Feeling uninspired (OK, feeling hung over) I ran a highly scientific canvass around the New Year table of family & friends, who came up with some interesting stuff. Putin will not install himself as candidate for the 2012 presidential election. House prices to continue rising in London zones 1 & 2, falling almost everywhere else in the UK. England to qualify for Euro2012 - I detected a hint of sarcasm with this one. Referendum to go against AV: coalition breaks down in consequence. Mrs T to shuffle off.
Have to say, the Putin prediction scores points for its attention-grabbing quality. Thus bestirred, nay, provoked, time to re-engage my own brain for first time in 10 days.
(1) Gold - yes, you guessed - to continue its year-on-year gains, in £, $ and €. Do I hear snorts of derision from the back ? Come on, look at this and tell me you'd hold a short position for the next 12 months. That said, there will be more nice in-and-out (or out-and-back-in, in my case) opportunities, which are easy to do in this commendably liquid market with its tight bid-offer spread and low dealing costs.
(2) Oil to be in 3-digit territory by year-end (in $, of course) - and to stay there forever. It will cross the 100 line earlier than that, but there is scope for some dithering on either side initially. (I realise that, although I can be proved wrong about this 12 months from now, I cannot be proved right ...) Cowardly caveat: a combination of second-leg global recession in 1H11 plus absence of strife in Caucasus / Middle East / Nigeria etc could delay the timing.
(3) UK rioting bad enough to cause backpeddling on Police numbers, but not enough to force fundamental retreats on other policies.
(4) A big & fairly brutal Cabinet reshuffle, to distract Con and LibDem backbenchers. There are so many cabinet members not of Cameron's generation, it won't be hard to unblock a few choice beds. Huhne to replace Cable. (Actually this may be wishful thinking on my part - anything to get Huhne out of Energy - but is there a suitably savvy replacement anywhere in Parliament ?)
(5) England to win the 6 Nations, then reach yet a third World Cup final on the trot.