Here’s my 2022 scorecard…… Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday and a prosperous 2023!
1. The Inflation bubble bursts. Due to employee turnover and inflation, small businesses will fail at a historic rate. COVID has decreased tolerance of bad bosses and poor work environments. Inflation rises to 4% if (Build Back Better) BBB fails and 6% if BBB passes, forcing many poorly led, low-margin small businesses to close. High-margin solo and expert businesses will thrive.
I nailed this one, even as the Biden administration said inflation was temporary. Prices rose more sharply than I expected, reaching double digits for the first time since the early 1980s. You were wise to pay off variable-rate loans and increase supplies.
2. Landgrabs. Russia and China seek to time moves against Ukraine and Taiwan, respectively, on signals that President Biden’s health fails. Iran and North Korea will do the same with their nuclear weapons and missile programs. A gulf state reveals its atomic weapons program in response to Iran’s.
Russia moved against Ukraine, and China made provocative moves in the Taiwan Strait. Thankfully, President Biden’s health has remained good.
3. Change for a BitCoin? Countries will begin to adopt crypto as alternate reserve currencies in response to America’s increasing weaponization of the dollar; investors will add crypto to their portfolios to hedge against inflation.
Crypto climbed the year’s first half and then collapsed under the weight of FTX’s catastrophe. China wants the yuan to be a global currency; others have sought the same for the Euro. The dollar will be tough to replace, but the urgency will increase if the U.S. weaponizes currency.
4. Trades strike back. Companies will lose confidence in supply chains that include overseas vendors. Local manufacturing and storage will rebound. Elite snobbery that the only road to a dignified professional life is an expensive 4-year degree will reduce. More people will enter trades and find substantial prosperity, independence, and joy.
Nailed it. This trend will continue.
5. Waking up to Woke. Businesses stop hiring consultants who pedal revenge racism and begin hiring advisors who improve teamwork. The best companies will hold CEOs and line managers responsible for diversity and inclusion; women and non-whites will gain a more significant share of P&L roles.
These trends will continue. Companies and stakeholders benefit by bringing better diversity to boards and c-suites.
6. 280 characters fewer. Trust in conventional news outlets, experts, and punditry will continue declining, forcing at least one primary news channel, newspaper, and social media platform to close. People will turn increasingly to trusted advisers for perspective.
Elon Musk took over Twitter, and the platform is teetering. Meta laid off 10,000 employees.
7. Revenge of the Nerds. Zillow Offers is the tip of the iceberg. Businesses that rely on AI platforms for customer relations and marketing will face significant setbacks because they act as a blunt instrument when customers expect concierge service. Hackers will learn to spoof AI decision-making tools by acting more like humans and luring machine decisions into unproductive corners.
AI tools are getting better. ChatGPT is a breakthrough technology, and Ukraine’s cyber defenses have thwarted Russian attacks. Still, AI is spoofable, and most people can detect bots.
8. AC Anyone? Climate change debates will shift towards alleviating the effects of rising sea levels and warmer temperatures. Wisconsin’s climate by 2040 will be like Tennessee’s in 2010.
No one likes pollution; let’s rally people around cleaning up the environment and practical actions to safeguard people.
9. Rolling Green-outs. Fossil fuels and nuclear power will make a comeback as a reliable base for energy supply. During extreme weather events, cities that rely on renewables face significant power outages. Global predators will intensify cyberattacks against vulnerable power grids.
Europe awoke to Russia’s weaponizing energy; Germany will maintain nuclear power. Russian cyberattacks against Ukrainian power grids have had a temporary effect.
10. The open office is dead. Hybrid workplaces are here to stay. The most innovative companies will create in-office requirements based on need rather than arbitrary percentages. The most talented will seek jobs with those companies.
11. COVID theater closes. Companies will reduce wasteful activities that do little or nothing to stop the spread of COVID. The major media will reduce COVID-hype. The vaccinated will begin to revolt against COVID-control mandates because the virus is spread overwhelmingly by the unvaccinated and the vaccinated are tired of feeling punished. More businesses will require proof of vaccination or infection within the past six months for entry and employment. Vaccine boosters will be annual as COVID becomes endemic.
12. Big Red Resurgence. The Nebraska Cornhuskers football team will go to the BIG 10 championship game in 2022.
The college football Huskers broke my heart again.
Coming soon: my 2023 forecasts