Some have dreamt of it, others have only imagined it. Now Saxo Bank, the online multi-asset trading specialist and investment advisor has released its ‘Outrageous Predictions’ for 2014. They fully admit that the probability of any of them coming to fruition is rather low. But, that hasn’t stopped them making them. Be outrageously provocative and it can be predicted that as sure as eggs are eggs the crystal ball will go cloudy on you. But, it makes for light-hearted reading along the rocky road of fortune-telling. The saving grace is that if any one of them does actually hit the truth on the nose, Saxo Bank will be saying ‘I told you so’. If they don’t come true, Saxo’s drivel will be forgotten in the mass of pages on the internet.
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According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, just 33% of Americans think their children will have a better life than they did. On the other hand, 62% believe their children will be worse off.
They’re likely to be right. The typical American family has seen its real income (adjusted for inflation) fall for 5 consecutive years now, and it earns less in real terms that it did in 1989.
According to the Census Bureau, median household income fell in 2012, and it languishes 8.3% below the pre-crisis peak in 2007.
The Brookings Institution, meanwhile, calculates that real incomes for working-age men in the US have fallen by 19 per cent since 1970.
(Of course, if you’re fortunate enough to be a member of the super-rich who, thanks in large part to central bankers driving up asset prices, saw their real incomes rocket by 20% in 2012.)
In Europe things look even more dire. Just 28% of Germans think their children will be better off than they were. In the UK it’s 17%, in Italy 14%, and in France just 9%.
In Britain, research by the Financial Times shows that those born in 1985 are the first cohort to suffer a living standard worse than those born 10 years before them.