And while, to date, fracking has primarily dislocated the natural gas market, it can also be used to unearth similarly huge domestic crude oil deposits locked inside vast shale formations rather than rely on vertical drilling to find huge pools of pressurized oil that shoot into the air when tapped.
True, the long-term environmental impact of fracking has become very controversial (I offer no opinion here), but the economic juggernaut it is unleashing will be nearly impossible to stop.
As a result of new technologies, the U.S. is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in crude production by 2020. I don't need to spell out the enormous implications here to national security and the economy, along with the benefits equity markets, manufacturers, consumers, investors and our children would enjoy should the United States actually reach energy independence by the end of the decade. (Read More: US Pumps Up Oil Output to Highest Level in 20 Years.)
With the European Central Bank's announcement of steps to backstop many of the region's bond markets, the threat of a European sovereign debt and banking crisis has greatly diminished over the past six months. (Read More:
As Euro Crisis Fades, Fears of Complacency Emerge
Though significant economic and political issues mean Europe is likely to remain volatile for years to come, a slowly stabilizing euro zone will serve to keep global investors' nerves in check and perhaps even get some positive media play in 2013.
I chose to point out these developments that might have escaped your radar because I think they all have long-term consequences, but they alone are no cause for irrational exuberance.
The biggest current risk we face is that our friends in Washington D.C. can't get their collective act together. If they do, the headlines that grab our attention going forward should be catalysts for a new bull market.
Kenneth A. Kamen is a managing director of The Mercadien Group and president of Mercadien Asset Management and Mercadien Securities, as well as the author of the highly acclaimed book from Bloomberg Press,"Reclaim Your Nest Egg: Take Control of your Financial Future."