Think outside the box: ten outrageous predictions for 2010

Just like last year, I am going to present the list of ten outrageous predictions from Denmark’s Saxo Bank.  When I presented the list in 2008, I gave the following disclaimer:

Their list is outlandish — and I’ll get to it in a moment. But, first, I want to say these predictions serve a very useful purpose.

It’s called thinking outside the box. All of us have a bias that reinforces a false belief in the certainty of what we believe to be true. It’s called the overconfidence effect. Basically, we construct a mental map in our minds of what is probable and what is improbable. Over time, these beliefs harden and become what is certain and what is certainly not. I got a true test of this in business school.

My professor asked us some off the wall question like how much does the earth weigh. After we wrestled with the question and wrote down our answers, he then asked us to put a 95% confidence interval around the answer. He said give me a range of numbers that you believe the earth’s weight is 95% certain to be in. We mulled this over and answered. Result? Our 95% confidence interval was wrong something like 40% of the time within the class. Why?

Basically, by asking us the first question: how much does the earth weigh and giving us a chance to think about it, our professor was secretly giving our little pea brains a chance to become overconfident. By the time he asked us the second question, we had become anchored to the first answer. Essentially, he asked us to think outside the box and the mix of our overconfidence and anchoring caused us to make catastrophically wrong answers.

That’s how humans work. And this was a 10-minute exercise. Just think if you spend your life looking at economic events and making predictions. The likelihood of your being anchored to a specific prediction is that much greater. Eventually, you become so overconfident about this prediction that you are willing to bet the farm on the outcome.

With this in your mind as pre-amble yet again, here is the list:

  1. Bunds yields will fall to 2.25%
  2. VIX will fall to 14
  3. CNY (China Yuan Renminbi) will be devalued by 5% vs. USD
  4. Gold will fall to $870 in 2010 but will rise to $1500 in 2014
  5. USDJPY to reach 110
  6. Angry American public to form third party in the US
  7. The US Social Security Trust Fund will go bust
  8. The price of sugar will drop one third
  9. TSE Small Index will rise by 50%
  10. US trade balance will turn positive for first time in 34 years

Remember, these are not really predictions as much as they are extreme events to help one develop a broader sense of what is within the range of possibility.

The full color behind the rationale for each item’s inclusion on the list is available at FT Alphaville at the link below:


Saxo’s outrageous predictions for 2010 – FT Alphaville

  1. LavrentiBeria says

    I’m tempted to hope about the 3rd party prediction but I’m all too aware of how the ruling class and the media treat 3rd party ventures as to ballot access, debates and the like. There have been successful past attempts, of course, but the regime has become more sophisticated in their attempts to suppress 3rd parties over time. They succeeded, for example, in keeping the Nader candidacy off the ballot in Ohio last time. Remember, now, we deal here with very powerful forces, for all intents and purposes a dictatorship. In my view, the people would be wiser to invest their energy in mass demonstrations and economy paralysing strikes. The present structures are just too much under the thumb of the ruling clique.

  2. Sobers says

    Here’s my 10:
    1) There will be a return to economic collapse globally in 2010 as the reality of the debt overhang hits, probably sparked by the failure of some regional bank or small state.
    2) Price of oil will be under $30/barrel, when double dip comes and the Great Depression Mk2 gets fully underway( see 1)
    3) FTSE 100 will be below 3000
    4) Inflation will hit double figures in either the USA or UK or both.
    5) There will be civil unrest in Western nations.
    6) USA will introduce trade barriers.
    7) At least one country will leave the Euro.
    8) At least one country will default on its state issued debt.
    9) There will be at least one major terrorist incident in a Western nation.
    10) Global Warming will be discredited when the data used to show temperature rises is shown to be tampered with by the scientists analysing it.

