Monday, January 2, 2012

2012-2015 Outlook: It's on Like Donkey Kong

There are two dominant forces that tend to dictate future events, the first is the fundamental interactions between parameters, and the second is the widely-held belief that certain events are likely to occur. It is the difference between fundamentals driving reality, and perspective driving reality, where people and their actions couple the two. Fundamentals and peoples' widely held views don't always have to be divergent, but often they are for the simple fact that the system is sufficiently complex that the majority are easily led astray. Think of it this way, few people are going to get it 'right', most are going to have a 'wrong' view of the future, and thus the 'wrongs' outweigh the 'rights' and the overall trajectory is skewed. In addition, everyone wants to paint their own picture of reality, which creates a hodgepodge composition that affects peoples' actions, alters reality, and influences the underlying fundamentals. That is one avenue of divergence, but another centers on the simple fact that unpredictable things occur, they simply happen. Call them Black Swan events that can't be predicted with a reasonable degree of certainty. With all of that said, fundamentals always win in the long run. It's the equilibrium solution, like a ball resting at the bottom of a hill. When the ball rolls down the hill it may hit bumps sending it skyward, but ultimately it's headed toward the valley where it will find its equilibrium.

So what does all of this mean for the upcoming year? It simply implies that the ball has not changed course, the fundamentals are not better, in fact they're worse. In addition, the widely-held perception that things are getting better has vanished from the minds' of anyone who is even remotely in tune with reality. At best the economy is on life support, which I suppose is better than cardiac arrest, but it's still not as glamorous as many would lead you to believe.

Let us not forget the conditions still in play:

  • MF Global has gone bankrupt, stealing over a billion dollars of clients' money
  • Nearly 100 US banks failed in 2011
  • The Federal Reserve has effectively bailed out Europe an unknown number of times
  • The national debt has surpassed $15 trillion, like a boss:  http://www.usdebtclock.org/
  • The infamous NDAA Bill was passed, allowing US Citizens to be locked up indefinitely... just because
  • SOPA, the internet censorship bill is being proposed
  • As the US winds down the war in Iraq they ratchet up the rhetoric on Syria and Iran
  • The people are restless, all over. Let's get a refresher on the current state of dissidence: The Tea Party Movement, Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring (Egyptian Revolution, Yemeni Uprising, Syrian Uprising, Saudi Payoff, Iranian Protests, Tunisian Protests, Bahraini Protests etc.), Jasmine Revolution, Greek Riots, London Riots, Russian Election Protests, etc.
Predictions for 2012

I have none. I've always said that the capitulation of the 'Great Recession' will certainly occur before 2020, most likely before 2015, and possibly as early as 2012. To put that into a more quantitative form represented by pseudo-statistics, 95% by 2020, 90% by 2015, 50% by 2012 end. So what does capitulation look like? It will be the height of poverty, the pinnacle of unrest, and the definition of uncertainty. The world that exists on the other-side will be foreign, and a new era will emerge, for better or worse. 

Though capitulation could have occurred at any time up until now, it hasn't, even with significant strains on the system. With that said, time creates exponential results and the more time that passes the greater the likelihood of a significant event occurring. The time frame between 2012 and 2015 is the 'moment of truth', and yes, it's only a moment. A snapshot that will define all generations to follow, again, for better or worse. Should the people stand up and assert themselves, the outlook could be very bright, but they must be willing to do so, they must rise and seize the day.

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