Predictions 2012

Results of CNBC's 2011 Winners & Losers Poll


For the first time in our survey, there were no winners. The outcome wasn't even close in the three cases without lopsided results.

Winners & Losers - A CNBC Special Report

The big loser? The U.S. taxpayer, of course. After that, it was a bit of a foot race for second place.

President Obama and Fed boss Ben Bernanke both fared worse than they did in 2010.

Should anyone in the survey be looking toward 2012, GOP presidential candidate and House Speaker John Boehnerhave some cause for optimism.

On the corporate side, if our voters are also Bank of America shareholders (never mind board members) CEO Brian Moynihan probably has more reason to look over his shoulder, and Carol Bartz might not be getting any new job offers anytime soon.

As for entertainment, NBA TV ratings could be in for a hit, as we reported in our Predictions2012 special report.

And for the international-minded, Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy didn't fare as poorly as market developments might suggest.

Here's the final tab.

The U.S. Taxpayer

Almost nine in 10 deemed the taxpayer a loser, and, if the first 11 months of the year weren't enough, December brought more gridlock and partisan politics in Washington.

Perhaps, voters are already thinking about 2012; at this point, any tax cuts look very unlikely. A payroll tax cut looks less about economics than politics.

Brian Moynihan

Our vote confirms the Bank of America CEO has proven he's no Jamie Dimon, but he's not looking much more popular than his predecessor, Ken Lewis.

The banking giant's share price slipped even more during the voting period and that alone may explain his poor showing. Interestingly, the winner and undecided votes tied.

President Obama

The president received more votes in our survey than potential GOP rival Mitt Romney, but he can only hope Winners & Losers is not a proxy for the 2012 general election, even if polls show he is still in the race.

Occupy Wall Street

We thought voters might take this one to heart. Almost 70 percent deemed Occupy a loser. Perhaps some of that reflects its fading presence. At the same time, only 7 percent voted "neither." But if our voters put their money where their mouths are, Occupy will need to start raising some serious money to fight the object of its ire.


This was, err, a slam dunk for our voters. The NBA is clearly the bigger loser than the NFL because of its player-management contract battle. The NBA will lose a dozen-plus regular-season games to a late start, and there's likely to be more losses to come in lower attendance.

The NFL fared much better individually, though 28 percent voted against both pro sports leagues.

Angela Merkel & Nicholas Sarkozy

Well, they'll always have Paris (and Berlin), even if they don't have a euro zone.

We though this vote would have been closer, if only for the considerable efforts of the German and French leaders. (We have a hunch they'll be back for our 2012 edition.)

Carol Bartz

Few thought Bartz came out a winner from her ouster as CEO of Yahoo!, even if the company continues to drift toward the rocks.

The high "neither" vote no doubt perhaps reflects a certain sense of inevitability.

Still, more than half deemed her a loser—for one reason or another.

John Boehner

About 55 percent voted against the GOP majority leader, which would be a resounding defeat at the ballot box. Still, Boehner fared better than Obama. (He also received the second most votes of any entry.)

Boehner continues to stand tall against the president and somehow manages to sound convincing during all of those downbeat news conferences.

Justin Bieber

Tough luck kid. Our audience may not be the same as his, but the pop star better hope that the parents in our crowd are not pulling the purse strings of his tween and teen fans.

We won't know if it's his music or the paternity accusations (or both) but Bieber may want to work on his image before his New Year’s Eve extravaganza in New York's Times Square.

Fittingly, the the plain-vanilla candidate who has yet to lead the GOP presidential polls had a high "neither" vote.

Romney also fared better than Obama and Boehner, even if almost 50 percent of our voters identified him as a loser.

Romney will no doubt reappear in our poll next year, by which time his fate will have been decided by a much larger group of voters than ours.

Ben Bernanke

A winner a year ago, the Fed chairman is a loser this year. Oddly enough, the voting percentages were essentially the same just reversed.

Still, this is the closest vote in our survey, and with all the bile directed at Bernanke, you would have thought he'd be an overwhelming loser.

It's also worth noting that Bernanke received more votes then President Obama.

The United Kingdom

Our weakest offering this year (we try to be international) received the least amount of votes. Though a loser, the U.K. tied Bernanke for the highest percentage of "winner" votes.

The economic environment there is bleaker now than it was before we started voting, but at least Britain fared better than Germany and France in our Winners & Losers 2011 survey.