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Predictions for 2009

December 31, 2008

At the risk of sounding like a doom and gloom ‘miserablist’ (a risk I’ve never shied away from taking before) on new years eve I am laying out some somber, sobering (socio/geo)policital predictions for 2009

  • The US government, having funneled away the last remaining public wealth to utterly corrupt corporations and banking institutions will itself go bankrupt by the end of the year.
  • Energy prices will remain conspicuously low for up to 6 months while global demand is reduced by the shock of economic meltdown but then they will skyrocket towards the end of the year. It is this development that will lead to the worst problems we have yet to face, e.g. increased prices of all commodities, particularly food.
  • The scramble for dwindling resources will continue to get uglier. We will see a continued proliferation of conflicts all over the world but particularly in Africa, India & Pakistan, Afghanistan, the former Soviet Republics and Southeast Asia. Piracy and counter measures against it will continue to increase off the coast of Africa and the Middle Eastern gulfs particularly.
  • More and more companies and corporations will file for bankruptcy leading to further collapse of the stock market and the world economy. Investor confidence will be non-existent as the Dow Jones Industrial Average slips below 5000.
  • With the collapse of business entities millions of jobs will be axed worldwide, increasing almost exponentially in the course of the year. This will begin to create pockets of civil unrest, particularly in the US.
  • Public infrastructure will continue to collapse in many western countries but most of all in the US where this trend has been noticeable for some time. The lack of funds being allocated to maintaining and upgrading crucial infrastructure such as bridges, levies and roads has already lead to a few minor and major catastrophes. As these incidents increase so too will the civil unrest.
  • In the UK confidence in the current government will take a turn for the absolute worst as they lead us further and further along a path of denial-infested self-destruction. I (hopefully) predict that we will be seeing Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling out of office within 9 months and I can only hope that sensible replacements are elected. Alas it is already too little too late today. The bureaucratic red tape will be our downfall unless radical changes are made to the process of creating and enacting legislation through consensus.
  • Russia will begin to truly flex her muscles with regard to gas supplies. Putin’s portentous recent statements about the end of cheap gas prices has signaled the beginning of rationing throughout Europe (including the UK) where 42% of all natural gas comes from Russian sources.
  • We will see an increase in power outages worldwide, particularly in western countries. These may not come with an explanation at any given time.
  • Gold will continue its steep rise in value, to the tune of at least an 80% increase on today’s prices by 2010. It is not too late to buy some, but make sure it is physical gold and not stocks.
  • On the positive side, the end of excess is likely to mark the beginning of wisdom. I’m expecting to see a much greater commitment to sustainable farming, agriculture and consumer awareness here in the UK – and not only for bargain hunting. I’m hoping that plans to make use of some 2000 derelict lots throughout London are pushed through quickly so that we can make a start with community allotments for growing food.
  • Also on the positive side is the potential disappearance of many companies and/or corporations that have done little good for the world other than help to create a false economy by providing jobs, and in many cases have proved extremely harmful to mankind and / or the biosphere. On my wishful thinking list:
  1. Macdonalds
  2. Nestle
  3. Walmart
  4. Tesco
  5. Monsanto
  6. Coke & Pepsi
  7. Ford motor
  8. J.R. Simplot Co.
  9. Boeing
  10. Alcoa
  • That is of course just to name a few, there are so many more. I would have listed all of the major oil companies but I’m sure they still have a part to play that cannot be avoided.

I wish all of you a happy and beautiful year despite all of this apparent doom and gloom. Personally I feel very positive about it all – the world of man has been taking the piss for so long and it may finally be coming to an end! The transition will be ugly as hell but we should feel very lucky to be part of it. The greatest frustration for me was living out the endless years of false prosperity. The wealthy elite base fooled at least 3 generations of people into thinking that they actually had a slice of the big pie when really they were just lending us a tiny piece of crust. They are even now collecting their crusty loans and preparing to bugger off with the pie complete. Don’t let them! As Thom Yorke of Radiohead wrote:

Stop whispering, start shouting.

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