at the misery of the wage slaves trials and tribulations.

    Merry Cringle, pass the Chomsky:

    The single-minded focus on maximizing short-term elite economic and military interests continues unabated, pouring billions into the Afghan land grab while US families huddle in the homeless shelter. And the 4th estate will continue with a remarkable ability to “manufacture consent,” aided by the mass media and intellectuals, that has blinded most Americans to the truth of what their leaders actually do in their names. Finally, indifference to U.S. and international public opinion, which is far more progressive and humane than that of the elites, will continue: unilateral and unaccountable war in every corner of the globe, a failed drug war, evisceration of remaining social safety nets, criminalizing poverty and homelessness. while legislating their growth!

    1. Rex

      “Expect more assurances that we live in a Police State”

      I think that should be more assurances that we don’t live in a police state, but more evidence that we do.

    2. aletheia33

      thanks and could you please pass the chomsky source (if this is chomsky) or if this is your own version of “chomsky”, please pass on specific source of your inspiration.

    3. aletheia33

      this is one of my favorites (for better or worse), from michael panzner Q&A published at bespoke investment group:


      Q: 4) What will be the biggest surprise of 2011?

      MP: It’s a toss-up between a full-scale cross-border conflict in Asia or the Middle East, initial steps towards dissolution of the European Monetary Union, or a legislated timetable for the abolishment of the Fed.

      5) How long will the current bull market continue?

      Only a matter of days.

      13) What’s in store for the US economy in 2011?

      I see red all over.

      14) The consensus seems to think that the employment picture will get better in 2011, albeit slowly. Do you agree or disagree with this call?


      15) What are the biggest problems that could emerge in the coming year that could derail the recovery, and how likely are they to occur?

      I don’t believe there has been any “recovery,” as such. Some parts of the economy have clearly benefitted from an unprecedented orgy of easy money and public sector profligacy, but changing economic and political realities will likely put an abrupt end to all that as January rolls around.

      16) Are Ben Bernanke and the Fed helping or hurting the recovery?

      Let me say this: I wonder how Ben Bernanke feels about being the last Chairman of the Federal Reserve?


  10. eric anderson

    Remember the end of year shows Louis Rukeyser used to do, detailing panelists’ predictions from the year before? Those were excellent programs in which many “experts” would have to eat humble pie.

    This is a bad time for the prediction industry. It is too difficult to predict what the next Congress will do. How many of those who were elected on a “change” platform are sincere? Europe also is a source of major uncertainty. The easiest prediction is that leaders in both US and EU will do more of the same — which is to say they will follow their own agendas, in contradiction to what the majority of the people want. Perhaps that will eventually lead to this Onion story coming true…

    American People Hire High-Powered Lobbyist To Push Interests in Congress,18204/

  11. steve from virginia

    A diversion, perhaps … but the BEST call for the metaphysic was Dennis Kneale declaring the recession over on CNBC on June 3d, 2009. Wow! Did he take some heat for that!

    Dennis was fired from CNBC a year later: in September 2010 the NBER declared the recession over, June of 2009.

    Kneale was and probably still is a horse’s ass but it was a great call.

    1. Rex

      I don’t see any evidence that either opinion was correct even though there is chronological correlation. Does that make it a double-dip mistake?

    1. emca

      An astute observation; but what does that say about one who makes no predictions?

      Your quote by Cyril Connolly:

      “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

      is somewhat ironic given that it appears in a public media. But as blogging many times feels as though your writing for yourself, I won’t take exception…outside Connolly being quoted:

      ” We are all serving a life sentence in the dungeon of the self.”

      Does this mean that ‘self’ is not a good place to be?

  12. Steve Sewall

    How about Meredith Whitney’s prediction of a “wave of muni defaults spurring layoffs and social unrest”? On CNBC:

    NY Post sums her up:

    * 50-100 cities and towns will likely default next year.
    * Estimated debt load of cities & states: $2.8T.
    * New Jersey is in a three-way tie for No. 2 on her worst states list.

    And the (hostile) response from Wall Street, as reported in NY Post:

    Here BTW is what the NYT is saying about how the State of Illinois plans to handle its debt:

    While not a prediction, this one hits home (I’m from Illinois).

    At the end of a FT Contributing Editor Simon Shama predicts that Obama will at long last level with the American people in his 1011 State of the Union address. I wish.

    Thanks Yves for all you do.

      1. Steve Sewall

        I hear you Attempter. Thanks. Had missed the Whelan clip, and it’s a good one. Having been deep underwater for 2 years and having been shot down (deviously) four times by my lender, GMAC, for a HAMP loan mod, I’d been thinking along those lines myself.

