Well here is my vetting of my crystal ball for 2015:
1. The GOP Congress will work with Obama to a lesser extant but there
will be many battles between them on immigration and other issues. Obama
will veto several bills and have a few of them overturned with some
moderate Democrats on-board.
Partially right: This is pretty okay more or less. I was surprised that the Omnibus Spending Bill passed with little fanfair or threats to "shut down the government" etc. Also Obama vetoed 5 bills this year so that part is correct however none of the vetoes were overturned.
2. A Grand Bargain on Tax Reform will be passed with work from both parties.
Wrong: Hopefully deferred to 2016 with a new President and Congress working together.
3. The Obamacare exchange will be made illegal by the Supreme Court. The
federal government will require all states to have a Healthcare
exchange and lawsuits are generated by GOP controlled governors. It will
not be resolved in 2015.
Wrong: Obamacare is still the law of the land but there have been unintended consquesces from insurers leaving the exchanges to co-pays going through the roof. It is still to be determined in 2016.
4. Obama will start to withdraw from politics and start to prepare for
his time after office. He will play lots of golf and lead from behind
and basically just ignore his job.
Partially right: He seems to play lots of golf and goes on about the GOP not following him. Basically him not saying anything about the San Bernadino shooting until he watched cable news certainly shows he doesn't seem to care about the Consoler-and-Chief part of the job.
1. ISIS will be severely damaged by the end of the year. They will be
attacked from many fronts and start to show signs of defeat.
Mostly right: It certianly seems that way after Iraq took back Ramadi and ISIS is having trouble recruiting. They don't look to be throwing in the towel anytime soon.
2. Islamic terror will start to ramp up as ISIS starts to feel the sting
of airstrikes and Iraqi and Syrian resistance. They will take the fight
out of the "Caliphate" and into the West. More attacks like Charlie
Hebdo will be felt across Europe. The lone Islamic terrorist with a gun
or bomb will be the new thing to fear in the Western world.
Exactly Right: Unfortunately.
3. China's economy will start to show cracks. Growth will slow and they will do everything they can to keep things going.
Exactly Right: Chinese GDP growth has slowed to below 7% for the first time since 2008
4. Russia will start to quiet down as oil prices stay low. They will
rattle the sabre less and cooperate more in the wider world.
Mostly Right: they are attacking ISIS in Syria although they are propping up Assad in the process. Ukraine is still an issue but it seems to be ignored by the wider world.
5. Low oil prices will disrupt the governments of Venezuela and Nigeria.
They will have massive disruptions by the end of the year.
Partially right: Oil prices are in the dumper but Venezuela and Nigeria are still holding on for the time being. If oil goes into the $20 range we might start to see serious cracks.
(real numbers as of 12/28/15)
S&P 500: 2250 (2056)
Dow: 18700 (17528)
Nasdaq: 4700 (4621 kind of close)
Crude Oil: $71 ($36.74 way the hell off)
Gold: $1226 an ounce ($1074 way off)
EUR/Dollar: 1.09 (1.09 wow right on target!)
10 Yr Bond: 2.15% (2.21% not too bad)
NFL: Seattle Seahawks (New England Patriots)
NBA: Golden State Warriors (Golden State Warriors; thank you Steph Curry)
MLB: St. Louis Cardinals (Kansas City Royals at long last)
NHL: NY Islanders (Chicago Blackhawks)
Premier League: Manchester City (Chelsea)
Bundesliga: Bayern Munich (Bayern Munich; this isn't too much of a stretch)
NCAA Football (played in 2015:) TCU Horned Frogs (Ohio State Buckeyes)
NCAA Basketball: Duke (Duke; also not a stretch)