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Top Eight Predictions for 2008

Posted on | January 1, 2008 | 1 Comment

Happy New Year! To usher it in, I thought it appropriate to offer my predictions for the months ahead, as my success rate will be no better than anyone else’s.

Economy falls into recession. There’s a heart-warmer for you! Whatever boom we’ve experienced as a nation recently has been debt-funded. We all know that. At some point, you can’t leverage yourself anymore, especially when the mother of all leverage techniques, pulling money out of your home, starts to fall apart in the mortgage crisis.

Bay Area traffic conditions improve. This is related to No. 1. The economy stalls. The web 2.0 bubble bursts right on time. The “social” mantra gives way to the modularization of web applications that’s underway. The battle between free information and monetization intensifies. It feels so much like January 2001.

Green movement thrives and staggers at the same time. There’s a ton of money been poured on and coverage being heaped on the green movement, but that doesn’t mean there’s a silver bullet out there. In fact, the green movement mirrors the development of technology, which is always incremental. So really cool things that make incremental improvements in energy conservation will emerge but of companies will struggle with their business models because the products have to be cost-effective, especially when No. 1 looms above. The answer remains: drive less, walk and bike more, think about what you’re putting in the trash. Reusable grocery bags are way trendy but when the products being dropped into them are covered in plastic, we still have a ways to go.

Pakistani government collapses; Iraq stabilizes. Terrorists fill vacuums, and there’s a big one gathering in Mushbrain Musharaff’s front yard. In Iraq, you can only convince so many true believers to blow themselves up. Either the surge is working or those true believers are dwindling (or both). Root out a little corruption in the government, and the people can get back to the business of making some money and rebuilding a great country. At the same time, there’s a major opportunity for Islamic terrorists to exploit instability in Pakistan. Hell it’s already there in Pashtun/Waziristan region. Roadside and suicide bombings are losing their headline value in Karbala, but stirring the nest in Pakistan can get you Page One.

Obama wins the presidency, but political landscape tilled. After the conventions, when Romney is the GOP nominee and Obama has fired up Democrats with the change theme, Ron Paul and Mike Bloomberg will mount very energetic independent campaigns. People across the political spectrum are salivating for change so much that energy will carry four presidential campaigns all the way to the wire. (Think John Anderson in ’80 only better). Obama wins because (a) he doesn’t look like a Ken doll (Romney) (b) he IS the face of the new America—I can’t understate the importance of that—and (c) his change message (as vague as that is) and his being from familiar territory (a major political party) will carry the day.

Baseball does little in wake of steroid investigation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to forecast that. Bonds goes down for perjury. Clemens bays at the moon. Old guys like me continue to embrace the American uniqueness and natural poetry of the game in empty ballparks while more moms drive more kids to soccer practice, setting the stage for a U.S. World Cup championship in 2012. Giants lose 100 games in 2008 (tip of the hat to Jon Swartz of USA Today for beating everyone to the punch on that one!).

America gets healthier. The pendulum starts to swing back as communities realize the grave mortgage we’ve levied on the future with the obesity epidemic. You can’t very well compete on the world stage when most of us will be driving around in electric carts at 37. Gavin Newsome may be the worst mayor in the history of San Francisco (and that’s a crowded field), but he had the right idea when he waged war on soda. President Obama will need to kick the nicotine habit and be as healthy as his predecessor to lead the charge.

Most predictions will fall short. If you didn’t see that one comin’ a mile away, you’re still working off last night’s festivities!

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One Response to “Top Eight Predictions for 2008”

  1. Anonymous
    January 2nd, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

    “HAPPY New Year”?!? Given prediction #1, it is your most misleading opening line yet, Mr. Fuller. Couldn’t you have waited a few days before deflating my blind optimism? I think perhaps this is the year you truly earn your “curmudgeon” stripes …

    In hopes that your uncharacteristically way off on item #1, despite what today’s oil and stock market prices would suggest.


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