by John Galt
December 30, 2015 20:00 ET
I know, I know, we didn’t die. The world is still here, semi-contained bloodbaths now called regional conflicts instead of “wars” continue to spread, the internet is still working and I have not decided to retire (yet). Does this mean 2015 was a great year? Not for the 15% of the population still on food stamps, anyone who believes in the U.S. Constitution, or any way shape or form a fan of my Tampa Bay Lightning (we was robbed).
This must mean 2016 is going to be awesome, right? Nope, thus why I call 2016:
The Year of the Big Suck
Once again these are random musing of events which could happen and if they don’t oh well, too bad, so sad. However if they do occur, remember you heard it hear first and I get to gloat like Obama taking another Constitutional right away.
- 3 or more large regional U.S. banks will be forced to merge or acquired by one of the big 10 banks under the Fed’s mandate to maintain financial stability.
- The stock market as represented by the S&P 500 will correct 20-30% in the first half of 2016 only to rebound until the election when a period of instability will repeat similar to the election of 2008.
- IBM will split into 3 companies with Microsoft purchasing the one division in a bidding war with Google (now called Alphabet).
- The Federal Reserve will raise overnight rates to the 0.50% range in March and again in June. In August, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will announce a new round of Quantitative Easing and an end to any further increases on the last day of the annual economic gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
- There will be a major nationwide ATM/Debit and credit card outage for almost all U.S. banks and card companies lasting 4 hours or longer. When service is restored there will be no explanation offered but the internet rumor mill will indicate a cyber-terrorism attack is to blame.
- Gold will briefly trade below $900 per ounce only to rally above $1400 per ounce by year end. Silver will trade briefly below $12 per ounce in sympathy, only to rally above $22.25 by year end. Buy it while it’s legally available to do so.
- WTI Crude will briefly trade below $20 per barrel and finish the year in a range between $35 to $52 per bbl.
- One of the CEO’s of the 10 major banks which just happens to be U.S. Treasury Primary Dealer(possibly one of the foreign owned U.S. divisions) will be indicted for financial fraud to give Obama a show trial and help support Hillary Clinton’s flailing campaign.
- Dozens of financial bloggers will face well publicized civil suits from the SEC under the guise of attempting to manipulate markets. This will be for show only and has no merit but will be used to intimidate independent journalism and opinion on the internet. Thousands of message boards and blogs shut down as a result.
- Venezuela will default on all foreign debt.
- Russia will make use of the U.S. Dollar in all transactions with the Russian Federation illegal. They will hold less than $2 billion in U.S. Treasuries when the announcement is made.
- China will begin buying more American real estate especially in the Western States. California will sell some state owned lands and waive any environmental regulations regarding exploration for minerals.
- The Mexican Peso will trade at over 20 to the USD.
- The Euro will stop declining and stabilize around €0.95 to the USD and rise back to €1.14 by year end.
- The USD Index will peak above 110 and fall below 87 by year end.
- The “official” U-3 Unemployment Rate will plummet to 4.8% by mid-year only to rise above 5.5% just before the election.
- CPI-U as measured by the US government will go negative in the Q1, flat in Q2, and rise above 2.9% by year end.
- GDP, the fiction that it is, will be below 1% in Q1 and Q2, around 1.3-1.5% in Q3, and below 0.2% in Q4. Unofficially the country will be in recession as of December 2015 with few if any economists recognizing the slowdown in retail sales and capital expenditures; officially this will be revised after Obama leaves office where the measuring standards are restored to some degree of sanity after the grossly artificial adjustments made during his administration.
- The Congress will refuse to pass a Value Added Tax (VAT) but will instead approve a 1/2 cent sales tax on all internet transactions to allegedly fund further internet infrastructure improvements.
- Apple (AAPL) stock will decline below $70 per share in early 2016.
- Russia and Ukraine will go to war over the persistent violations of the Minks Accords by Kiev in the Donbass, early in 2016. Kiev’s armed forces will lose 50% of their capabilities in the first week due to desertions and a high rate of destruction. The European Union and NATO do nothing.
- Iran will send 30,000 troops into Iraq to stabilize the region around Kurdistan and block any further Turkish incursions into Iraq. Turkey responds by sending 10,000 troops of their own into Kurdistan.
- ISIS will lose another 30% of it’s territory in Iraq and Syria in 2016. Casualty rates will be very high as a renewed Russian supported offensive pushes ISIS out of Western Syria and forces them back towards the Iraqi border. International terrorism activity increases as a result of fighters fleeing overseas.
- ISIS successfully launches a series of coordinated major attacks with IEDs and firearms in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands with hundreds of civilian casualties.
- Al Qaeda declares a sovereign state within Afghanistan. The government there is powerless to react. The Taliban will control approximately 40% of the country by year end.
- A small U.S. military unit will be captured by the Taliban in Eastern Afghanistan. Their “show” trial and subsequent televised execution will increase demands for American military re-intervention in that nation.
