zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 01/06/2014 14:21 -0500
The predictions of Blackstone’s octogenarian Byron Wien (born in 1933) have been all over the place in the past 10 years, some correct, most wrong (with a recent hit rate of about 25%) – his 2013 year end S&P forecast was for 1300 – yet always entertaining. Which is the only value in the latest release of his 10 forecasts for 2014. Naturally, take all of these with a salt mine.
Byron’s Ten Surprises of 2014 are as follows:
- We experience a Dickensian market with the best of times and the worst of times. The worst comes first as geopolitical problems coupled with euphoric extremes lead to a sharp correction of more than 10%. The best then follows with a move to new highs as the Standard & Poor’s 500 approaches a 20% total return by year end (ZH: or, said otherwise, S&P 500 at 2200).
- The U.S. economy finally breaks out of its doldrums. Growth exceeds 3% and the unemployment rate moves toward 6%. Fed tapering proves to be a non-event.
- The strength of the U.S. economy relative to Europe and Japan allows the dollar to strengthen. It trades below $1.25 against the euro and buys 120 yen.
- Shinzo Abe is the only world leader who understands that Dick Cheney was right when he said that deficits don’t matter. He continues his aggressive fiscal and monetary expansion and the Nikkei 225 rises to 18,000 early in the year, but the increase in the sales tax, the aging population and declining work force finally begin to take their toll and the market suffers a sharp (20%) correction in the second half.
- China’s Third Plenum policies to rebalance the economy toward the consumer and away from a dependence on investment spending slow the growth rate to 6% in 2014. Chinese mainland traded equities have another disappointing year. The new leaders emphasize that their program is best for the country in the long run.