        It’s a matter of time, I think, until pre-foreclosure (e.g. HAMP application process) fraud surfaces as an issue as big as foreclosure fraud. Some of my experience is at

        I just learned that I should never have applied for HAMP loan mod in the first place! HAMP is for non-government sponsored (GSL) loans. Therefore my loan owner, Freddie Mac, being government sponsored, is not participating in HAMP. So I never should have been told my GMAC or their counsellor to put in a for HAMP mod in the first place! Of course, that didn’t stop GMAC from processing my HAMP application. GMAC has traind its thousands of customer service people to cite HAMP guidelines at EVERY turn. It was only in a two-hour Deep Throat-type conversation with a GMAC supervisor that I learned what I say here. And of course that conversation is off the record. It never happened.

        Funny how no one – not one of 40 GMAC people I spoke with, not my Republican Congressman, not my Democratic Senator, not the Illinois Dept of Professional Regulation, not the Treasury Dep’t and not the White House itself could/would set me straight on this simple point.

        Time to fight.

        1. aletheia33


          this confuses me, as i was told during my HAMP application process that the “investor” of my loan is Freddie Mac. in addition, my HAMP “permanent” mod agreement (which may or may not be “permanent” or in any other way worth the paper it’s written on i suppose), says across the bottom of every page:

      2. eagerly beaverly

        Wrong wrong and more wrong. Most mortgagors have mortgage escrows. The banks will front the money to pay your real estate taxes. Then they will increase your monthly payment to fund the shortage.

        If you don’t have a mortgage escrow, the banks will almost always (it takes a while) pay your back taxes and then force place a mortgage escrow to cover the back taxes it paid and any future taxes it will pay.

        If the bank doesn’t pay the taxes, the property is sold to the tax buyer and a deed will eventually be issued, wiping out any prior security interests, like mortgages.

    1. eagerly beaverly

      I usually refuse read the opinion pages of the old gray lady but today I went against my better judgment and read it because it involves my beloved IL.

      The article was written by idiots and morons. Their ‘solution’ is :

      “Ultimately, states are going to have to acknowledge that more effective, targeted tax increases are inevitable, and can be achieved if they are structured properly. Governors also must explain to voters that they have cut spending. The nation’s richest taxpayers just got a windfall in the federal tax deal extorted from President Obama by Republican senators. States should not shy away from asking for more help from those most able to pay. ”

      So in short, they’re asking IL, easily the most dysfunctional state, to:

      1) Raise taxes. This will fail. IL has a spending problem, not an income problem.

      2) Cut spending. No shit, Sherlock. Our budget hole is large enough to fit a 747 through it.

      3) Make ‘the rich’ pay. Oh yeah that always works, ‘the rich’ should bail out the profligate.


      4) State socialism – the states with the most F’d up budgets should ask prudent states that actually balance their budgets to pay.



      Hard to believe, but it’s true. If and when I buy a house next year, a significant portion of my $10,000 a year in real estate taxes are going to pay people who no longer even work for the government. They’ve sucked sucked sucked and they can’t stop sucking until they kill the host.

      Oh that’s right, this is nakedcapitalism where the government bureaucrat is sacred and the rich have stolen everything they’ve got.

      But, for once, isn’t it possible to imagine a world where the RICH have nothing to do with bankrupting IL?

      It’s the pensioners with the pension and healthcare for life upon retirement that have killed the host.

      1. ScottS

        You know you have to pay into a pension to get money out of it, right? Do you know how pensions work?

        Pensions are in trouble because of fraud from our lovely “market makers” on Wall Street, and the state(s) raiding the pension funds.

        The rich have something to do with that, I hear.

  13. Joseppi

    Most predictions lack mystical inspiration and germinate in the soil of present day reality.
    However, my predictions come from an eccentric uncle, who traces his bloodline through his mother’s side of the family, back to Nostradamus and ultimately back to Adam himself.
    At a recent family get-together, my uncle took time from leering at the young gals and drinking excessively to make a few prognostications that he said he received while heavily medicated recovering from a hernia operation.
    These are his exact slurred words.
    “The USA is one huge Jonestown. Social order will only further deteriorate due to a belief system that is based on fraud and injustice to insulate and entitle a few at the expense of the well being of the majority.
    The majority accept this fate because of the manufacturing of consent through the control of Kool-aid sweet information, and the consoling hope that the Promised Land will be delivered in the future by the merciful welfare of the paternal state.
    As the situation deteriorates in Jonestown USA, and the reality of a failed social experiment becomes impossible to cover up with lies, there will be a revolt amongst the disenchanted. This revolt will be dealt with by those holding the power and privileges with harsh crowd control techniques such as labeling dissent as seditious acts, and the imminent threat from terror of foreign unbelievers.”
    At this point, as you can well imagine myself and the whole family was focused on what my uncle was going to say next. My uncle slowly raises his nearly empty glass of scotch high over everyone and says, “All of you, lift up your glasses with me, come on.” Everyone holds their drinks up towards my uncle. He continues, “The eternal question of free will versus social conformity and how the two forces interact in the human quest for happiness will only be answered in the future by our reaction to reality which will become our collective destiny. Now drink up.”
    My uncle chugs back the last of his smooth scotch and the rest of us remain holding our drinks in stunned silence.

