Call this blog repetitious, but it is the end of the year and we make our list (to see what we copy and pasted from 2007, go here).
Topic of the year 2008: The financial crisis
Not hard to guess. What strikes me is that, despite all that was written and said about it, most of the people will still struggle to grasp what exactly has happened. This podcast is the best I have heard about it. What is sad is the way a lot of journalists switched from pro-market to anti-capitalism just because Zeitgeist said so.
Person of the year 2008: Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson (co-winners)
Barack Obama may be the phenomenon of the year and a hot contender for 2010, but this year was shaped a lot by the FED-chairman and the treasury secretary. I have told you why I think Mr. Bernanke is an unfortunate figure, and I do regard Mr. Paulson even less able to deal with the crisis. Still, the faces of these two plus that of former Lehman CEO Dick Fuld will be always connected to what has become the biggest crisis for 70 years.
Most underreported events in 2008:
–the conflict between the Northern and Southern Sudan. Darfur may be on most people’s minds, but the key lies here.
-the people of Juarez‘ (Mexico) suffering because of the ongoing drug war
-conflicts between Christians and Muslims in Eastern Africa
-lobbyism as the root of the financial crisis
3.Michael Lewis: The End (Portfolio)
A great piece about how Wall Street fell apart. I am glad Condé Nast keeps Portfolio.
BBC World Service: Desperate Dreams
Deeply moving like so many BBC documentaries; this piece takes you deep into the dreams of Africans crossing the sea to find their luck in Europe. It does not spare you the horrible awakening, though.
Frontline: Bush’s war
Sorry to all the other TV people, but: It does not get better than this. A MUST-watch!
Country to watch in 2009:
China, once again. Will it help to save America’s finances or come into deep economic trouble itself? I am also curious to see what role it will play on a diplomatic level during the next couple of years
Trends to watch in 2009:
-economic crisis will get much much worse, it may not get much better later this year. Expect the credit crunch to continue its damage, bad news in Europe from Ireland, Spain and maybe Austria. The new EU members‘ economy will suffer badly, China’s might as well.
-money printers will have a lot of work
-slim majorities at the German federal election, I am at that point really unable to predict how will form a coalition. FIrst red-red-coalition in the West (Saarland), though after federal elections things may look different
-deep humanitarian crisis in countries of East Africa and Zimbabwe
-bloody year in Pakistan
-Chrysler and GM get bust-Cuba and the US get closer
-shotgun weddings are not over in the banking industry-South America and ASEAN getting more serious on forming closer confederations
-first gay soccer-players in Germany finally come out of the closet
-bets for the markets at 12/31/09: Dollar (Euro – Dollar): 1,28 After holding on strong as Asia buys, devaluing in the second half of the year. S&P 500: 740 (will go down into the 600s, maybe 500s before). Basically, all of this is very hard to predict, so do not take my word it will happen like this.
Kopfzeiler’s worst predictions in the last two years:
-Sparkassen will benefit from the finacial crisis
-Japan will come out as a winner of the financial crisis
-presidential race Hillary vs. Rudy
To everyone: Have a great and save 2009!
Picture via Mr. Magoo ICU, Flickr