Economic and Financial Predictions for 2023 (why is there a picture of a Dinosaur?)
If you want to know why you are looking at a picture of a dinosaur, scroll to the end.
This is not investment advice — but you had better be prepared.
Everything below is conjecture. This is not investment advice. Consult an investment advisor.
2022 — Where did it all go wrong?
As we near the end of 2022 the papers will be looking back at the year and wondering “Where did it all go wrong?”
There was no shortage of bad news in 2022. We had war, inflation, rising interest rates, supply chain issues, shortages, summer droughts, transportation problems, climbing oil prices, recession and the ongoing Covid variants, accompanied by ever changing rules about masks, lockdowns, social distancing and travel restrictions.
None of this bad news has gone away. Nor is it likely to.
Global Warming — The final Straw?
Adding to all this gloom is the news that climatologists were not sufficiently alarmist. Global warming is speeding up. Carbon dioxide levels have reached the “point of no return”. Due to global warming plant life is dying faster. Less oxygen is being produced. Decaying plants in turn produce CO2 which causes even more heat, creating an unstoppable vicious circle, killing more plant life. We’re all going to fry.
Late 2022 — Winter
Nobody can say for sure how long we’ve got. Furthermore, it’s winter. It’s cold outside. Most people just don’t believe it’s serious. Most of the rest just don’t care. They can’t do anything about it. Until they are actually cooked, it’s not relevant news. Their life goes on as normal. It’s like telling a smoker about lung cancer. Until he gets it, he doesn’t care.
Stocks don’t care if we are all going to die
Despite the ever growing list of bad news, stock markets are rallying from their lows in the summer of 2022. Everyone is trading like crazy.
As I said at the start of this blog, everything I write is conjecture. It may, or may not, happen. The exact opposite may happen. Some of the below is serious, some is “tongue-in cheek”, and is not to be taken too seriously. Enjoy!
Stock Markets 2023
After an awful year in 2022, global stocks are on the mend. Nasdaq soars as technology, Artificial Intelligence and robotics stocks lead the way.
Technology fund, Ark Investments, now re-named AI investments, after its large holding in AI (formerly Tesla), is back to its all time record thanks to its exposure to the technology sector.
Cathie Wood appears on the front page of Time Magazine as “Man of the Year”. There are millions of happy Americans who had kept their faith in her and kept on buying as the price went lower and lower. Main-stream Wall Street professional investors, who are mostly invested in dull and boring utilities and railroads, missed out on the rally. Top-name Wall Street firms call it a bubble that is about to burst a second time.
Tesla has renamed itself as “AI” short for “Artificial Intelligence”.
After a long court battle, Elon Musk’s Twitter account has been un-frozen. Twitter had claimed that he was using AI robots to post false information.
Elon announces on Twitter that he is building a fleet of space-ships to start a colony on Mars. Shareholders will get first-dibs on a seat. The news is accompanied by a rights issue to raise the cash.
Twitter announces a paid news subscription service which promises to only have genuine news tweets.
Meta Inc 2023
Meta, formerly Facebook, announces the creation of Meta-World. It’s a virtual reality world where companies can host conferences, run trade shows, open shops and do just about anything you can do in the real world. Meta-World say it already hosts 400 of the world’s largest cities, and says that many more are to come.
Real Estate in the virtual world is reserved for the same owners and occupiers as in the physical world. They will have a three-year window to claim it, (in return for a fee), after which unclaimed virtual property will be auctioned off.
Shops, conferences, trade shows and product demonstrations “will be just like the real thing” says Meta. Virtual entertainment, such bars, discos and pop-concerts can be enjoyed from the safety of your bedroom.
For the best experience participants can buy Meta’s Meta-verse virtual reality headsets, tactile gloves, body-suits, and other high-tech stuff like vibrating robotic chairs, ski-boots and Tesla steering wheels.
World leaders decline to hold their 2023 conference in Meta-World’s virtual Davos, despite the Covid risks. Instead they will be heading to Switzerland where they can ski on real snow.
Breton Woods 2
After a top level meeting in Davos, dubbed as “Bretton Woods 2”, the UK, USA and Europe announce the introduction of digital currencies, known as “Central Bank Digital Currencies”, or “CBDC”s. The CBDCs are to be direct liabilities of the respective central banks, and will be pegged 1:1 to the respective national currencies. Use of the CBDCs will become mandatory by 2025.
Debt Restructuring 2023
The World Bank and the IMF say the introduction of the CBDCs should be used as an opportunity for debt-restructuring.
Chaos ensues in the financial markets as currencies gyrate wildly.
The new UK Prime Minister, Liz Truss, asks Britons to stop rioting. She assures the nation that “A pound in your pocket will still be worth a pound”. Except it won’t be in your pocket.
The price of just about everything is higher. US inflation is predicted to reach 15%.
