Monday, January 2, 2012

Predictions About the Future: 2011 Report Card

So how did I do?
  1. Close, but no banana. The final report in 2011 was for November, when the rate fell to 8.6%.  I could try to wiggle out by pointing to a larger-than-average movement in the denominator for November, but the truth is that the employment situation is getting better, albeit very slowly.  The E2P ratio did stay close to what I predicted, with 58.7% being reported in November.
  2. Correct.  There was a small blip upwards in the middle of the year, but prices fell overall.
  3. Correct.  Effective rates started the year at 0.13% and ended the year at 0.07%.
  4. Correct.  I didn't specify a range, but the 2.5% increase seen over the year isn't that significant.  The change in the yuan dollar rate was about 1%, so I was right about that, too. Update 2012.03.17 - I wasn't right about the yuan.  It increased by 4.5% vs. the dollar, not 1%.  That's not insignificant, but in all likelihood a freely-floating yuan would be 4 or 5 to the dollar.  So it has a way to go.
  5. Close, but no banana.  I forget which benchmark I was thinking of, but both the WTI Cushing and spot prices ended up below $100/bbl.  Brent, which is for a light sweet crude, ended at $107, but it always commands a premium to WTI.
  6. Correct.  The euro still exists, and no country has left yet.
  7. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  US-Cuba relations are about the same as they've been since the end of the Cold War.  No surprise, really, as I threw this prediction out just for the heck of it.
  8. Correct.  There really hasn't been much of a change in Afghanistan AFAIK, except that relations with Pakistan have gotten a lot worse.
  9. Depends on your perspective.  The Republicans relented, but they did extract some concessions.  The most prominent of them, the "Super Committee" was a complete bust, but there are automatic spending cuts scheduled in the 2013 budget.  They may very well not survive the budget process.  I was hoping for a completely clean victory by the Democrats, but the Republicans were even crazier than I expected.
Final tally: 5/9 right, 2/9 close but wrong, and 2/9 completely wrong.  Overall I'd rate my performance as a "meh" because I didn't tackle much that was hard to predict.

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