Rough 2011 predictions

I suppose I should make some falsifiable predictions for the year ahead – so I can explain at the end of the year why I was so wrong 😉

Lets go (note, these are my rough picks – they aren’t associated with anyone else, and they definitely don’t exist in a professional capacity) :

  • NZ GDP growth will near 4%pa by the end of the year.  Inventory accumulation will be a major contributor.
  • Consumption growth will be weaker than economic growth – but will accelerate during the second half of the year.
  • NZ unemployment will hold above 5% – but will be in the lower 5’s.
  • The housing market will remain weak.
  • The Reserve Bank will remain dovish on rates over the first half of the year – but then start hiking in June.
  • Farmers paying down debt on the back of high commodity prices, combined with increasing risk taking/confidence by investors, will see interest rates fall over the first half of the year.
  • National and Labour will compete over “savings plans” which will involve far too much in the way of distortions, compulsion, and poor “incentive” programs for my liking.  As a result I will post on them constantly.
  • National will win the election with effectively the same coalition government as we have now.
  • Aggregate commodity prices will peak in March, but will not decline significantly.
  • Oil prices will rise 10-15%.
  • Australian growth will fall slightly below trend.
  • The US recovery will be lower than expectations in the early stages of 2011 on the back of a slight run down in inventories – however, underlying activity will pick up sharply from the middle of the year.
  • The Fed will not lift rates or cut back on QE.
  • Israel will attack Iran to destroy any nuclear capabilities – and nothing will come from it (have put an entire dollar on this on iPredict – with an order to buy another 100 stocks)
  • Chinese growth will slow to 8%.
  • Portugal will teeter, but the essence of the debt crisis will be forgotten again over the year.
  • Japan will tighten policy too early.
  • Subsidies for solar power will become a more common policy around the world.
  • An international mission to Mars will be announced.
  • Update: India will win the Cricket World Cup.
  • Update:  France will win the Rugby World Cup after disappointing in group play.
  • Update:  Gold price will fall – say it will be lower on December 31 2011 than it was in December 31 2010 in US dollar terms
  • Update:  The NZ TWI will be volatile, but on average unchanged!
  • Update 2: Arsenal will win the PL in 2010/11
  • Update 2: LFC will be top of the PL in 2011/12 at Christmas (but will end up coming 4th)
  • Update 2: Wellington Phoenix will come in sixth in the regular season – but will make a semi final.  They will be in fourth place by the end of December 2011.

Israel-Palestine Conflict: A general model?

This blog tries to remain relatively apoliticial. I do not intend to break this by illustrating as opinion on the Israel-Palestine conflict, it is a difficult issue which I could do no justice. However, I do like to try to understand the world around me, so a relatively generalised model that describes these types of conflicts and “international policy advice” in the situation would be useful to me.

I aim to sketch out a few thoughts I have based on the study of economics. If there is a political scientist out there (or anyone else for that matter), I would be more than happy to hear about the multitude of logic flaws in my description 😉

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