  3. David says

    My 10
    -Harry Reid will be defeated in his bid for re-election
    -Bernanke will refuse to budge on interest rates
    -There will be a major assassination attempt in the US
    -Sovereign debt default will become the new normal
    -There will be a shift from Global Warming to evidence of a new Ice Age
    -Avatar will fail to reach the $2 billion mark
    -Goldman Sachs, BofA, AIG et. al. will continue business as usual and not be hampered by Meaningless Finance Reform
    -New numbers will surface that shows healthcare reform will cost twice as much as expected
    -The Democrats will lose their majority in one of the two houses of Congress
    -A class action suit will be filed against the DNC and RNC and their elected members for fraud, mismanagement, violation of their oath of office and plundering the Social Security system

  4. Michael V. Caldwell says


    I Challenge All American Investors Who Want To Make A LOT Of Money and Put Americans Back To Work By; Starting Up NEW USA MANUFACTURING PLANTS, RETAIL STORES and ON-LINE STORES in America that will manufacture and sell (only) USA Made Products !

    Here is my Vision of how my plan WILL Work ! !

    The Only thing that I ask from you when your reading my plan is to read it with AMERI..CAN DO IT Attitude ! ! and if you find a hole in this plan, plug it with a fresh idea ! !

    1. Start up new manufacturing plants in the United States to manufacture only USA made products.

    2. Find manufacturing plants in the USA that are shut down, bank owned that can be purchased or leased for penny’s on the dollar. Upgrade all of our Plants using Clean, Efficient & New GreenTechnologies.

    (tax breaks will be given by government on these properties used in our USA Manufacturing Plants, keep in mind my whole idea is theory and would require team effort for all parties involved in our unique, badly needed USA manufacturing plants)

    3. All of our company equipment, including company vehicles and all business related items will come from; dead stock / over stock and will be purchased below cost.

    (in addition, tax breaks will be offered on all operating items to offset costs making our USA plants more competitive ! ! everything about my plan isgeared in this direction)

    4. After manufacturing our new products open up chain stores in the USA first, when popularity catches on, around the World thousands of outlets..If MC DONALD’S can do it..AMERI-Can Do it ! ! (including on-line stores)

    Marketing is the key to Success…every USA manufacturing plant and retail store will be painted Red White and Blue.. time to “Put American Made Products Back On The Map”

    Timing is another key to success and timing couldn’t be better than now !

    Americans want this to happen, need this to happen and want to see it happen now ! !

    Our New USA manufacturing plants and stores will make a statement; “Proudly MADE IN USA Again”

    Our USA Company Employees;

    All of our full time Employees that work for our USA Company will receive profit sharing as well as other benefits and be part of “Something Special”

    Our Companies first priority is to hire the unemployed, train them at minimum expense to the company and help the unemployed get back to work where they can feel good about themselves again.

    On The Job Training Program

    This program is designed for those who “Want to Work Now” while learning a new potential trade still able to seek work on the other two days of the week.

    Here is how it works;

    A. If a person has been unemployed for at least a year (verified) and they qualify for unemployment benefits they can sign up for this program that will allow this person to work 3 days a week, 8 hr. shifts their choice of the days they choose, this gives them the opportunity to seek other employment the other 2 days of the week.

    B. The trainee would receive OJT training for a new trade but receive no company wages unless the Company decides to hire the trainee full time then all company benefits will be paid to new hire including profit sharing from the first day trainee started.

    C. The person training the trainee will be evaluating the trainee’s performance at the same time, if the trainee does well upper management will hire the trainee instantly taking them off of unemployment thus saving the tax payers money and the Company will get a “Top Notch Employee” that “Wants To Work” that takes pride in his work.. thus creating revenue for everyone while saving the company expenses that will in turn help offset manufacturing costs to our company so they can manufacture and sell;
    “Proudly Made In The USA Products”

    D. USA Company Hiring Procedure

    Company hiring procedures will be different from normal company hiring procedures and require, out of the box thinking to accommodate our New Innovative USA Company ! !