  14. Mickey Marzick in Akron, Ohio

    The recession is over… [NBER – SEP 2010]

    I agree with Steve from Virginia above. This statement by far has to be the real “LOL” what were they thinking moment – not a prediction but a statement of fact. [Orwellian?] Meanwhile in Dec 2010 with unemployment[U3]at approx 10% and U6 almost 20% the “GREAT RECESSION” is over and the “DEPRESSION” is just beginning.

    With foreclosures rising and ARMs resetting, several municipal/state government defaults almost assured, is the subsequent carnage beyond the control of the federal government and Wall Street… that it must now run its course?

    Has anyone predicted a second bailout of Wall Street, one even larger than the first as the second wave of defaults – both here and in Europe – come rolling in? Is a second bailout politically feasible if needed? Or will this time around be different?

  15. Hugh

    Well, I have been saying for a couple of years now that I thought 2011 would see the next crash. Look at the bad economic policies to date, the next even crazier Congress, a conservative President becoming more and more open about his conservatism, the shakiness of the world economy: China, Europe, us, state budget shortfalls, foreclosuregate and the systemic fraud it represents, continued disemployment in the 20% range, bubbles in stocks and commodities that have been fully mature for more than a year, and, of course, the still unreformed out of control financial sector. I look at the math and I look at the banksters and the politicians, academics, and media that they own. I’m going with the math. Yes, markets can stay irrational longer than we can stay solvent, but at some point something has got to give. Reality will intervene. The only question is how far and how long can the kleptocrats who rule us, the powers that be, keep the extend and pretend going before it all falls in.

    1. Michael Cain

      And one of the causes will be the ongoing state budget crises. FY 2011-12 is the year when the sh*t hits the fan there. The new Congress is unlikely to offer the states any more assistance, the other one-time patches are used up, and most states have reached the political limits on taxes. I expect one or more states will withdraw from the Medicaid program.

      With the passage of the ACA, Medicaid has become pretty much an all-or-nothing proposition for the states. They are no longer allowed to tighten their eligibility standards; there are limits to how many services they can drop; and the original language in the law implies limits on how far they can drop provider reimbursement rates. The leading candidates on my list would be Arizona, Illinois, and New Jersey. Other than withdrawing from Medicaid, I see no other way those states can close their budget gaps (again, I’m assuming that tax increases are politically impossible).

  16. PeonInChief

    Small one: that most people will spend the next six months recovering from Christmas spending, and even passing out credit cards to recent foreclosure victims won’t increase spending sufficiently to deal with the retrenchment.

    1. Paul Repstock

      Folks, I think we have a Winner. The recently disenfranchised (suckers) will be so risk averse that the only employment growth we will see, will be in the termite population.

      1. kareninca

        yes, that is a good one. although I would say to Repstock that it’s not because they’ll be risk-averse, it will be because they’ll be *broke.*

  17. Ccedric Regula

    Ok. I thought of one for the bad prediction category.

    The Fed predicts QE2 will be used for buying treasury bonds thru June of 2011, and not muni bonds, shopping malls or Spanish government bonds.

  18. Paul Handover

    Despite many, many thoughts about 2011 in the end I keep coming back to that Yogi Berra quote, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

  19. ab initio

    It seems that many of those that post comments on financial blogs are generally bearish on the US economy and financial markets.

    My prediction for 2011 – there will be much more money printing than 2009 and 2010.

  20. John Merryman

    And on the lighter side, the 2012 presidential election begins.

    The ptb need to maintain an illusion of responsibility in order for some degree of crowd control to function, but after the last two presidents and with Sarah Palin as the de facto lead for the Repub primaries, I see something of a political trainwreck coming.
    Not that it will change anything soon, but the velvet glove covering the iron fist is getting rather threadbare and I don’t think the US has the political homogeneity to hold together as a real police state.
    I do predict that after the dollar implodes, the states will start setting up their own currency and banking systems, with the long term result that the US will become much less centralized.

