Results of Jim Blasingame's 2008 Predictions

Jim Blasingame

Here is a recap of my 2008 Small Business Advocate Crystal Ball Predictions, what actually happened and my score.
This is going to be ugly.
Prediction: If there is a recession, it began in Q4 '07 and will be over by Q1 '08.
Reality:  Got the first part (impressive, huh?) but missed the second part. For scoring purposes, +1, -1.
Prediction:  The economy will absorb the credit meltdown through Q2, followed by a second half GDP growth rate of at least 3%. 
Even the smart guys missed this one; -1.
Prediction: The
U.S. economy will continue to produce new jobs, but the annual number will be below 1 million.
Saw the slowing, but not the dropping; -1.
Prediction: Finding qualified people will continue to be the single greatest challenge of small business owners.
This problem didn't go away, but the overall economy became the big news; -1.
Prediction: The Core Inflation Rate will average no more than 3%. 
Got this one. Inflation has been a non-issue, even with record oil prices; +1.
Prediction: The Fed will ease interest rates to no lower than a 3% Fed Funds Rate at year-end.
Rates were recently cut to virtually zero. Unprecedented in
U.S. history; -1.
Prediction: The global credit crisis will not result in less credit available to small businesses. 
In fact, small businesses faired the best in the credit crisis, since most do business with independent community banks, who typically have no toxic assets on their balance sheets. +1.
Prediction: Oil prices will average above $85 per barrel.
Crude oil averaged approx. $104 in 2008; +1
Prediction: Nationally, housing sales and prices will stabilize and trend upward by year-end.
Yikes! What was I thinking?  -1.
Prediction: There will not be a national mortgage foreclosures crisis.
  In 2008, the crisis was in the perception of the value of mortgage-backed securities, not foreclosures; +1. This may change in 2009.
Iraq will stabilize and be a non-issue in the '08 presidential election.
Reality: Thank you, American military and Iraqi nationalists; +1.
Russia will be the big foreign policy issue.
Backed by high crude revenues, Putin became nostalgic for the Cold War, invaded
Georgia and cozied up to Chavez; +1.
Prediction: Mike Huckabee will be somewhere on the '08 Republican national ticket.
Even McCain didn't know who Sarah P. was on
January 1, 2008; -1.
Prediction:  New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will be the '08 Democrat VP nominee.
Can I at least get a push since he's in Obama's cabinet?  Fine; -1.
Write this on a rock... That makes my '08 record 7 for 15, putting a big dent in my 7-year average of 72%. Next week my '09 predictions.

Jim Blasingame is creator and host of The Small Business Advocate Show.
Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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