What Changes Now? Employment – Is there a permanent underclass developing? Why this is not cyclical. How does a nation really come to grips with job growth? Why the plans right now contradict? Consumer Shifts – The new frugal – how real is it? The latest data on consumer credit shows a population less enamored of the credit card that before – is this a good or bad thing? Political leadership and other oxymorons – The politicla system is frozen in US and Europe – no fiscal strategy that makes sense – too much left to the monetary authorities Global reach – What happens in Euro land is not staying in Euro land and there is a lot happening in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere as well.
What is Expected? The Fearless Forecasts –Unemployment will remain between 8.5% and 9% through 2012 –Housing market will finally stabilize but at very low levels and growth will be very sluggish –Dollar will stay weak as interest rates will stay very low –Oil prices will rise to over $100 a barrel early in the year but will stay in a pretty tight range between $90 and $110 –Congress will gridlock all year and that will mean little change to what was passed last year and little in the way of new stuff –Europe will start to seriously consider abandoning the euro –Regulations will intensify as focus shifts from Congress