In 2011, I started this blog with my top 10 predictions for 2011. I also polled readers on these same predictions. At the end of that year, my accuracy rate was 40%, while my readers were right 50% of the time.
I continued the tradition in 2012 with my top 10 predictions for 2012. This year, my predictions were just as accurate as those of my readers with an accuracy rate of 40%.
Since I like to hold myself accountable for things I wrote in the past, now is the time I assess how I (and my readers) did.
To make things easier, I have included my original post in its entirety, but have included the results below each prediction in blue (if I was correct) and red (if I was wrong). I will also use the same coding methodology for my readers, who, it turns out, were right as often as I was.
Without further ado, here are my predictions with the subsequent results:
Finance and Economics
1. Plagued by continued macroeconomic uncertainty, geopolitical instability, continued political gridlock in Washington exacerbated by an election, a continuing credit crisis in Europe, and the threat of a burgeoning credit crisis in China, the S&P 500 ends the year down 10% at 1,132.
Result: The S&P 500 ended the year up 13% at 1,426.
My prediction was way off the reservation. My readers were also wildly off the mark, with only 8% of them correctly predicting the result.
2. Unemployment ends the year at above 8%.
Result: The unemployment rate was 7.8% in November, the last date for which employment data was available in 2012.
My prediction was close, but it wasn’t close enough. It turns out that only 22% of my readers were right.
3. Oil ends the year at above $125 per barrel because of increased geopolitical instability.
Result: Benchmark U.S. crude ended the year trading at $92.82 per barrel. Brent crude ended the year at $111.11 per barrel.
Both I and my readers failed to forecast oil prices accurately in 2012.
4. The United States and/or Israel conducts a strategic bombing campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
Result: Neither the United States nor Israel bombed Iran in 2012.
It turns out I was way off on this prediction, as were 57% of my readers.
5. Kim Jong-Un turns out to be as uncooperative as his father or worse, making prospects for détente on the Korean Peninsula worse than they were in 2011.
Result: Given North Korea’s recent successful launch of a missile that South Korea claims is capable of delivering “a warhead of about 1,100 to 1,300 pounds” to the West Coast of the United States, I think it is fair to say that Kim Jong-Un is at least as uncooperative as his father, and that prospects for détente on the Korean Peninsula are certainly worse than they were in 2011.
My prediction seems to have been an accurate one, but only 27% of my readers thought relations would worsen with North Korea in 2012.
6. Iraq erupts into civil war.
Result: Iraq did not erupt in civil war in 2012.
My prediction was wrong, but 54% of my readers were correct.
7. The Republicans choose Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee.
Result: The Republicans chose Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee.
Both I and 85% of my readers got this prediction right.
8. The American people re-elect President Obama.
Result: Much to my chagrin, the American people re-elected President Obama.
Both I and 74% of my readers got this prediction right.
9. The Republicans lose seats in both the House and Senate.
My predication was right, but only 36% of my readers agreed.
10. Representative Nancy Pelosi retires.
Result: Again, much to my chagrin, Representative Nancy Pelosi did not retire in 2012.
My prediction was wrong, but 57% of my readers got it right.
The final tally for correct predictions is as follows:
Reflections of a Rational Republican: 40% accuracy
Readers: 40% accuracy