Here are my 2020 Predictions – my 21st set – by major category. Through 20 years, my record is 73% accuracy.
Prediction: Small business confidence will remain strong for the fourth consecutive year, exceeding the NFIB Index’s almost half-century average.
Prediction: For the 13th straight year, small businesses will continue to limit borrowed capital and rely on organic resources to fund growth.
Prediction: The USMCA and China trade deals will deliver direct and indirect economic benefits for U.S. Main Street businesses.
Prediction: A growing number of state minimum wage increases will cause harm to the least of the marketplace participants: the smallest small businesses and low-skilled workers.
Prediction: The U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair ruling – national remote (online) sales tax remittance – will impose increasing competitive hardship for the small business sector, disproportionately impacting profitability at a minimum and survival at a maximum.
Prediction: The California so-called “Gig Economy” law – based on the Dynamex California court ruling on employee/contractor designations – will hurt startups and the franchise industry, and become a dangerous legal precedent.
Prediction: With essentially everyone who can fog a mirror working, the qualified-employee-prospect crisis extends into another year with little abatement. Key employee poaching will approach Hunger Games proportions. Forewarned is forearmed.
Prediction: The most under-appreciated economic metric of the past decade – the strength of balance sheets of U.S. small businesses – will receive due respect and regard in 2020.
Prediction: The impeachment process will not diminish small business-sector support of President Trump in November. Yes. Out here on Main Street, it’s still “…the economy, stupid.”
Prediction: Continuing to expand, the U.S. economy will average no more than 2.5% GDP in 2020. But that level will become the new 3% as a solid growth handle for a $21 Trillion economy.
Prediction: No fundamental economic weakness in evidence will cause a 2020 recession, but a Wall Street collapse from actual digital greed or virtual hysteria could. Remember September 2008?
Prediction: The Federal Reserve will continue its accommodative monetary policies on rates (no increases) and balance sheet expansion (print more money). Hopefully, they won’t have to preempt another repo market (shadow banking) liquidity issue as they did in 2019.
Prediction: Trade deals done and in-progress – China, USMCA, Japan, Great Britain the E.U. – will help sustain U.S. equities from a 2020 correction.
Prediction: U.S. equities and the Dollar will continue to be safe harbors for global investors, and contribute to less volatility.
Prediction: A combination of the U.S. becoming a petroleum exporter, the slowing global economy, and the global economy’s decreasing dependence on carbon fuel, will hold crude and natural gas prices close to 2019 levels.
Prediction: Two tech sectors you’ll use more strategically in 2020 are the Internet-of-things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Beware of IoT cyber-security issues, and look for AI tools to help you make decisions.
Prediction: You’ll hear more about 5G, but it won’t be available to most of us in 2020.
Prediction: An emerging metric for corporate America will be an increasing expectation of digital trust, prompting corporations to reveal and deliver online trust policies.
Prediction: No longer allowed to hide behind “the algorithms did it” cop-out for breaching customer expectations of ethics, trust, values and customer service, businesses harvesting user data will be compelled to announce self-monitoring practices.
Prediction: Just as HTML tools have made websites useful online interfaces, crypto-interfaces will do the same for blockchain applications, especially for smart contracts.
Prediction: First revealed here in 2016, no other emerging innovative force with such unprecedented paradigm-shifting potential has ever been under the radar of the masses as long as has blockchain open-source technology. This is the year you must stop being blockchain illiterate.
Prediction: In the wake of the virtual collapse of Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, the U.S. government will establish regulations and restrictions on any cryptocurrency that could undermine the global ubiquity and strength of the most powerful U.S. asset/tool/weapon: the Dollar. Messrs. Bezos, Pichai and Cook, call your offices.
Prediction: The U.S. will launch its own cryptocurrency version of the Dollar (not the same as the e-currency in your bank account), as a defensive move against the increasing use of cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Long-term prediction: By competing with fiat money and e-currency in payment acceptance, corporate cryptocurrency will ultimately become the greatest long-term threat to the sovereignty of any country.
Prediction: Social media usage will be increasingly associated with rising levels of anxiety and societal dysfunction across all generations. Often subconsciously, users will begin to adopt the attitude of, “Just because I can, doesn’t mean that I should.”
Prediction: Now emerging into their 40s, Generation Y, aka Millennials (largest in U.S. history), will increasingly supplant Baby Boomer influence in areas such as electoral results, economic trends (like housing and autos), workplace practices and societal norms.
Prediction: Baby Boomers divesting of businesses they founded in the 20th century will find it increasingly difficult to sell to 21st-century buyers.
Prediction: Millennial women and the black community will be the most consequential voting cohorts in the 2020 election.
Prediction: Compromised economically and financially, Iran’s repressive leadership will not start a war it can’t win with the U.S. in 2020. But the Mullahs will be challenged by internal overthrow efforts, supported by a coalition of regional neighbors, and the U.S.
Prediction: With nothing to lose, China will force the U.S. to enter a cryptocurrency war in defense of the Dollar.
Prediction: China’s considerable internal challenges – demographics, banking, municipal debt, environmental, Hong Kong, to name a few – will coalesce to achieve an inconvenient critical mass for President-for-life Jinping.
Prediction: How the China/Hong Kong relationship is resolved – President Jinping will not abide this affront to his control for another 12 months – will be THE global, financial and geopolitical story, if not 2020 flashpoint.
Prediction: This is a continuation of an accurate 2019 prediction – World War III is underway, it’s being fought in cyberspace, and the U.S. is still losing. Badly. (See WSJ “Ghosts in the Cloud” article).
Prediction: President Trump will nominate – and the Senate will confirm – one Supreme Court Justice in 2020, which process will dwarf the Kavanaugh and impeachment hysteria.
Prediction: President Trump will announce several reforms that will be at once bold, appropriate and politically expedient, including immigration, Social Security and health care.
Prediction: In July, Milwaukee will host a brokered Democratic Party Convention.
Prediction: The Democratic presidential nominee will not be Bloomberg, or anyone named Obama or Clinton.
Prediction: The Republican Senate majority will resolve the Trump impeachment trial with all deliberate speed unless playing it out will hinder certain senators running for president.
Prediction: Failing to make the impeachment of Donald Trump bipartisan will be identified as his most powerful re-election contribution.
Prediction: U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe will result in several indictments – including some from the FBI and CIA – but none will touch anything associated with Hillary Clinton or inside the Obama White House.
Prediction: The Republicans will maintain majority control in the Senate and gain House seats, if not retake majority.
Prediction: President Trump will be re-elected.
Prediction: In the 2020 NCAA Championship Game, LSU will defeat Clemson in a game more like the Clemson-Ohio State semi-final than the LSU-Oklahoma game.
Write this on a rock … I’ll be back in about 350 days to recap my predictions compared to actual and see how my 20-year 73% accuracy record holds up. Comments? email@example.com