Predicting the future is easy because all predictions are ultimately a forecaster’s opinions. Finding accurate predictions is difficult because opinions seldom reflect reality.
Conversely, predictions can be a valuable resource because they show you informed observers’ opinions of future developments and present trends. Examining others’ predictions can help you identify important trends and help y think about future developments in fresh ways.
In that spirit, here are a few of my random predictions for 2021.
1. America will experience Food Riots in 2021
Feeding America estimates that over 50 million Americans were experiencing food insecurity in October 2020.
However, Congress’s response to that looming catastrophe is to send ordinary Americans one $600 stimulus check. Note: Congress refused to take even that action until two US Senators; Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), threatened to block legislation.
Anger at Congress’s failure is already triggering violence. For example, vandals attacked the homes of the two most powerful members of Congress after the failure of an effort to pass a $2,000 stimulus check. An illiterate vandal painted “WERES MY MONEY,” and “MITCH KILLS POOR” on US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Kentucky) Louisville home.
In a more disturbing episode, somebody left a severed pig’s head in a pool of red paint in front of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) San Francisco garage. That attacker painted “Cancel rent” and “We want everything” on the garage, CBSN Bay Area reports. Expect Congressional failure to trigger worse violence soon.
I predict food riots if this inaction continues. A probable scenario is that a local charity will run out of food or money for food. Consequently, a mob of hungry and desperate people will pillage a supermarket, a Walmart, or a Costco Store.
One true nightmare will be police, National Guard soldiers, or security guards firing on hungry looters or looters shooting back, remember this is America. A frightening and probable scenario is hungry people bringing their guns to the food riot.
What the consequences of that national embarrassment will be, I cannot say. However, it will destroy what little is left of America’s reputation.
Last word: I expect the first American food riots in February or March if the present gridlock in Washington DC continues and Congress does not wise up and start making regular stimulus payments.
2. America will experience widespread Civil Unrest in 2021
Bad economic conditions and high unemployment will continue in America. That will lead to widespread civil unrest including protests and food riots.
Some highlights will include more protests and riots if police kill black people – a certainty. I also expect massive marches on Washington and protests. Both disgruntled Trump supporters and unemployed people will march on Washington. Also expect to see rich neighborhoods of cities such as New York and Los Angeles burn.
The worst-case scenario is violence similar to the 1932 Bonus March on Washington DC during the Great Depression. How our government will react to such marches is hard to say. However, the Bonus March ended when the Army attacked protesters with cavalry, fixed bayonets, and tanks.
Whether today’s military will go along with such oppression is hard to say but our history shows it is possible. A true nightmare for President Biden could be the army refusing to follow his orders to fire on protesters.
Worst-case scenario: mobs storming through the White House or the Capitol Building while the President, Pelosi, and McConnell cower in a bunker on some military base or flee the country on some billionaire’s private jet. Best-case scenario: orderly protests similar to Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s march on Washington in 1963.
My prediction: Expect another wave of riots and protests, including marches on Washington and Capitol Hill this year. What the political effects of the violence will be is unknown, but it will not be good for President Biden’s approval numbers.
3. America’s global status will plummet in 2021
The United States’ global status fell dramatically in 2020. During the year, the United States could not control the pandemic a task countries such as India could accomplish.
America’s reputation plunged during riots, violence, electoral bungling, and widespread denial of the reality of the virus. A telling spectacle of America’s growing impotence was the President of the United States’ fear of a Chinese video sharing app TikTok. President Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) who refused to take action to control the virus, found time to ban TikTok as a threat to National Security.
My prediction: 2021 will disappoint those who expect President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) to restore America’s reputation. Instead, America will be weaker and less influential than it has been since before World War I at the end of the year. The tired, old, and possibly sick. Biden will only diminish America’s reputation.
4. The Neoconservative Interventionist Warhawks in Washington will launch some sort of war
I expect the neocons in Washington will try to “restore America’s status and reputation” with some sort of dramatic military action. I do not know what that action will be, but it will fail.
I think the Neocons will take that action to divert Americans’ attention from the growing failures of the Biden Administration and the dreadful economy. Whether Biden is strong enough to resist the warmongers is unknown. I predict the military action will fail and diminish America’s reputation.
Possible Biden military actions could be an invasion of Bolivia or Venezuela to overthrow leftist regimes, bombing campaigns in the Middle East, American troops in Yemen, an attack on Iran, American troops in the Ukraine, or an effort to defend Taiwan from Chinese aggression.
Bottom Line: it could expose America as a second-rate power if the US backs down because of Chinese intervention. For example, if a Chinese aircraft carrier sails into the Persian Gulf to defend Iran.
The best-case scenario a short and meaningless war. The worst-case scenario: a Chinese-American showdown. Remember, the Chinese do not bluff, but Americans do. What happens if China calls America’s bluff?
