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Dec 30 2017

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Predictions for 2018

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Thinking About 2018…

A humbling exercise, but irresistible at the same time.  Here are my predictions for 2018:

Special Counsel Investigation:  Robert Mueller will conclude that the President did not directly “collude” with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.

The exoneration of Trump will be clouded by determinations that Trump’s management of his campaign was nothing short of a disaster, without any clear lines of responsibility/accountability, which significantly enhanced the chances for illicit activity by questionable Trump campaign hires who free-lanced in counter-productive ways.

 In addition, other Trump associates, including close associates, will find themselves indicted on felony charges that have nothing to do with the “collusion” investigation. The President himself could be labeled as a “co-conspirator” for business activities conducted through Russia-linked intermediaries in the years before he ran for office.  The key question will be whether the Special Counsel will pursue “obstruction of justice” charges against the President, without evidence of collusion.

Armed Conflict: before 2019, the United States will have been party to a significant military clash, which could lead to war, with one of the following: North Korea, China, Russia, Iran.

The  Economy: there will be a major correction (>10%) in the stock market, caused in part by the lack of coordination between the Fed’s plan to sell off assets and raise interest rates (to head off inflation) and the impact of the tax reform law.

Judiciary: an open seat on SCOTUS, and Trump’s nomination of a mainstream conservative to fill the vacancy,  will set off the most vicious political battle of the Trump presidency.

Global Leadership: Theresa May of the UK, Angela Merkel of Germany, and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will no longer be in charge of their respective governments by the end of 2018. Major protests will mar Vladimir Putin’s re-election to another term as Russia’s president.

Issues: a focus on infrastructure and “Dreamer” led immigration reform will enrage conservatives, while efforts to modify entitlements will run aground with moderates and the media. The most important issue of 2018 will ultimately be Obamacare, with lawmakers struggling to agree on reforms to keep insurance affordable with the end of the Individual Mandate in 2019.

Midterms: control of the House of Representatives will come down to +/- 5 seats. Republicans will pick up 2-5 seats in the Senate, enhancing the majority, but not enough to protect it in 2020.

Natural Disasters: a major earthquake (Richter Scale 8 or above) will hit the United States.

Sports: The New York Yankees will be World Series champions in the autumn.  Tom Brady will not be getting another Super Bowl ring in February.

Technology: Apple stock will be lower, year over year, due to ebbing demand and loss of creative prowess.

Whatever happens, 2018 is likely to be a wild ride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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