The assignment is to come up with some predictions for 2008. A prediction according to Webster's is "to say in advance. To Foretell." You know, like a fortune teller.
Here's what I can tell you about your fortune. You won't have it long if you rely on predictions. That said, here are a few guesses as to what might happen next year.
Since my "beat" is America, I don't pretend to have any insight, or inside information on any particular industry. But I likely feel closer to all of you than most of my colleagues because I spend so much time with you all, in your towns, in your homes. Actually there, not just on TV or on the internet. So here's what I've picked up about us.
I think we're serious about the "green" movement. I've covered it for a very long time, and you've convinced me that it has moved from the fringes to the main stream. That includes 'natural' and 'organic foods'. If I were an investing man I'd find companies that were serious about all things "green" and put my money where my mouth is.
1. I believe small and midcap companies will be winners in 2008. I get the sense from traveling around the country that while the "big names", i.e. GM, Microsoft, American Airlines--are likely to struggle through some tough times, particularly in the first couple of quarters, that we Americans like our little guys. There has been a true movement back to higher value, a little more expensive, but reliable and accountable products. I'd look for companies that make things here, that a lot of us use. It's always a good sign.
2. The airline industry will continue to struggle as it should. Lousy business. No one has more one on one contact with that industry than I do. It will take a major shake up financially before anything gets better. Here's a prediction--they WILL lose your luggage.
3. Keep your eye on the Governors, particularly those in the West. They will be the leaders over the next few years. Watch the economic policies in places like Colorado.
4. Politically, I believe as a group we are undecided about the candidates and are faced with the unfortunate task of electing a President that few of us really want. I think that the body politic has figured out what it wants, but that it won't be presented with a candidate that is gutsy enough to blend philosophies. Instead we'll continue to get pandering on the part of candidates to special interest groups, and those groups will decide the election.
5. Of course we have only ourselves to blame. I predict voting numbers will be well below 50 per cent in the general election in November. You've told me you're angry, you've told me you want a change in the way things are done. I'm just not convinced you'll do it.
6. I'm convinced the vast majority of us wants to put the Iraq war behind us, but that we don't know how. And that it will haunt us for a decade, financially and emotionally.
7. The Detroit Tigers will win the World Series.
8. And I will leave CNBC to become the new starting quarterback for the Lions.
Hey, it's only a prediction.
"MOA" wishes you a great 2008----I'll see you along the road.
Questions? Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org