- Venezuela will collapse into civil war; Mexico is not far behind by the end of 2016.
- Saudi Arabia will deny but reports will emerge late in 2016 of a civil war in the Southern provinces and Shia Eastern regions beginning in that nation.
- Saudi Arabia and the GCC will withdraw their forces from Yemen in a humiliating defeat. Obama refuses to help their forces in the conflict other than arms resupply.
- Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, France, and Italy will form an international coalition and invade Libya to restore stability and eject ISIS late in 2016.
- Canada will see the re-emergence of the Quebecois separatist movement as the economy slides further into recession and recent refugees from Syria create havoc with a terrorist attack.
- Brazil votes in a hard right government to maintain stability and clean the nation up before the Summer Olympics.
- China “accidentally” shoots down a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft near the disputed Senkaku Islands.
- South Africa slides into an economic depression and tribal rivalries push the nation towards civil war.
- India and Pakistan announce a historic peace treaty settling the Jammu-Kashmir dispute for the time being.
- Donald Trump negotiates a deal with Ted Cruz and gives him his delegates in a dramatic speech at the Republican National Convention. The Republican Establishment is outraged in private but throws weak support to the Cruz campaign anyways as the live television event draws over 40 million viewers; the most for a convention in many years.
- Hillary Clinton is implicated in an arms for cash program sponsored by Qatari agents when documents are leaked in late October of 2016 indicating that she personally approved the transfer of arms from Benghazi and Tripoli to Syrian rebels who eventually emerged as ISIS. The American public is outraged and Obama promises to have the Justice Department “look into this” after the election.
- On December 31, 2016 President Obama pardons and/or commutes the sentences of numerous 1960’s and 1970’s radicals including members of the Black Panther Party, the Weather Underground, Communist Party USA, etc.
- The first documented cyber-terrorism attack occurs in the United States during a major cold snap in late January to early February in the Northeastern U.S. The attack is not on Wall Street however, but on the power grid leaving hundreds dead as a six day outage hits during a prolonged period of snow and below zero temperatures.
- Women are forced to sign up for the Selective Service by September 1, 2016 when they turn 18. All women currently aged 18 to 40 will be given 12 months to sign up.
- On January 2, 2016, President Obama will sign a new Executive Order which forbids private sales of firearms between consenting adults unless one of the parties has paid for a Federal Background Check and the transfer of the weapon to the new owner occurs in the presence of a FFL holder. The FFL holder or shop will be required to document all aspects of the sale, if it was cash or check, and provide several forms including the background check to the BATF. The FFL holder or shop can initiate any fees necessary but the seller will be ultimately held responsible for paying the $50 (or more) for the background check process. In addition, buried deep in the E.O. will be an addition barring the shipment of any ammunition directly to a citizens household from any retail operation. All deliveries must be made to a FFL holder where the purchaser can then sign a receipt and BATF form for proof of delivery and that the ammunition is legally delivered to the rightful purchaser. Called the “Cheaper than Dirt” clause, FedEx, UPS, and the USPS will be barred from shipping direct to homes as well as any DOT regulated motor carrier.
- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan(R-WI) loses his primary challenge.
- Several Tea Party groups are barred from attending the Republican National Convention or entering the halls of the event.
- Senator Rand Paul barely wins re-election to his seat in Kentucky after withdrawing from the Republican Presidential race after the New Hampshire primary.
- Jeb! Bush quits the race as does Marco Rubio after a humiliating defeat in their home state of Florida.
- George H.W. Bush publicly calls Donald Trump an “asshole.”
- The city of Chicago announces it will fall into bankruptcy if there is not a Federal Bailout just weeks before the November election.
- Puerto Rico requests the United States Congress vote to make them the 51st State.
- Chris Christie switches to the Democrat Party after leaving the Presidential race in February.
- The first Islamic suicide bomber succeeds with an attack on American soil.
- President Obama visits Tehran and meets with the Mullahs and in an attempt at reconciliation of relations apologizes for the 1950’s coup which installed the Shah.
- The Republicans will lose 5 U.S. Senate seats in the upcoming elections.
- There will be 15 hurricanes in the 2016 season with 5 coming close to or hitting the United States.
- A record blizzard and ice storm will hit the Southeastern U.S.
- California will experience a 7.5 or higher earthquake near a large coastal city.
- Arkansas or Oklahoma will experience a 5.5 or higher earthquake. This will start other central U.S. fault lines moving into an active stage.
- The Arizona Cardinals will win Superbowl 50.
- One of the cable news channels, in a desperate move for ratings, will televise live an assisted suicide from an Oregon medical facility. This will be an attempt to popularize and humanize this act.
- YouTube will ban all videos relating to guns including promotion of firearms, history, or safety at the request of the Obama administration.
- Washington, D.C. will legalize prostitution, thus preventing any politician within its city limits from being prosecuted for their daily activities.
There you have it. Take them with a grain of salt.
Or a large glass of scotch as 2016 will not be dull.