UK Petrol Crisis 2023
The price of petrol hits a new record in the UK as many petrol stations run out of fuel. People are queueing outside those petrol stations which are still open.
The UK Secretary of State for Transport, (former Prime Minister Boris Johnson), denied that the high prices and shortages were caused by Brexit.
“Look,” said Mr. Johnson, “It’s nothing to do with Brexit. The only reason the price is up is because we’ve run out of North Sea oil. We now have to buy our oil from abroad. The pound is down, which means that it costs more. In fact, just about everything costs more, so there’s nothing special about the price of petrol…..”
“As for the queues, and empty gas stations, there’s no actual shortage. It’s just that no one wants to work here. If we can’t get lorry drivers from abroad, there’s nobody to deliver the petrol from the refineries to the petrol stations. There would be plenty of petrol here except that nobody’s delivering it.”
Interest Rates 2023
In early 2023, despite the ongoing recession, inflation is still rising. The Federal Reserve continues raising interest rates in a series of 75bps moves. US interest rates reach levels not seen in 15 years. House prices continue tanking as mortgage rates rise.
There are calls for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to be replaced. He is summoned before Congress to explain why he isn’t fulfilling the mandate of maximum employment and price stability. Congress gives him a hard time.
By the the summer of 2023 property prices have stopped falling. Autumn sees a sharp resurgence. Properties in northern countries are rising fastest, as people seek refuge from the heat waves.
The FT and Wall Street Journal try to paint a balanced point of view about the world, the economy and stock markets. Nobody cares. Who reads papers anyway? We want our news in Tweet-sized snippets.
TV Networks continue to lose ground to YouTube, Instagram and a host of other online media channels.
Bloomberg and CNBC try to claw back an audience by having a non-stop stream of sensationalist guests forecasting market crashes, technology booms, crash, boom and bust. Nobody watching knows which way to turn, but it sure does create some brokerage fees on Wall Street. The guests who all lost money by following their own forecasts are pretty happy to get paid.
A world-famous American YouTuber is arrested in London on an international arrest warrant issued by the USA for alleged tax evasion. It’s alleged that he didn’t declare the hundreds of millions he raised from his “cult-like” followers who were expecting to receive shares of a new crypto-currency. It seems that he was living a lavish life style, on other people’s money.
A heated debate ensues about whether such kinds of people should be censored from using Youtube to raise money.
MonkeyPox, (now colloquially known as the “Kissing disease”), which was initially declared as “nothing to worry about” is now affecting millions of people. Travel restrictions, mask wearing, social distancing and other measures are back in place.
Corona virus outbreaks continue to surge. The latest Covid variant causes a temporary lack of perspective and an inability to think logically. Many of those affected say they experienced a loss of touch with reality, or suffered from phenomenons known as FOMO or and FUD.
Vaccine companies warn that regular Covid booster jabs are going to have to become the new norm, if we want to stay alive.
As new variants keep popping up, governments recommend their populations to get a 4th, then a 5th booster.
There’s still only one vaccine company able to make MonkeyPox vaccines. The small Danish company is overwhelmed by orders and can’t keep up.
New Pandemic restrictions are introduced. Meetings of more than 15 people are banned in the UK. The UK minister for technology proposes to the new Prime Minister that the cabinet’s Christmas party should be held virtually, in the MetaVerse, so as to respect Pandemic guidelines. The proposal is point blank refused. The Prime Minister immediately raises the meeting limit to 30 so the Cabinet can have its party.
The ex-president catches Covid for the third time and survives.
Trump changes his political affiliation for the 7th time since 1989. He announces that he is forming a new party called the “Unmasked” Party and he will run for President again.
Productivity continues sinking as employees are reluctant to return to work after trying “work-at-home” schemes where they watched Netflix all day. Employees are now treating lockdowns as holidays.
France and the UK are beset by strikes with workers demanding more money and a four-day working week.
Companies complain that they can’t seem to get staff unless they pay them more than before and give them more time off.
Meanwhile a survey reveals that 80% of government employees consider their “work at home” days are being treated by the employees as if they were days off, i.e. do as little as possible.
Alien Life 2023
Scientists operating the James Web Space Telescope say they have found evidence that there could be life on Proxima Centuri B, just 4.2 light years from earth.
Later the President of the United States makes a world-changing announcement. “We are not alone”. A powerful intelligent signal is being beamed directly at earth from the Sombrero Galaxy, some 40 million light years away. Scientists are scrambling to decode it.
Dinosaurs caught on Camera (beyond 2023).
Nobody thought it would ever be possible to go back in time. But here we are, watching videos of pre-historic earth, and looking at real dinosaurs. Scientists have decoded the signal being received from the Sombrero galaxy. They are broadcasting video of our planet as it existed 80 million years ago with detail that no technology on earth could match. Unfortunately for mankind the video is frequently interrupted by advertisements for Sombrero galaxy miracle products that aren’t available in our shops.