2020 has already begun and did not wait to become memorable. Within the first three weeks of the year, we have already avoided a potential conflict with Iran, watching the sports world get rocked by the MLB’s indictments of the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros team, a narrowing US Presidential field, members of the Royal Family choose to partially walk away from the lavishes of Westminster, and witnessing Alphabet hit a $1 trillion valuation. With these occurences all happening, I’m going to give three of my predictions for 2020.
- Political Predictions:
On an international level, I see Brexit happening without some sweet deal. This will affect market volatility (more on this later). Domestically, the U.S. has one of its more exciting elections this year, as it is the first time an impeached president will run for re-election. However, that has not hurt his reputation in the GOP and I believe Trump will be the GOP nominee. Conversely, I believe Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee. Biden has proven to be a man of steel on the campaign trail, as nothing is hurting his polling numbers, and this will surely hold out through the caucuses. Given, I am a Delawarean and have an adverse bias towards my former Senator. I think Sanders is losing support, not successfully driving in new support, and probably more useful for the progressive cause in the Senate chambers. He will not drop out until very late, as his base is deep and wants him to stick. Because of this, I cannot see Warren winning the nomination, as she can peel off Buttigieg supporters but needs the Sanders voters to overcome Biden. Her economic expertise is unparalleled however, and I assume she’s been softer than she could be on Biden in the debates since she wants that influence. To conclude, I believe Pete is losing his momentum and Klobuchar, who has been catching attention, will not capitulate after being caught up as a juror in the impeachment trials.
I think Trump will not be removed from office, but I do see the removal vote tally hitting 50. I think the American public will want removal, but not enough GOP Senators will bite the bullet. The U.S. Senate is currently tilting 53-47 towards Republicans. I see the GOP losing five seats to the Democrats in November, but the Democrats lose one. A great statesman albeit, I do not think Doug Jones can win an election in an Alabama voting booth where Trump is on top of the ticket; I hope I am wrong. I see Cory Gardner losing his seat by a double digit margin. He votes lockstep with Trump on everything and I believe the media is sexist when it pressures Susan Collins more than Gardner, even though he has a much harder path to winning re-election. I also see Thom Tillis losing his seat in North Carolina, Martha McSally losing her seat in Arizona is inevitable given her hugely popular challenger. Steve Bullock will likely end up running for US Senate and will beat Steve Daines in the general election in Montana.; Daines is a muted Senator from what I hear and Bullock is a popular governor. I also can see one of the following seats flipping: Kansas (if Kobach is the GOP nominee), or West Virginia (doubtful, but Ojeda is a good nominee if he wins the primary). Maine is a US Senate race that will be the closest race of the year, with two strong candidates running. My gut says that Mainers would prefer a new, younger Democrat as their Senator, over a career politician from the party of Donald Trump with some unpopular votes. I think the only primary challenger to win a Senate race will be Joe Kennedy, who I very much like (there is a challenge in my home state of Delaware which I do not know enough about yet).
With a 50-50 Senatepotential split, the Presidential election matters much more. I see Biden and a woman VP nominee handily beating Trump-Pence. I think Biden can get 304 electoral votes, to Trump’s 234. Biden will change the Clinton map by also winning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Michigan surely. I think the odds are high that he also flips North Carolina, but I see Trump keeping Ohio and Florida since they do not have any major statewide elections this year (as far as I know). Nancy Pelosi will stay as Speaker of the House, as the U.S. House has not taken any dire consequential positions since 2018, and the impeachment vote will not be too hurtful. Locally in Delaware, statewide elections don’t have enough coverage yet so I cannot guess what happens.
2. Business Predictions:
I think there will be an Amazon stock split this year, as those are always beneficial to Apple, and Amazon is incredibly high right now. I also believe a recession will hit us later this year. Interest rates are extremely low, stock buybacks are a dangerous gamble that many companies are gleefully taking, and the economic figures we see are misleading. I always think about the unemployment figure, which is low technically, but the number of part-time workers looking for full-time work is evergrowing and stagnate. I tend to think of friends from college who still have yet to find full-time work, although its been nearly eight months since graduation. Between a hard Brexit, slowing economic figures, a speculative stock market, and a presidential economic team full of Chicago-school theorists, I think the economy will fall into recession in October. Democrats will echo a Keynesian recovery and the GOP will latch blame onto Big Tech. Personally, I think both ought to be checked out. Amazon can easily be broken into two, with Amazon and AWS becoming two separate entities. I do not think Google, Apple, or Facebook can easily be broken up however. I will write about this in the future, but I don’t think big tech is necessarily a bad thing.
I think privacy laws will become a major issue in the summer, and the California Consumer Protection laws and GDPR will be used to help Congress develop a national law. Trump may use his veto powers to leverage border wall funding through this legislation. I also believe that this will be a great year for the renewables and tech sector, while oil and financials will suffer. My reasoning for why financials will suffer is two-fold: due to the rise of FAANG in finance (cc: my previous article) and the cost of banks to manage data breaches.
My most far-reaching prediction is the rise of forex trading and money in foreign stock exchanges. Forex refers to trading foreign currencies. As globalization rises, I think folks will be more inclined to learn about currencies and it is less risky than trying to maneuver typical securities. I see trading in foreign exchanges becoming more popular since its what typically happens in finance. From what I’ve seen, money managers tend to look into foreign securities as they gain expertise, since it is a good way to diversify and reduce risk (if you’re just in the U.S. markets, a recession hurts your investments, but if you’re in multiple economies, it’ll hurt less). As trading becomes easier through new commissions-free brokerages (RobinHood, TD Ameritrade), people of all backgrounds will be investing money, instead of just the educated and wealthy. Perhaps a decline in wealth managers is on the horizon in an educated society?
A longshot prediction, but I think the Bloomberg Terminal will see a rising competitor. This is more of a wish, since the Terminal tends to irritate me more often than not at work, and Michael Bloomberg tends to politically irritate me. I believe he’s the reason Democrats didn’t get Senate control in 2020, and should be scrutinized more for this.
3. Sports Predictions:
These will be my boldest predictions, as I tend to be very biased. In football, I see a Packers v. Chiefs Super Bowl, with it being a close game. I think Green Bay wins, however. I know nearly nothing about baseball, but apparently the Yankees are looking good? In soccer, I think the Netherlands will win Euro 2020, given that they have a more potent youth than the Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain of the past. Although Liverpool was my first favorite sports team, I can say without bias that Liverpool will win the Champions League and the Premier League. This Liverpool team is such a joy to watch and I cannot say enough good things about them: a deep midfield, a future Ballon d’or winner in Virgil Van Dijk, and the tremendous attack on Liverpool are only possible through the magic of Jurgen Klopp. I also suggest reading his Player’s Tribune article. In basketball, I see the Lakers winning this year the NBA championship against the Milwaukee Bucks in a five-game series. As a Knicks fan, I can only hope we finish above .400. The NBA MVP should be Luka Doncic, the ROY will be Ja Morant (hopefully its RJ Barrett instead), and MIP is a toss-up. At the Olympics, the U.S. will sweep the gold medal count.These are my 2020 predictions. Some of these are educated, whereas others are brash. I hope I get some wrong, nevertheless. Feel free to email me to support or call me out on any of these! email@example.com