2018 Predictions

As we think about the year behind it’s often useful to think about what may lay ahead.

To that end, here are some predictions for 2018:

  1. Blockchain. Most of the current blockchain currencies will falter in 2018 with several doubting the viability or use of the tech. Many will shout “I told you so” as prices crater and many fortunes lost. But a new blockchain currency will begin to emerge as a severe challenge to fiat currencies giving the technology and the movement to create an alternative world currency new life.
  2. Apple will buy Netflix. Sweet Jesus they should have done this a while ago. The key element here is as Disney has become more competitive in streaming, it may persuade Reed Hastings he needs more resources to compete. That’s a tough nut to crack and Apple needs Netflix badly if it wants to compete with a TV service. $200 billion in cash coming back to Apple with Tax Reform, I can’t think of a better way to spend it. Note one alterantive to this is Apple to buy Disney (especially if Fox merger fails).
  3. The year of wireless power! No more tangled cables with the advent of true wireless charging using resonance for power. This means wireless headphones and other accessories may never need to touch a cable. Big upgrade cycle in accessories.
  4. Trust busting comes back! Regulators will begin to notice severe antitrust issues in US industry. In Particular- technology, healthcare, telecommunications and media. Trust busting of the early 20th century (led by Republicans) comes back. Incumbents in these sectors have used market power and existing regulations to prevent competition. This will open huge opportuntiies for new entrants. Side note: the single biggest problems we have in our system is too much money in politics. Until this is solved we’ve got large interests protecting their own wealth and existing entrenched encumbents.
  5. The House and Senate will move to Democratic control in November 2018. The house will start articles of impeachment against Trump — a compromise will be reached and he will avert impeachment in 2019.
  6. Peace talks in Korea. Tensions drop dramatically. Trump tries to do a “great deal” with North Korea. The rocket testing stops. Also on the political front, efforts inside major mideastern countries against radical sects of Islam such as Wahabism will begin an era of moderation in Saudi Arabia and Iran. This won’t end terrorism by extremists but we’ll see far less frequent attacks.
  7. This will be a big year for breakthroughs around genetics, traits, and diseases. Advances in modifying DNA to various outcomes unlocking long held medical mysteries. Several big new companies formed in this area. One of the major brain degenerative diseases thought uncureable will be cured.
  8. Economics. US growth will hit 3.5% to 4%. Early in the year- significant trade scuffles for the US lead to a trade war with China with several salvos exchanged. However the Bilateral trade relationship will remain mostly intact. NAFTA will be similar. A lot of sound and fury- but then nothing, like most of the political events of the year. Inflation will start to show up in government measures in the US and yields will finally start to rise. New Fed Chair will be more bearish than people expect (tighter policy). Most all analysts are predicting the dollar will fall and EM will do well next year. The dollar will surprise and rise.
  9. Apple will release v2 of it’s new X Phone at 5.8 and 6.5 inches at $999 for and $1100 for 128GB which is a stealth price cut since users won’t be forced into the higher capacity model because of storage. The device is viewed as Apple finally innovating but but needs a cut to maximize shareholder value.
  10. Theresa May will be forced out early as UK Prime Minister as Brexit flounders. Brexit goes from likely Soft or no Brexit at all. Brexit will go down as one of the worst examples of political leadership in the history of democracy. The key catalyst here is Jermey Corbyn, the opposition leader. He needs to be removed/step down particularly in a scenario with new elections.
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