John Mauldin’s Review of 2012!

John Mauldin’s Review of 2012!

“…when you make a prediction, never make a prediction about timing”

Unfortunately for them, the Mayans were unaware of the thoughts of Dr. Faber – a situation that is probably even more unfortunate for Dr. Doom himself, as he would doubtless have been revered amongst a group of people not only fixated by the end of the world, but willing to put an actual date against it. For those of you concerned about it, that date is tomorrow, December 21st, 2012, hence my desire to write my review of the past year BEFORE the world ends. In case you’re interested in reading it, I’d suggest you get a move on – just on the off-chance…..

We begin the review of 2012 with arguably the biggest story (though in this particular year, that is a tougher call than one would normally imagine) and that was the final implosion of Europe after decades of political process and, latterly, hundreds of billions of Euros thrown into a bottomless pit in an ill-fated attempt to placate Germany.

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Ultimately, with the Germans having to finally capitulate and allow the ECB to backstop European sovereign debt in March after a series of disastrous bond auctions, it was clear that the position of Greece was one that couldn’t continue the way it had.

Faced with yet more enforced austerity and a population on the verge of Civil War, Greece finally had no choice but to leave the Euro (shown happily to the door by her Northern neighbours), return to the Drachma and devalue its currency dramatically in order to address the crippling deficits it had accumulated in the futile attempt to be accepted into a ‘club’ it had no more than a geographical right to be part of from the beginning.

The subsequent rioting in Portugal, when a referendum on membership of the Eurozone was denied, and the consequential emergence from the shadows of the Socialist Party, whose cries of “quebrar as correntes” (break the chains) became a rallying cry that swept them into power and Portugal out of Europe, threw the continent into a tailspin and now looks like causing Spain to become the third country to walk away from a Unified Europe in protest at the draconian concessions being demanded by Germany in order that the Spanish government’s debt receive the same backstop granted the more austere governments in Dublin and Rome.

The announcement by the Prime Minister that, like Greece before it, Spain’s budget deficit was actually of a far greater magnitude than had been previously admitted was the final nail in Spain’s coffin.

Much of the strife in 2012 was centred around The Middle East as the trouble in Iraq that began last year immediately after the withdrawal of US troops continued to escalate into a full-scale civil war and the simultaneous eruption of violence in Syria allied with the attempts by Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to influence the outcome of the sectarian violence that ravaged Iraq combined to send the oil price spiking to $150 as attacks on pipelines in the south (widely assumed to be backed by the government in Tehran) became commonplace, disrupting supply and sending gas prices soaring across the globe. The unrest culminated in the ill-fated US attack on Iran’s Bushehr reactor which caused another spike in oil prices to the previously-inconceivable level of $188. The resultant surge above $5.00 for gas prices in the US proved a step too far for the creaking US economy.

President-elect Hillary Clinton’s narrow win over Michael Bloomberg in last month’s US election put the seal on an extraordinary year in American politics after Barack Obama’s shock decision in June not to seek re-election. Bloomberg’s late emergence put paid to the hopes of Ron Paul, whose remarkable showing in the early Primaries and caucuses had made the chances of him finally moving into the White House (and bringing some much-needed fiscal sanity with him) look anything but remote.

Full article here-

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