In his “Ten Suprises for 2009” list, Pequot Capital Chief Investment Strategist Byron Wien says the coming year is likely to feature a number of major events — including a rebound in equities, a rush into gold, significant dollar declines, and the potential bankruptcy of New York State.
Wien, who has released his Ten Surprises list for the past 24 years, says he expects the S&P 500 to rebound to about 1,200 in the coming year as the “mantra changes from ‘fortunes have been lost’ to ‘fortunes can still be made.’ Higher quality corporate bonds, leveraged loans and mortgages lead the way.”
But while equities will likely rebound, Wien says the financial damage won’t be done. “Falling tax revenues from the financial sector cause New York State to threaten bankruptcy and other states and municipalities follow,” he predicts. “The Federal government is forced to step in and provide substantial assistance. The New York Post screams ‘When will the bailouts stop?'”
Amonng Wien’s other predictions: Gold rising to $1,200 an ounce, oil rebounding to $80 a barrel, a revival from the Chinese stock market, the failure of the American public to keep up its save-more habits, and Barack Obama’s decision to slow his plan for troop removal from Iraq because of concerns about Iraq’s stability.
Wien’s predictions are obviously no sure thing; he says they have at least a 50% chance of occurring. He’s had a success rate of more than 50% over the duration of his Top 10 list, however, and last year he hit several nails on the head. In January 2008, he said the U.S. would enter a recession “with the housing sector weak and banks scared of lending to anyone who resembles trouble”, Forbes reported. He also predicted a Barack Obama victory and a new Senate with 60 Democrats, unemployment over 5%, and a sharp stock market decline in China. His misses from last year: He predicted inflation and 10-year Treasury rates would both rise above 5%, and said oil prices would move between $80 and $115 a barrel.