Red Tail Hawk gliding high above….and higher!
At the end of 2012 things were a bit uncertain but at that time we knew that 2013 was looking like it could be a great year for our business and the US economy as a whole. We had a friends luncheon in early January and the talk turned to the outlook for the year ahead. People love to be negative in their outlook—what’s to lose if you are wrong, right? At that luncheon I spoke up and said that I thought the year ahead looked fantastic—one scoffed—one bet me and another ordered pizza.
Well–after 5 weeks my outlook seems to be proving correct. The signals from Washington remain a bit unclear but one thing is for sure….the US and World economy is itching for a breakout year where new highs in the DOW will be made and GDP will break through 3.5%.
Given that is it only February 8th and we are involved with a major snowstorm for the next few days, I thought I would write while our power is still on…to update my wild eyed prediction from that famous year end luncheon.
First…2013 is definitely going to be a record-breaking year for the DOW and the US economy as a whole. I am forecasting DOW 15250 by 12/31/13 and GDP of 3.5% by Q3
Second…we will finally see a meaningful drop in the unemployment rate—should be under 6.5 by 12/31/13–
Third…interest rates may begin to rise by Q4 2013 despite assurances to the contrary by Chairman Bernanke, because by Q3 economic growth will be accelerating and calls for FED tightening to avoid a economic overheating will become more insistent.
If this scenario plays out what does it mean for our clients?
Widespread increases in pretax profitability
Here are a few more predictions both short and longer term:
The Democrats will win back control of CONGRESS in 2014. The 2nd half of the Obama Administration will feel like the 2nd half of the Clinton Administration but without the scandals and distractions; President Obama is too smart to let that happen. A Democrat will win the 2016 Presidential election and CONGRESS will continue to be led by the Democrats. New GUN Control, Immigration and other progressive legislation will be put into effect. The US will finally assume a leadership role to fight “Global Warming”. The mideast will get a little less crazy as more Israelis move to the center and away from the far right or far left; illegal settlements will be dismantled and the Palestinians will be on their way to achieving statehood. China will be an increasingly stronger business and political partner; India, too…. The war on terror will continue, but in a much less costly manner in terms of manpower and political capital… Arab spring democracies will struggle to get on their feet but the US, EU, CHINA, Russia and NATO will unite to help pull them up and assure security for their people…and developed countries, too.
Is this sounding like a “Golden Age” to you? It should, because that is exactly what it will be.
My firm is getting busier every day…may that continue because I love what I do and it is fun to run a successful business that helps people realize their goals. We will always need to have the right leaders who can affect change and drive transformational change. I look forward to your comments and to hearing from you if your organization or institution needs help with an external search.
March 8, 2013 –a look back to 2008 and 2nd Quarter Forecast
” You don’t need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows…”
Winter 2008 is long time ago. It was a time that tested everyone’s souls and checkbooks! It was a painful and scary time. The excesses of Wall Street greed combined with unscrupulous mortgage companies and bloated personal levels of debt were coming home to roost. If you were smart and bold you sold your stocks. But most were not and they held….and lost fortunes when the other shoe dropped and Lehman went bankrupt in the fall—and all hell broke loose; well, you remember the story.
By the time President Obama took the reins, the blood on the streets –that are Wall & Main–was gushing everywhere and Americans far and wide were hit hard by a recession that soon felt like a depression for those that lived through the one in the ’30s. People everywhere pulled in their horns and waited for signs of the storm to dissipate. Many jobs were lost, revenues declined in all sectors, housing was in the gutter and even the vaunted auto sector essentially went bankrupt as did several of the world’s largest financial institutions. “Cassandras” were rampant shaking their fists at the sky and crying for the heads of the perps—most were right to do that! Some predicted that support of the auto & finance sectors and anything smacking of proactive government stimulous smacked of socialism…it was a rough time that I hope we never to have to endure again. Credit for averting a worse disaster goes to so many individuals in leadership and for many more who will never be acknowledged. I think they know who they are but, do we? We forget so quickly…..take some time to think about who among us are most responsible for the recovery we are now enjoying.
A real hero in my mind is FED Chairman Bernanke; he studied the Depression, won awards for his research, became a Princeton “Jersey Strong” Prof, and then used his knowledge and understanding to unleash a flood of liquidity into the markets…and supported government stimulus initiatives designed to help jump start our shocked and dead in the water economy. Interest rates plummeted to all time lows which helped provide much needed calm in the storm since with rock bottom rates many people could continue to service their debt. Most banks stopped lending and ran to the sidelines—a few did not. Foreclosures of homes —places were people raise their children and experience the “Amercian Dream”—rose to all-time highs and the same banks that created the crisis in the first place, made problems worse by not even reviewing the paperwork on the homes they foreclosed upon with such enthusiasm. The system was really out of control and questions remain as to whether or not these people will be called to account or “get” what they did, today.
Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner did an amazing job as well…he ran around the world assuring financial market leaders and heads of state that America would be fine once the capital markets could unfreeze. He architected many federal stimulous initiatives and helped engineer the safe landing of GM…among so many other brave moves. Business leaders like Warren Buffett, helped, too…as did CEOs of companies who were slow to downsize, quick to extend credit terms for their customers and keep calm. For those that did not see the light…and said that America’s time was “over” —shame on them. Thank goodness we weren’t relying on people like that when we were up against Great Britain during the American Revolution or Nazi Germany during WWII. America is a country that endures because we get back up on the horse when we fall off….cut us down, we grow stronger.
Talking about the Second Quarter seems like small potatoes considering what we have all been through…but it is time to “be bold and go long” and feel better, too! Leaders in all sectors of our economy and in the halls of government who can see opportunities for growth and development —instead of calling for austerity—are worth our support now. The DOW is cruising right along towards new highs because the pendulum is swinging in the right direction. Tax revenues will come in a lot stronger and that will help, too. If you think that it is a “paper tiger”—look at the data more carefully. Today, the jobs report indicated over 200, ooo new hires—and that was for the short month of February! March, April, May….they are going to be even better months. Housing is coming back even in hard hit places like FL, CA and, yes, Morristown, NJ, too. Corporations are sitting on hordes of cash ready to deploy it instead of keep it under their respective mattresses. Could this be a really good time for the economy? Is the Pope Catholic?
Our business here at KULPER & COMPANY is in a growth mode. 2013 is already a great year so far and we expect that our phone will continue ring from clients ready to engage our assistance with their external searches for top leaders.