by Rick Ackerman, Rick’s Picks
I hadn’t intended to do a “Rick’s Picks Predictions for 2012” because I’m skeptical that anyone could get it right. So many things could go wrong next year that it’s difficult for me to imagine the world muddling through the month of February, let alone muddling along for another twelve months. Still, I’ll give it my best shot in Friday’s edition, since I’ve already skirted the topic in an interview this past week with radio host Al Korelin.
It’s tempting to try to stand out from the pack, predicting things that few of my guru peers expect. However, I’ll go out on a limb with this one here and now: I expect Apple (NYSE:AAPL) shares to be trading no higher than they are trading now, and perhaps significantly lower. And now on to my ten broader world predictions for 2012.
1. After taking a strong lead in the primaries, Ron Paul will be bludgeoned into defeat by the mainstream news media and its Evil Masters. The Establishment has far too much to lose if Paul becomes President, and it will fight him openly and shamelessly with every resource at its command.
2. European borrowing rates will threaten to explode above 7%, pushing the PIIGS into bankruptcy (although it won’t be called that). The euro’s fall will be arrested at $1.08 nonetheless, buttressed by a Rube Goldberg “restructuring” plan that, fortunately for the global financial system, no one will be able to understand.
3. ‘Mother’ nature will continue to rampage with yet more earthquakes in places where earthquakes don’t usually happen.
4. Yields on U.S. Treasury Bonds will fall to 2% simply because there aren’t enough mattresses to hold the world’s money.
5. Despite its intrinsic worthlessness, the U.S. dollar will soar, pushing the Dollar Index above 90.
6. Toward the end of the year, deflation in the U.S. housing market will enter its climactic stage. Before the washout ends in late 2013, homes prices will have fallen 80% from their 2007 peaks.
7. Gold will stage a powerful rally after bottoming at $1445 in January, but the buying spree will fall well short of $2000. Silver will fare relatively worse, falling to $18.35 before finding traction and recovering into the low $30s.
8. Iran’s nuclear weapons program will be derailed, although not by economic or political sanctions.
9. Bird flu and/or Fukushima radiation could ultimately push all of the items on this list below-the-fold. Except this one:
10. War will break out in the Middle East, and it will eventually be acknowledged as the start of a Third World War.
Note from the author: Naturally, we play both sides of the market, up or down. If you want to see the investment idea details in action, click here for a free trial toRick’s Picks so that you can follow our efforts to leg into a bullish butterfly spread in the SPY, an optionable vehicle that tracks the S&P Index.
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