  21. home

    The President will remove restrictions on US scientists. This will eliminate the information embargo on total solar irradiance & the next Maunder Minimum; thus, making apparent the real climate changes that will occur starting at the end of 2014.
    From NASAs Goddard Center
    More data on solar irradiance than ever before with better understanding of the solar dynamo & the eerie quiet from both the media & the scientists themselves.
    India’s scientists figured it out years ago though.
    So has China.
    For USA – will it be soon enough to take the necessary steps?

    1. Connor

      Huh? So you’re suggesting a decrease in sunspots in the next cycle? This means another mini ice age. I took the time to follow your links and the Indian cite is a model for cycle 24 which will peak in 3 years. They might have “figured it out years ago” but their model has proven no better than anybody else’s so far. And what information embargo are you talking about? Both of your links are US government links.
      Also, what exact steps can the US do to prevent another ice age due to sunspot inactivity?
      I’m probably talking to a wall here but when somebody talks about my milieu I feel obligated to respond.

    2. emca

      I share Connor’s confusion.

      The report you cite was done in 2001, but little more shown than a summation stating, “a forced shift toward the low index state of the Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation as solar irradiance decreases”.

      Here’s a link to more current research encompassing a much larger segment of time, also from the same government source:

      Solar influence on climate during the past millennium

      Its conclusion:

      “Despite the direct response of the model to solar forcing, even large solar irradiance change combined with realistic volcanic forcing over past centuries could not explain the late 20th century warming without inclusion of greenhouse gas forcing.”

      As to sun-spots and climate change, this from Scientific American, July 2009

      “Many climate scientists agree that sunspots and solar wind could be playing a role in climate change, but the vast majority view it as very minimal and attribute Earth’s warming primarily to emissions from industrial activity—and they have thousands of peer-reviewed studies available to back up that claim.”

      Furthermore while the sun-spot follows an 11 year cycle, no distinct trend has been noted since 1978 (link pdf)

      I could also link a joint statement, backed by scientist of China and India, calling on their respective leaders to “seize all opportunities” to address global climate change that “is happening even faster than previously estimated.” (quote from NAS site); but why bludgeon the irredeemable?

    3. emca

      Also for an analysis of Global Warming and Risk Management, check out this guy’s videos.

      I don’t get the hat, but the guy’s spouts solid arguments, clear explanations and is even occasionally (gasp!) entertaining.

      By the way, risk management should be of concern in economics, is it not?

  22. Route66

    My main prediction it that the gvmnt will enact laws making the bankster’s past crimes legal.

    Levenworth will still be waiting for the pig men to arrive.

  23. 60sradical

    The usual republican cretan-like mantra that always predicts massive, regressive tax cuts for the top 2% will create jobs AND the entire BOOK OF REVELATIONS in the bible–this poor fool had too much peyote plus mescalin and surely conversed with an earlier incarnation of Glenn Beck while lost in the desert. Both sets of “things to come” are psychopathological

  24. KFritz

    Let’s have a look around.

    1) Hugo Chavez, main supplier of petroleum to the US is a wildcard/joker in any deck. Although petroleum is fungible, old Hugo could capriciously disrupt the US economy, with knock-on effects around the globe.
    2) Mexico, a sovereign nation of 100 million, and our neighbor is fighting against an assymetrical narco-insurgency, with mixed results at best.
    3) The banking systems of the US, EU, Japan are effectively insolvent, shot through w/ rotten, overvalued assets.
    4) The structural flaws of the European Monetary Union are apparent to anyone with a pulse and working brain. There is no real, coherent plan to correct the flaws. This is huge source of instability, ready to manifest at any moment, literally.
    5) India, the main cause of the Kashmir conflict by ‘virtue’ of never having held an honest plebiscite, motivates its neighbor Pakistan to sponsor the Taliban by meddling needlessly in Afghanistan. Richard Holbrooke, the one American diplomat who seemed to grasp this (thanks to Joe Klein for mentioning this in his tribute to Holbrooke) just died. He was working to persuade India to good sense.
    6) China has a real estate bubble of gargantuan proportion and domestic inflation, while refusing to revalue its currency in accord w/ the inflation. It’s importing and mining as much precious metals as possible to allow its citizens to hedge the inflation.
    7)The Korean Peninsula
    8) Mahmoud Ahmedinajad

    With all these vectors, would anyone really like to make a prediction, except, “Expect interesting times?”

    Just to make matters more interesting, remember the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes, and the Russian/Ukrainian drought that drove up grain prices.

