Byron Wien’s Ten Surprises for 2012

As always, I present you Byron Wien’s Ten Surprises for the year – this time for 2012. He is bullish yet again – on both the US and emerging markets.

Wien defines these surprises as events to which investors assign 1-in-3 odds of happening but which he believes have a more than 50 percent likelihood of occurring in 2012. His lists since the credit crisis have not fared as well because he has been too bullish.


  1. Crude oil falls to $85 a barrel.
  2. S&P 500 exceeds 1,400.
  3. U.S. real GDP growth exceeds 3%, unemployment rate drops below 8%.
  4. Barack Obama runs against Mitt Romney for president, Democrats win House, lose Senate.
  5. Europe develops a broad plan to solve the sovereign-debt crisis. Greece and Italy restructure their debt. Spain and Ireland strengthen their finances. A bank meltdown is avoided. European economy contracts.
  6. Computer hackers attack major financial institutions.
  7. Investors buy currencies of countries “that seem to be managing their economies sensibly,” such as nations in Scandinavia, Australia, Singapore and Korea.
  8. Congress reduces the U.S. debt by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, with cuts to defense, Medicare and agricultural subsidies as well as some tax deductions.
  9. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is ousted.
  10. Stock indexes in China, India and Brazil surge 15%-20%

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