OVERALL GRADE: C
I made three predictions for 2012.
Oil Regulation. F
The first: regulation would slow down the fracking/oil boom. It remains a concern, however oil production in the United States continues to grow, and it's largely because the Obama Administration has not stood in its way.
The second: the rare earth market's chances of bouncing back. Prices for the metals involved in a wide range of technology have continued to drop, and no meaningful new product has yet made it to market. Companies like Molycorp have seen stock prices plummet. MCP is expected to ramp up production by year's end, but the stock is down 66 percent in 2012.
American Manufacturing. C
The third: manufacturing in America. As China's labor force becomes more expensive, the logic was that U.S. manufacturing would become more competitive. It is true that U.S. manufacturing has been a key to the somewhat tepid economic recovery. But because of innovation and automation, jobs have not grown at the same pace as manufacturing activity. It's still a positive but not quite what many (including me) thought it would be.