    E. Company Requirements

    Pay trainee fuel expenses, small vehicle allowance, small daily food expense and health insurance while trainee is enrolled in this program, in addition keep track of the trainees hours from the trainees first day so his profit sharing benefits will be added if the Company decides to hire him full time. Day Care can be another option offered by our company.
    Company will have a reasonable training period to evaluate and train the person, after this time is up the Company either has to hire or dismiss the person they have trained.

    F. The Employment Department will keep track of the progress and work record, this will be supplied in a weekly report made by our USA Company.

    G. This program will be offered to the unemployed person that chooses this program and if applicant is accepted, applicant is not required to fill out work forms to receive their unemployment benefits during the three days applicant is working for our USA Company.

    H. If the person doesn’t work out for the company, the company can dismiss trainee at anytime but it has to be done using the same guidelines as any other company has to follow.
    Then employee may either follow the normal unemployment procedures or get put on the list one more time and get transferred to another one of our Plants or Stores to see if they could work out at that store, this would depend on the circumstances.

    I. All reports from the Company would be sent to the Unemployment office for review if the Applicant wanted to try this program again and this would be done only one more time if the Applicant did not work out. (footnote: the second chance would be offered only if the employee gave his two week notice to the company before he quite.

    This Program is designed so Everyone Benefits ! !

    * The unemployed that want to work now, get the opportunity to go back to work on a new job that is training them for a new potential Career and they may get put on full time, receive fuel expenses, health insurance and unemployment benefits and they can still seek a different job during this program as well and feel good about themselves ! !

    * This plan will help to put America’s Unemployed back to work; the BEST part of this plan is that, it will not cost the tax payers more money because this person is already receiving unemployment checks anyway.

    * The Company that is involved in this program will be getting a worker who wants to work and takes pride in his work at little cost to them thus making it more profitable to compete with foreign Products ! !
    This employment program will be implemented to; include disabled, older employees.. all unemployed americans whoAmericansparticipate in this Important and Needed “Put America Back To Work Project”

    * The Government will collect more revenue from the unemployed because the only financial requirement the unemployment office would require from the employee in this program, would be to have the withholding taxes be taken out of their unemployment check.
    (most of the people on unemployment already have this option checked but the few that don’t would be required to do so…thus saving the government more money…indirectly us money)


    A. Will Come From UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Inventors First When Possible, here is how it works;

    An Inventor with a new product/s brings his signed non-disclosure forms in and release forms in that holds our Company harmless of any potential damages, his product is evaluated and if it looks good Our Company will either build it or sub out the work to other USA Companies.
    If the other USA Companies that we are subbing our work out to are used by our Company they will receive a Tax Credit by government. (to offset manufacturing costs)

    Our Inventor’s New Products that we manufacture will receive a fair percentage Only, no upfront money will be paid to them until sales are made from their product/s.

    There are Thousands of American Inventors with good viable new products that would line up for this opportunity, lets give them the opportunity to Market their New USA Products and put America’s Unemployed Back to Work.

    B. Our Store Inventory Will Also Come From Products That Are Already Being Manufacturing In The U.S.A These Companies Will Have The Opportunity To Put Some Of Their Dead Inventory In Our Stores On A Consignment Basis After Our Company Evaluates Their Product For Quality And Competitive Pricing And It Meets Our Requirements.
    Solar Panels, Wind Generators,Green Products and Unique Products.

    (Tax credits will be given by our government for this inventory but once it is inventoried it stays in the stores on consignment and the Consignee will have to keep it there for a certain amount of time, details will have to be worked out on all of this plan)



    * To Make This Plan A Reality It Will Take American Ingenuity, Team Work, Pride and Cooperation, from everyone “UNITED WE STAND” but Most of All We Need To Keep A Positive AMERI-CAN DO Attitude.

    Thank You, Respectfully,

    Michael V. Caldwell,
    Executive Producer of “Hot Rod Horror”

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