Friday, December 30, 2016

Four Prediction Challenge

Russian peasant girls using chickens for divination; 19th century Lubok.

I realize that making predictions opens one up to questions about one's omniscience, but I don't see that as a bad thing.  Being old now, when I look back over my life and review the opinions and thoughts therein, omniscience is the last thing that I would use to describe my years here on the Earth.

So, I am proposing that folks sit down with their crystal balls and yarrow stalks, cut open the critter du jour and examine it's entrails, or go outside and consult the moon.  Give me four (4) predictions.  That's all.

Now, the rules.

I think that the predictions have to have a certain amount of specificity.  I am certain that some of my fellow Americans (MFA) would love to posit "Donald Trump will be Yuugge!" as a prediction (there will be an approximately equal number of MFA's who will predict the Donald as being the worst president ever.  Again, not a prediction).

Nope, the prediction will need to have a certain level of specificity.  Now, you can write what you wish, and it will go up in the comments.  In an ideal world, the four predictions will have in internal logic that allows one to get a glimpse into the strategic thinking of the author.

SO...Here goes:

(1)  Saudi Arabia goes through it's own "Arab Spring" problems.  The loss of oil revenues and the "damned if you do and damned if you don't" nature of oil price coupled the on again/off again nature of the shale oil in the US and the complete inability of OPEC to hew to any agreement will make for increasing unrest in the Kingdom.  I don't think that the royal family will go down, but I think that it will have a lot more on its mind at the end of the year than it has at the beginning.

(2)  The Dow will reach 20,000.  But it won't hold it.  While I voted for Trump, I don't think that he is the savior and I do think that he, like Herbert Hoover, will be holding the bag at the end of the process.  I am taking a wild stab at a number here, but I think that a Dow of 16,000 will be in the offing this year.

(3)  Syria will settle down, but Iraq will heat up.  I would guess that Russia, Turkey, and Syria will work out an arrangement and the Takfirs, Unicorns,  Jihadis and such will vanish out of Syria and start stirring the shit in Iraq.  Iran will move more to the foreground and try to stabilize the area with the tacit approval and logistical support from Russia and China.  Saudi will be distracted by it's own problems and Israel will fume, but both will realize that their reach does not exceed their grasp.

(4)  Little Donnie will be under investigation by the end of 2017.  Kenneth Starr on steroids.  Look, the powers that be just don't like him.  They will make the attempt to cripple him.  I don't think that it will go the impeachment route, just an ongoing distraction keeping his eye off the ball.  Can't have a non-member of the Potomac Country Club thinking they can use the front door.  Little Donnie is a servant-entrance-only kind of guy.

Now, I am quite aware of my limitations.  If any of these turn out the way I call them, I will don my robes and announce my new profession of professional Jeremiah.

Please, have at it.

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