10. Castro Dies, U.S. Relations Improve. Raul curtails anti-American rhetoric, Obama responds with rapprochement.
Sounds reasonable, and devoutly to be wish’d, if Castro dies this year – as to that, who knows? Newsweek, strangely, does not comment on how this might affect U.S. relations with Venezuela and other countries of the Bolivarian Alliance. (But see #4.)
9. Europe Faces New Financial Crisis. Newsweek predicts a crisis in public finance. “Government deficits have ballooned to more than 12 percent of GDP in Spain, Ireland, and the U.K., while government debt will hit over 100 percent across the European Union by 2014.” Some countries might be forced to default.
I don’t know enough to comment – what say the EuroDopers?
8. A Pyrrhic Victory for the Tories. The Conservatives fail to win a majority and are forced into coalition with the Liberal Democrats. This makes them " too weak to push through the painful measures needed to redress Britain’s ballooning debts." The economy “plunges back into deep recession.”
:eek: WTF?! I can see the LibDems going into coalition with Labor, but with the Tories?! Isn’t that, like, against everything they stand for?! Maybe I’m just too clueless about UK politics. And what are these “painful measures needed,” anyway? Is Newsweek betraying a bias here?
7. Brazil Is the New China. Brazil’s economy, stimulated by a recent oil find, will race ahead of the other BRIC countries.
Again, don’t know enough. LADopers?
6. Iran Hit With Sanctions. “When another secret nuclear site is inevitably found, the United Nations will have no choice but to consider imposing sanctions, and today’s holdouts, including China and India, will have run out of excuses. The sanctions could be devastating for a country that imports two fifths of its gasoline, and much of its food and manufactured products. The economic hardship will fall mostly on the poor and middle class, but it won’t do much to hurt the intended targets.”
What’s inevitable about another nuclear site being found, or existing?
5. A Backlash Against European Racism. More unrest and rioting by the impoverished Muslim minority predicted.
4. Chavez Faces Another Coup. Economic collapse destroys Chavez’ popularity. “The military steps in to depose Chávez and restore order.”
:rolleyes: This one sounds suspiciously like wishful thinking . . .
3. Another Coup in Pakistan.
Sounds like an even-money bet in any year.
2. China Will Crash. Not general sociopolitical collapse, just “the China stock and real-estate bubble will collapse, leading to a destabilizing bout of global deflation. If this occurs in tandem with a banking crisis, a trade war, or a slowdown in Chinese growth, it could be a pop heard round the world.”
This is the most interesting (in the Chinese sense) one on the list. But I don’t know enough about how bubblicious the Chinese financial and securities sector is at present. China Guy?
1. The Afghan Surge Works. Mainly because General McChrystal has learned the lessons of Iraq and is refocusing efforts on protecting the Afghan population.
We may hope – but it may complicate things immensely, if there is another coup in neighboring Pakistan.