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Byron Wien, the legendary Wall Street strategist at Blackstone, just published his 28th annual list of 10 Surprises.As usual, it combines predictions for the economy, markets, and the political environment among other things.
“Every year there are always a few Surprises that do not make the 10 because either I do not believe they are as relevant as those on the basic list or I am not comfortable with the idea that they are “probable,”” notes Wien.
Here’s one of those he left out:
“The Newtown, Connecticut, massacre finally convinces Congress to do something about gun control. As a first step they ban future civilian purchases of automatic weapons, including handguns, with clips of more than 10 rounds and require more extensive background checks on all gun purchases. “It should not be easier to buy a gun than rent a car” becomes a slogan.”
We’d be bummed out if he didn’t think it was relevant enough for the list. We’d be even more bummed out if he didn’t think passage of stronger gun control was “probable,” or “having a better than 50% likelihood of happening.”
In an interview with NBC’s Meet The Press this past weekend, President Obama said that gun control reform would be a top priority:
“The question is: Are we going to be able to have a national conversation and move something through Congress? I’d like to get it done in the first year. I will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that Joe Biden’s task force is putting together as we speak. And so this is not something that I will be putting off.”
However, sceptics point to past high-profile shootings and massacres and note that little was done to push these reforms through back then.
What’s causing us to believe that any significant reform would happen this time?