Every year, Doug Kass creates a list of forecasts. But these are not straight predictions; the basis of Kass’ column is that these are ideas that most people think are very unlikely, which that Doug believes has a better chance of occurring than the crowd does.
Call them “Possible Improbables”
Here’s the list:
1. The Russian mafia and Russian oligarchs are found to be large investors with Madoff.
2. Housing stabilizes sooner than expected.
3. The nation’s commercial real estate markets experience only a shallow pricing downturn in the first half of 2009.
4. The U.S. economy stabilizes sooner than expected.
5. The U.S. stock market rises by close to 20% in the year’s first half.
6. A second quarter “growth scare” bursts the bubble in the government bond market.
7. Commodities markets remain subdued.
8. Capital spending disappoints further.
9. The hedge fund and fund of funds industries do not recover in 2009.
10. Mutual fund redemptions from 2008 reverse into inflows in 2009.
11. State and municipal imbalances and deficits mushroom.
12. The automakers and the UAW come to an agreement over wages.
13. The new administration replaces SEC Commissioner Cox.
14. Large merger of equals deals multiply.
15. Focus shifts for several media darlings.
16. The Internet becomes the tactical nuke of the digital age.
17. A handful of sports franchises file bankruptcy.
18. The Fox Business Network closes.
19. Old, leveraged media implode.
20. The Middle East’s infrastructure build-out is abruptly halted owing to “market conditions.”
20 Surprises for 2009
TheStreet.com, 12/29/08 – 11:59 AM EST