Saturday, December 31, 2016

Zandar's 2016 Scorecard

Time to go over my 2016 predictions and see where I ended up for the year as we usually do on December 31.  Let's see how I did...

1) No beating around the...well...Bush.  Hillary Clinton will be elected President of the United States in 2016.  I'll take the half-point if it's Bernie somehow, but if a Republican wins?  We all lose.

WRONG: And history books will be written for decades as to why.

2) 2016 in economics?  Unemployment under 5.5%, oil under $50, and the Dow Jones will close above 16k.  Yes, 2015 was the first negative year in the markets since 2008 and the Fed raised rates, but we were due, and I think the country will stay on track.

RIGHT: Oil is $53 today, but unemployment is under 5% and the Dow is close to 20K.  I'll take the 2 for 3 here.

3) Movies, I see a good year for both Marvel with Captain America: Civil War and DC with Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Both will break $200 million domestically.  How will Deadpool, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange and X-Men Apocalypse do?  Less sure about those, but they'll all do $100 million a piece.  I'll take the split if I get at least 3 right.

RIGHT: All six superhero films beat those numbers. Civil War beat $400 mil, Deadpool, BvS and Suicide Squad all topped $300 mil, Doc Strange came in at $225 mil, and even X-Men Apocalypse came in at $155 million.

4) Half-a-dozen massive Supreme Court cases in 2016 could change everything.  I'll call it 5-4 that SCOTUS will side with the Obama administration on Texas's abortion laws being too strict...

RIGHT: 5-3 with the passing of Scalia.

5) ...but you can kiss Affirmative Action goodbye.  Kennedy has repeatedly sided against it, as have the court's other four conservatives.

WRONG: Scalia's death and Kennedy's change of heart saved Fisher. As it was, upheld 4-3.

6) As with 2014's Sochi Winter Games, I predict the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics will be an absolute disaster.  There is no way Brazil is going to be ready for this, and I expect the games will be a nasty, disjointed affair with barely functional venues.

RIGHT: "Barely functional venues" was the generous term as the Olympic Village was unfinished and pool water was algae green. And President Dilma Rouseff was impeached and removed from office not long after.

7) I think it's a safe bet that turnout in the 2016 election will be under 50%.  The last time that happened was in 1996 (49%) when Bill Clinton was re-elected and 8 million angry Americans turned to Ross Perot, ironically proving a major third-party candidate reduces turnout.

SPLIT:  There are still several questions about 2016's election that have to be answered, needless to say.  Turnout was supposedly two points higher than in 1996.

8) The Oculus Rift and other virtual reality headset systems will bomb.  We're talking "Google Glass" level of bomb here.  Ironically, the rebranded, industrial/commercial version of Google Glass will return in 2016 and probably do better.

RIGHT: Both predictions were correct.  VR is there, but only 6 million or so have sold. Oculus itself sold well under 500K units.  If it wasn't for Sony's PlayStation VR and Samsung's Gear VR, it would have been a complete waste.

9) The 2016 GOP nominee will not be Trump.  Somehow, the voters will nominate either Cruz or Rubio instead, I don't know how but...hey, we shouldn't have gone down this far anyway. I'll hedge my bet and say that I hope he is.

WRONG: And for the same reasons as #1.

10) ZVTS will still be here going into 2017.  Here's hoping we make it through.

RIGHT: Still here, and now, I think needed more than ever as we head into the new year.

So 7.5 out of ten, not bad at all, but the two biggest predictions were devastating.  We'll be cleaning up for decades after this election.

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