In his new note to clients, Potomac Research Group’s Greg Valliere rolls out a new feature.
“We have a colleague who always asks — what are the chances? What are the odds on the key issues we follow?”
Here are Valliere’s answers to some of the biggest market and political stories of the year:
THE RECOVERY: Chances that the recovery will sputter, that the current soft patch is about more than bad weather: 30% and rising.
FED TAPERING: Chances that the Fed will slow or reduce the pace of its tapering: 20% and rising.
FRESH STIMULUS: Chances of new spending or a minimum wage hike: 10%, the House won’t budge.
HIRING INCENTIVES: Chances of a bill to provide tax incentives to train and hire workers: 40% and rising.
TAX REFORM: Chances that the debate will heat up: 60%; chances of action this year: 10%.
IMMIGRATION REFORM: Chances of passage in the House before this summer’s GOP primaries: 0%; chances after the primaries: 40%.
OBAMACARE: Chances that it will be killed by the GOP or radically reformed: 10%.
TRADE LIBERALIZATION: Chances of an Asian trade pact: close to 0%, with congressional Democrats refusing to budge.
FANNIE/FREDDIE: Chances of a privatization bill this year: 40%.
BAILOUTS: Chances that Puerto Rico gets bailed out by Washington: 0%. Chances that Illinois or Chicago get bailed out by Washington: 0%. Chances that indebted students get their loans forgiven: 0%.
SUPREME COURT: Chances that at least one justice departs this year: 60%.
KEYSTONE PIPELINE: With Barack Obama playing to his base and seeking confrontations with the GOP, chances of approval: 55% and now slipping.
CYBERSECURITY: Chances of more data breaches this year: 100%. Chances of legislation: 55%.
FALL ELECTIONS: Chances the GOP will keep the House: 80% and rising. Chances the GOP will take the Senate: 51% and rising.
HILLARY CLINTON: Chances she’ll run: only 65%, not a slam dunk. If she runs, chances she’ll be the Democrats’ nominee: 80%. Chances she’ll be the next president: 55%.
GOP NOMINEE: Impossible to handicap at the present time.
GEOPOLITICS: Chances of an Iranian nuclear deal: 55% and slipping. Chances that Vladimir Putin moves troops into Ukraine to “preserve order”: 25%. Chances of Leopoldo Lopez electrifying the world in Venezuela: 30% and rising.
THE OSCARS: Chances that “12 Years a Slave” will win best picture: 60% and rising despite the buzz for the outrageous “Wolf of Wall Street.”