The Scandal Of Prediction or Here's What Will Happen in 2011

I regard prediction as something of a scandal. The world is far too complex and unpredictable for anyone to spend too much time forecasting. For the most part, it’s far better to forego fortune telling and instead figure out how you can be robust and agile enough to deal with unexpected shocks.

Businessman with crystal ball
Fredrik Skold | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Businessman with crystal ball

But when the shadowy benefactors behind NetNet’s infiltration of CNBC issued an edict requiring me to make five predictions for 2011, I set aside my qualms. My very first prediction involves the exit of one of the biggest guys in finance from the corner office. Click here to find out who and read the rest of the predictions.

I thought my outlook for 2011 was fairly upbeat. I didn’t predict massive food inflation, a renewed financial crisis or violent struggle in Asia. I didn’t even predict a double dip recession. But the editors decided that my views on 2011 were “negative.” Oh well.

I should mention that I’m not the only one making predictions. Nineteen others—mostly my colleagues here at CNBC—also weigh in with their views of 2011. There are only four of us who get tagged as having a negative outlook—Herb Greenberg, Melissa Francis, Matt Nesto and CNBC Europe Closing Bell anchor Guy Johnson. I’m thinking that we should form some sort of secret alliance at CNBC dedicated to countering complacency and misplaced optimism.

As long as that’s okay with our shadowy benefactors.


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