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My Fearless Forecasts for 2014

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At the Canadian Club Outlook 2014 luncheon I listed a number of predictions, as I've done for years, on the strength that the only clunker I've had in the past two years is my 2012 bet that gold prices would hit $2,000 US per ounce. Never happened.

On that note, here's my list of forecasts, ranging all over the place and if involving numbers based on the International Monetary Fund.

1. Matching economic growth rates in the world's two biggest economic drivers -- the US and China -- in 2014 of 3% and 7% respectively. In absolute numbers this means roughly $500 billion for each country or equivalent to two-thirds of Canada's nominal GDP in 2014.
2. Canada will lag in economic growth, despite an increase in U.S. exports, because all its provinces east of Saskatchewan are in lousy fiscal shape with soaring debts and lousy credit ratings. And the Canadian consumer has traded places with the American consumer as the biggest spendthrifts in the developed world.
3. Canadian dollar headed to below 90 cents US (Goldman Sachs is shorting it)
4. Oil prices will decrease by up to 20%
5. Natural gas boom in US will continue, along with shale oil
6. Keystone Pipeline won't be approved because it is a political football in US
7. European Union and Japan will be surprisingly excellent investments -- indirectly by betting on US companies doing business there and directly by cherry picking the best outfits. Don't write off either economic region.
8. China will remain stable
9. The Arab world will remain a mess for at least a generation
10. The Tea Party will hold its own (but not gain) in the US mid-terms this November due to its enormous war chest raised by the Koch Brothers.
11. The Sochi Olympic Games will be disappointing, on all levels
12. The US will win the men's and women's hockey gold medals
13. Stephen Harper will stay in power, untouched directly by the senate, PMO scandals
14. And Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford is only 50 pounds weight loss and one good public relations consultant away from winning re-election in the fall.
15. If I'm wrong and support for the Tea Party wanes this fall, Jeb Bush will announce his candidacy in early 2015
16. Hillary Clinton will do so just before him, once the kinks in Affordable Health Care are ironed out
17. All nasty weather systems will be blamed on climate change, hot or cold

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