One thing that gave me hope at the end of 2011 was that everywhere I looked I found bearish prognostications about 2012. Not just the ludicrous Mayan Calendar stories (the calendar stops because they ran out of wall on the temple, sigh), but that the Eurozone was finished, along with America and China - plus Iran was going to cause World War III and the Arab Spring would unravel.
The hope was that of course in life i have seen when everyone agrees on something, they are usually wrong. It is one of the nice little ironies of life.
Thus far this year, in terms of markets and economic data at any rate, the contrarian Bullish position has been proved correct. Volumes aren't too bad and markets are up. The moving average of the FTSE is in a steady upward move, even if this move is a rather shallow one.
Moreover, data suggests the UK has avoided recession in late 2011 despite the catastrophic macro events that took place - this is quite encouraging. The US too is up for a modest recovery. Only in Europe are things not really improving and there massive cheating by the Central Banks is calming the bond markets for now.
I somehow doubt the doomsayers are totally wrong and can't see 2012 being a good year. I am reminded though that 2011 was going to be a good year, the first year of proper growth since the recession with the FTSE predicted to be at 6500+ by many analysts. It turned into a bust with a 7% decline. So perhaps this year will be better than expected, which if all it means is the end of the World refuses to happen, well then that is fine by me.