    1. KFritz

      9) How will ‘Bi-Partisan Barry’ and the savage Republicans, whose primary stated goal is to destroy him politically, interact? (A man w/ his breath and depth of vanity deserves this!) How will the third leg of this triangle, the Fed, with its heavily right-wing hierarchy interact w/ the other 2 legs?

    2. sidelarge

      3) The Japanese banking sector is “effectively insolvent”? That’s just false. The banks there have minimal exposure to the heat, almost non-existent compared to their American/European counterparts. That country’s problem totally lies elsewhere.

  25. Psychoanalystus

    I hereby predict:

    1. DOW 20,000. Bullish!

    2. More Wall Street bonuses. Very bullish!

    3. More tax cuts. Highly bullish!

    4. More bailouts. Extremely bullish!


  26. Pat Donnelly

    Sadly, the USA seems to be slowly imploding, losing all traits of freedom, truth, and employment?

    There is no easy end to it, as the ability to issue dollars is close to infinite, perhaps measured by the disparity in military power between the USA and the rest of the world.

    The NWO is too slowly being implemented. The UN is being weakened by adherence to a political climate policy that is unravelling.

    The police state does begin to resemble that of 1930’s Germany and Italy. Where will the refugees flee? Internal concentration camps await those who are marked down. The descent into a Gulag state?

    Once enough of the manufacturing ability is in Chinese hands, we may see real trouble!

    Living near the coast may become too dangerous, but not to slowly rising sea levels….. Probably too soon in 2011?

    US banks will fail in greater number. Pensions will become an endangered species. Those with assets may start to leave the USA. Towns cities, and states will become bankrupt: fire staff, with obvious results.

    Obama may leave office suddenly!

    Derivatives will blow up all over the world and stock exchanges and commodities will fall as margins get covered.

    The weather will continue with heavy precipitation all around the world. The Sun will remain without many spots. Crops will fail and prices will rise.

    The US Army will promote to impotence those geniuses who predicted wars based on lack of water.

    1. Psychoanalystus

      >> Sadly, the USA seems to be slowly imploding, losing all traits of freedom, truth, and employment <<



  27. Skippy

    Antipodean response…

    That *some* will understand financial gravity better, that the Classical Newtonian observation of pulling might be better explained by dark energy, the most accepted theory currently and accounts for 73% of the total mass-energy of the universe. Yet is still unobservable *empirically* and only a theory that makes sense on paper or models.

    Skippy…Newton and Einstein were just men…taking a step…we have many to go…but…we have only one world too pace upon…will it be enough…

  28. Random Blowhard

    My 2c worth. We will hit the time limit for extend and pretend by the end of 2011 and as such the second Wall Street meltdown WILL occur in NOV/DEC 2011. An attempt by Congress to bail out the TBTF again will result in a currency crisis that punches interest rates up to 8% by the end of DEC 2011.
    Oh, gold to +$2500 ounce and silver over $50 by JUNE 2011.

  29. fred

    1) The USA will not be Japan and have a lost decade of negative growth. We are not double dipping, but will have muted growth of 2.5-4%. Not enough to lift unemployment.

    2) Bond prices will go lower with interest rates rising. The 10 year should break 4%.

    3) Portugal will follow Greece and Ireland. Espana will contuinue to let its bank fudge the losses on their unmitiagated disaster in construction lending.

    4) Insanely enough stocks will go up, because there is little other choice to invest and too much institutional money seeking higher returns.

    5) Home prices continue to decline in California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. Muddle along elsewhere. More extend and pretend.

    6)Gold will come back to reality. Parabolic price rises revert to the mean.

    7) China will continue to increase interest rates, but will finally recongize that it has less control of it central planning than it thought. All real estate bubbles end up badly.

    8) Nothing changes on wall street. higher bonuses. more corruption investigations. and business as usual.

    9) A continued lack of a President without a vision. Obama is too inexperienced. His predecessor was generally incompetent. The proposed candidates are a sad crop. Sarah Palin is a cute uneducated cheerleader. Our country needs real leaders that are needed to pull us out of the economic malaise. Who will be the candidate that unseats the one term president? Not Palin, McCain, Gingrich. Romney?
    Hucklebee? We don’t need retreads.

  30. DumpTheBankInfoJulian


    Didn’t know if this prediction is a joke or not?

    He is predicting that the U.S. should be where you invest. He sees stock market gains of 20%, employment outlook bright, the dollar rallying, strong GDP growth and Santa Claus appointed as Fed Chairman (okay, I added the last bit.)

    I laughed all the way through his predictions!!! What a stand-up, he should really send a tape to Letterman.

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