5. The stock market will rise to new heights in 2021
The stock market boomed in 2020. For example, the S&P 500 rose from 3,257.85 on 2 January 2020 to 3,749 on 31 December 2020.
I think the S&P will rise to over 4,000 in 2021. The stock market will rise because money has nowhere else to go in today’s economy. Investors have few alternatives in today’s world of low-interest rates and overpriced real estate.
My prediction stocks will rise throughout 2021 and the correction will occur in 2022. Caveat: an outside event could cause a market crash. Some events that could send the markets tumbling include civil unrest, the failure of the vaccines, new coronavirus variants, a political crisis, war, riots, terrorism and a real estate collapse.
6. It will take several months or longer to distribute the vaccines
My prediction is that the coronavirus vaccines will not reach ordinary Americans until June or July 2021 at the earliest. The lack of vaccination will lead to unrest and frustration, including protests and riots.
The worst-case scenario: the current sloppy and disorganized rollout continues and vaccines only reach the rich and connected. I think that is a formula for riots. For example, an angry mob storming a health clinic with guns demanding “vaccinate us now or get a bullet in the head.”
Bottom line: vaccination will make or break Joe Biden. If Biden bungles vaccination, it will destroy him. Best-case scenario: Biden turns vaccination over to an organization that can distribute the vaccines to ordinary people; such as Walmart (WMT) or Amazon (AMZN). Worst-case scenario: a carnival of bureaucratic bungling that keeps vaccines out of Americans’ arms.
7. Donald J. Trump will shock the pundits by returning to the old media for big bucks
Instead of forming Trump TV or going to Newsmax, I predict ex-President Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) will sell out to an old media company for big money.
For instance, Trump could star in The Trump Show on MSNBC or NBC in exchange for a $1 million an episode or $5 million a week paycheck. I think MSNBC, NBC, or CNN, could sell out to Trump because their ratings are tumbling. Remember, Trump could become the biggest name in talk on 22 January 2020.
In particular, The Rachel Maddow Show slipped from number three in the TV news ratings in 2019 to number five in 2020, Adweek’s TV Newser reports. I predict MSNBC executives and their bosses at Comcast will listen to Trump’s pitch because The Trump Show could premier at number one and deliver an audience of over five million viewers each night. Notably, Adweek estimates the number one TV news show Hannity averaged 4.377 million viewers a week in 2020.
Final prediction: Trump will disappoint those expecting to see Trump TV. Trump will sell out for big bucks and TV networks will sell out for ratings.
8. The Pandemic Will Continue
The coronavirus pandemic and its effects including rising levels of remote work, high unemployment, and economic hardship will continue summer 2021. I think the pandemic and the death rates will continue to April or May unless we get serious about vaccination and lockdowns.
Bottom line: without vaccination there will be no semblance of normalcy until 2022. Get ready for several months or another year at home.
9. Business Travel and International Tourism will stay dead
I predict the appearance of new coronavirus variants will lead to more travel bans and restrictions. I expect there will be political pressure to block air travel into the US and other countries.
For instance over 40 countries restricted travel to the United Kingdom in December 2020 because of a new coronavirus variant in that country, Expect more travel restrictions in 2021 not less because of coronavirus variants.
Given those realities, I do not expect air travel, business travel, or tourism to recover. A probable outcome is a sudden collapse in air travel in January or February, followed by a total collapse of airline stocks.
My prediction: expect to see the bankruptcy of a major US airline and the bankruptcy of a major hotel chain and a cruise ship line this year. Expect to see demands for government bailouts of those businesses rise as the collapse continues.
10. TikTok Global will be the IPO of the year
I think TikTok Global could be the hottest initial public offering (IPO) of the year. To explain, TikTok Global is the American company that will operate TikTok in North America.
TikTok Global could be valuable because Forbes writer John Koetsier estimates TikTok’s user base grew by 75% in 2020. TikTok was also the top grossing app in the App Store in the second quarter of 2020.
Unfortunately, ordinary investors could have a hard time buying TikTok Global stock because three companies, Oracle (ORC), Walmart (WMT), and China’s ByteDance LTD, could own most of its stock. News articles indicate ByteDance (TikTok’s creator) will own 80% of TikTok Global. Oracle will own 12.5% of TikTok Global, and Walmart will own 7.5%.
Thus, I cannot tell how much TikTok Global stock they will sell. However, a Chinese company; ByteDance could make a fortune by selling America’s hottest new stock in 2021.
I wonder how the xenophobes in America’s news media and political establishment will react to that? My prediction is that those racists will attack TikTok Global while instructing their brokers to buy TikTok Global shares. Thus, the big bad Chinese technocrats President Trump fears will laugh all the way to the bank while taking over social media.
In the final analysis, I think 2021 could be a little better than 2020, but the coming year will still be dreadful.
Originally published at https://marketmadhouse.com on January 4, 2021.