A year ago, Goldman’s Jim O’Neill predicted 11 surprises for 2012.
“One thing for sure we can say about 2012 is that there will be no shortage of things to think about,” he wrote.
“In some ways, for the discerning analyst and the ambitious alpha generating fund manager, you couldn’t wish for a better environment. The only dilemma is that it is probably quite easy to get something(s) wrong!”
We scored O’Neill’s surprises and found that he spent most of the year being right than wrong.
This one is a bit hard to measure. But the bottom line is that Europe continued to be a big deal in 2012. 'With a bit of luck, it might go back to being as dull as it usually is,' said O'Neill a year ago. An argument can be made that the crisis has receded, but it's far from dull.
'The Euro is more likely to reach 1.10 next year, rather than 1.50. I doubt it will see both, and it might not see either, but 1.10 is more likely than 1.50,' predicted O'Neill.
Directionally, he was correct as the euro spent most of the year below where it started than above. It got as low as $1.20, but no higher than $1.34.
The definition of soft and hard economic landings are not black and white. 'China won't have any kind of landing in reality, neither hard nor soft, but it will still be travelling. It might have seemed like a soft one though.'
In recent weeks, the economic green shoots have been coming out in droves in China. We're comfortable saying that China avoided a hard landing.
This one was a bit hard to judge. All four continue to be considered significant growth markets. Mexico's resilient growth got it praise from the likes of David Rosenberg and Mark Mobius. However, a New York Times story suggesting bribery between Walmart and Mexico reinforced scepticism.
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