Predictions 2012

Gary Kaminsky: Markets and Companies

1. The yield on the 10-year Treasury hits 1 percent.

The secular move into bonds, coupled with easy money around the world, will continue to push bond yields to historic lows.

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2. Bank of America puts Merrill Lynch on the block. BofA flip flops again about money raising and puts Merrill Lynch, the world's largest retail brokerage, up for sale, having acquired it in a $48.7 billion stock-swap deal during the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Brokers at ML will rejoice, and Canadian giants TD Bank Group and RBC Royal Bank take a serious look at acquiring Merrill.

3. J. Crew acquires Gap.

CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler will work his retail magic to save the once powerful chain.

Drexler was ousted from Gap Inc. in 2002. He was hired by J. Crew in 2003 and restored the brand to its prominence.

4. Three well-known, large hedge funds close.

At least three prominent hedge funds will return money to their partners and shut their doors after poor performance and frustration before summer.

5. President Obama is out after one term.

President Obama will lose the 2012 presidential election.

2011 Scorecard

For those keeping score, here are my 2011 predictions , for which I earned grade of A-.

1. Bonds keep booming.

Rating: A+

I nailed that one for sure. Sorry Bill Gross.

2. Goldman Sachs roars back.

Rating: C+
Relative outperformance by Goldman , but the entire financials sector continues to disappoint.

3. M&A activity explodes.

Rating: C

A few big deals attempted but overall fears and lack of visibility means a bad call.

4. The IPO market slows.

Rating: A-

Although the total numbers are way down, a few high-profile internet deals, including LinkedInand Groupon, did get out.

5. Hiring hibernation continues.

Rating: A+

With unemploymentat 9 percent, the picture is still pretty grim.