Happy New Year (assuming you don't live in South East Asia, where it's the middle of the year, or East Africa, where it's still Christmas).
It's well past that time of the year where I make predictions for the forthcoming 12 months and assess the quality of my predictive abilities for the previous.
Let's get to it:
1. I can haz double-dip recession? ... In short, more red lines on the charts, more capital flight to precious metals, more lost jobs, more housing price decline, more negative equity, more foreclosures, more unemployment and more excuses from those responsible.
Result: Ding, ding, ding.
2. South Africa 2010 will see predictions of violence against the occasional drunk affluent visitor sadly fulfilled. Stadia will be full of white people flown in for the occasion. A European team, likely Spain or Italy, will win, though an African team, likely Nigeria, will get to the semis.
Result: SA pulled off the tournament without major incident. I can honestly say I'm extremely impressed. Spain did win, but the stadia were half empty and the African teams again underperformed.
3. General election in the Republic of Ireland.
Result: Well, we're getting it soon enough now, but I'm frankly baffled why it didn't happen last year, and I suspect history will record a nation regret that we didn't get one before FF and the Greens sold out the nation to international banksters, represented by the EU and IMF.
4. Result of election? Fine Gael and Labour, that unhappily married couple, back in the saddle again, this time minus the self-exploded Greens.
Result: This still looks very likely.
5. The toff Tories to edge it in a surprisingly close-run thing after an initial rally of the British economy in the Spring. But they will claim no seats in the North, leaving their alliance with the UUP in tatters.
Result: Pretty much correct, albeit the SDLP opted for Ritchie over McDonnell. A wise choice.
6. Post-Lisbon, the EU will grow ever more important... The twin-track Europe does begin to finally emerge. Eager to push on with the long march to federalism, the elites of Brussels will seek to seduce an inner circle to move faster.
Result: Just the one ding for this, because I didn't also foresee the EU becoming vilified locally after pushing to bankrupt our nation.
7. Poor ole spook kid Barack just won't catch an even break in 2010.
Result: Yup, though the predicted upswing in international terrorism seems to have been postponed until this year.
8. China realises its dollars are worthless and we don't want their tat anymore, and there's only so much African resources and commodities you can stockpile for future good times, so it belatedly decides to spree its dollar mountain on Western assets.
Result: Assets, and commodities, and land, and ...
9. Chelsea for the league, Barcelona for the Champions League, Rafa for Real and Mourinho for Anfield after an Arab buyout of the bankrupt Yanks.
Result: I admit to wishful thinking here. Man Yoo took the title, Mourinho took Real, Rafa took Inter, and more Yanks bought out the bankrupt Yanks, bringing in Woy the distastwous.
10. Russia will play silly buggers with the gas pipeline to the West again as it tries and largely succeeds in splitting both Georgia and the Ukraine in two.
Result: Vlad's stayed relatively quiet this year, with most of his naughtiness restricted to settling old scores via the secret service, rather than the large geo-political muscle flexing he preferred in 09.
Overall, another largely accurate assessment in a year of black swan moments, I feel. Next post will look at the year ahead.