Tracking My 2009 Predictions

Today is a good opportunity to engage in my annual exercise in humility, evaluating how well my predictions for 2009 fared.

Things I Got Right

  • On December 31, 2009 there will be at least 70,000 American soldiers in Iraq.
  • Neither the U.S. nor Israel will either bomb or invade Iran.
  • A significant number of those who’ve been clamoring that we needed to commit more troops to the “real war” in Afghanistan will change their minds once those troops have been committed.
  • The Obama Administration will follow the pattern of recent administrations and throw a sop to its base early in the administration. The sop in question may well be healthcare reform.
  • No major Chicago sports team (which I define as the White Sox, the Cubs, the Bulls, the Bears, and the Blackhawks) will win a championship series.
  • We’re headed for a Japan-style L-shaped recession.
  • The Obama Administration will enjoy a honeymoon with the press longer than any in recent memory.
  • There won’t be a war between India and Pakistan in 2009.
  • The Senate will seat Roland Burris.
  • WALL-E will not receive the Oscar for Best Picture.
  • It’ll be a cold, snowy winter. That won’t deter global warming enthusiasts.
  • The single bright light in consumer technology will be smartphones.

Things I Got Wrong

  • At least one major corporate pension plan will default in the course of the year, forcing the PBGC to turn to Congress for funds, and causing a re-thinking of the requirements for corporate pension plans.
  • Meryl Streep will receive the Academy Award for Best Actress for Doubt.
  • Rod Blagojevich’s term will expire before he’s removed from office.

Things I Got Part Right

  • California’s de facto bankruptcy will turn into actual default. The federal government will extend credit to the state.

    Although California has defaulted in the sense that it’s deferred payments to state employees, it’s still avoiding technical default and the federal government hasn’t bailed it out yet. I’m still giving myself partial credit.

  • Civil unrest in China rarely makes the news here in the U. S. The economic downturn will be sufficiently severe in China that the rest of the world won’t be able to ignore the ensuing unrest.

    Although there was major civil unrest in China that made the international news the Chinese government has managed to keep the discontent tamped down more successfully than I thought they would.

The final tally is 12-3-2. That’s roughly the same as last year. However, I largely missed the big story of the year which is the progress (if that’s the right word for it) of the healthcare reform legislation in the Congress.

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