Predictions for 2019 from  Hey everybody else has them why not me.  Read along and ponder, it’s good entertainment and may cause some cranial activity or a headache depending on your perspective.

The Economy:

Let’s start off with the roll coaster ride the stock market has been taking.  Well, I predict in 2019 that is going to settle down and we will not have a recession.  Why you ask, well because I truly believe the “trade war” with China will not happen.  China’s economy is already slowing down and the last thing they can afford is tepid growth rate.  Remember, they are accustomed to their economy growing between 7 to 10% annually, while we would be very happy with 4%.  Also, China is desperately trying to establish a middle class for more of a consumer based economy something very difficult to do in a socialist/communist country.  China has debt problems as well, they allowed some questionable finances to take place and they still have their “ghost cities” with no inhabitants.  That bill is yet to be settled and it is huge.  On the flip side, we want our stores filled with economical alternatives those being things produced in China.  Having their items there keeps other manufacturers honest and holds down inflation.  I know, I know we do lose some jobs because of it but with the recent tax revisions and lower tax rates for companies in America more and more manufacturers are building factories here.

Unemployment is at 50 year lows and wages are increasing so the consumer should still be able to push the economy in 2019.  I don’t see that changing with the announcements of Amazon, QUALCOMM, and Apple all planning big expansions here in the U.S. in the coming years.  First this will mean many engineering jobs as they plan these facilities followed by thousands of construction jobs as they build them.

Housing, which is a big mover of the economy, should be steady in 2019 if the Federal Reserve will be a little less aggressive with interest rate increases, even though they are still low.  In reality, the Fed can’t get too crazy with interest rates because there’s that nasty elephant in the room called out national debt.  They raise rates; the interest payment on the debt rises as well, ouch.

All of the above things being said, I believe you can expect between a 6 and 7% return on your equity investments next year.  I hope I’m wrong and they are better but I see us stabilizing in 2019.  You say Don, I don’t have equity investments and I say you do if you have a 401K.

International Politics

Really the only thing that gives me heartburn is North Korea.  I just worry what Kim Jon UN might do.  He is a wild card.  The key to keeping him in line is China.  Hopefully China will continue to view this as in their best interest to do so.  He could wreak havoc in that part of the world and it would quickly spread.

Russia is going to continue to help Assad in Syria and they will have spats in Croatia.  I don’t know what we could do about it and I don’t know why we would want to.  Those ships have sailed years ago.  Russia has to justify their military somehow.

The oil market with OPEC and Russia is hard to predict.  There are so many other players with the American fracking, now Brazil might re-enter the market with its new leadership.  Venezuela is on the sidelines for now but they have a lot of potential years out.  I don’t think we will see 80 dollar oil in 2019, but I can see 60’s.

I think BREXIT will happen in 2019 for England.

Things will get interesting in Germany with Merkel not running again.  I wonder if the nationalist movement will get some legs there.

Macron in France will be lucky to remain in power.  The French workers have had a belly full of socialism and all the taxes and fees that go along with it.  They want to keep more of their paycheck.  I see some rather major reforms taking place in France in 2019.  The average citizen is pissed.

Domestic Politics:

Does the term gridlock mean anything to you?  The Democrats have the House and the Republicans have the Senate and the White House so that spells stagnation.  Oh and by the way, Trump can still veto legislation if he needs to and an override of his veto is highly unlikely.

So look for the House Democrats who have moved even further towards socialism to pass several bills, like Medicare for all, free public college education, they might float forgiving all student debt and who knows what else, nothing would surprise me.  They might want to make Lenin and Stalin birthdays national holidays here.  No matter what they do, it will never see the light of day in the Senate; and then the House and Pelosi will whine to the media and point fingers at McConnell and demand he do his job.  Chuck Schumer will be his normal old bitter self.  It will be a replay of when Harry Reid ran the Senate and the Republicans had the House, only it will be nastier because the media will back the Democrats.

You can look for yet more investigations of Trump, because the Democrats hate him so much.  They will waste yet more taxpayer dollars and take up more news time as they do nothing but stew in their hatred.  I don’t know if they will try and impeach Trump, but they are pretty desperate.

Oh yeah and don’t forget that 2019 will start the Presidential election process for 2020.  That could be interesting.  For the Democrats I don’t see Biden in there, he’s not radical enough.  I don’t think Bernie either, but he is a true socialist so he might get the nod.  Elizabeth Warren I believe is out due to her Native American claims; however, she fits the new Democratic Party socialist narrative.  The V.P. spot for them is up for grabs.

Trump will be the Republican candidate and his mantra will be what we have already heard; Promises made, Promises kept.  You may not like him, or how he does things, but he has walked his talk.  I think Pence might stay but I could go for Nikki Haley in 2020 as V.P. for a warm-up for Presidency in 2024.

So there you have it readers, my predictions for 2019 and you want to know something cool, a week from now they will be forgotten and all will be what it will be.

Freedom is Not Free