As we approach year-end, it's time to start thinking about predictions for 2009. My main prediction is that many people will be making predictions and most of them will be astonishingly inaccurate. But before I get to that, this year I'd like to do a closing post on 2008. I would guess that I'm not alone in wanting to close the books on 2008. Here are four reasons why I'm looking forward to the ball dropping on 2008:
- The Economy, stupid. There's no sign that 2009 will be better (I'll address that in my predictions post) but 2008 will certainly go down on record as one of the most painful years, particularly for the markets and even more so for the financial services industry. Excess leverage and an incredible lack of understanding of the financial instruments they were packaging led to the downfall of many great financial institutions. While Bear and Lehman were the obvious casualties, Merrill Lynch losing its independence was not far behind and those remaining firms like Goldman and Morgan Stanley will never be quite the same.
- The Bush Administration. Well, this one won't quite end with 2008, but how much damage can they do in three more lame duck weeks? (OK, that may be a scary thought). Even those friends of mine who supported Dubya in 2000 and the (smaller) subset of those who voted for him again in 2004 are happy to see him go. It will probably be decades before we unwind the damage this administration has brought to our world standing, the economy and the safety net protecting our citizens most in need. To this administration, which so alienated our allies around the world, I can say only au revoir.
- The Mets and Jets. Following their record-setting collapse in 2007, the Mets went out and got the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana. The talented lefty would be the losing-streak-breaker the Mets needed to avoid another late season swoon. But while Santana held up his end of the deal, the collapse of the bullpen cost him six wins (out of 29 total blown saves) and cost the Mets a playoff berth. On to 2009 with an overhauled bullpen and the Mets finding new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Meanwhile, the Jets finally got a real quarterback and led the division with an 8-3 record, only to collapse and miss the playoffs. Considering the other teams I root for are the Knicks and Islanders, I need to find some new teams.
- Rick Rolling. This was sort of funny the first few times but it's fifteen minutes are long past. Like watching your mother-in-law do the Macarena (trust me on that one), Rick Rolling should disappear in 2008, never to be seen again.
Why do you want to see 2008 come to a close? Add your thoughts in the comments.