Friday, January 07, 2011
We need a breather from the gravity of our market non-predictions and were having a think about everything else that may not happen in 2011. Apart from the blindingly obvious along the lines of: not winning the lottery, not being able to retire to a yacht or not expecting the BBC's Robert Peston to be anything but a complete *^%£, we came up with the following.
11) The UK's Alternative Vote referendum will NOT pass, but the coalition will NOT break-up before the end of 2011.
One of the cornerstones of the UK's coalition agreement was to have a referendum on changing the UK's voting system to the Alternative Vote (AV). But with the vote coming shortly after the Royal Wedding - which will dominate the media in the weeks coming up to the vote - it is likely that arguments both for and against the system will be drowned out. Given the Lib Dems are currently polling their worst vote shares since the 1980s, the AV vote is likely to be seen by those who care about politics as a referendum on the Lib Dems, and to those with little interest, the likelihood is to vote for the status quo. Thus, TMM reckon it is very unlikely that AV passes. As far as the coalition goes, it has worked remarkably well to date, and both partners need each other, regardless of how the AV vote goes: the Lib Dems need to stay in the coalition to avoid electoral annihilation (given their current poll ratings) and to stand a chance of sharing in the credibility should the fiscal programme be a success, and the Tories need the Lib Dems to share the blame for the inevitable backlash against austerity.
12) Ed Miliband will NOT be leader of the UK Labour Party by end-2011.
Red Ed has thoroughly disappointed since taking over the reins of the Labour Party, moving to the left and already having a public spat with his shadow chancellor regarding the 50% tax. The latest in a long run of screw ups was yesterday's BBC Radio 2 call-in, with callers criticising him. TMM's sources in Westminster reckon if things don't improve by mid-year that the Parliamentary Labour Party will turf him out.
13) Belgium will NOT break-up by end-2011.
Much focus in recent months has been upon the Belgian political situation where an inability to form a government for a long time is colliding with weak fiscal fundamentals. However, TMM note that Belgium has coped with this situation for a long time and that Sir Humphrey would argue that government is best left to the civil service and radio/TV appearances to the politicians. As a result, Belgian government will continue to be led by experts rather than squabbling politicians. As far as agreeing to break up goes, given the diversity of opinion within Belgium, it seems unlikely that consensus will be reached within the year to split, but TMM's mates in Brussels reckon it is inevitable on a 2-3yr time-scale.
14) Darth Weber will NOT replace Baron Von Trichet as the new ECB President.
The leading contender for the job of ECB President has been Darth Weber for the past couple of years, but given his inability to "play ball" and work to the "common good" of saving the Euro, TMM find it hard to believe that the Eurostriches would be happy with his appointment. Although the Germans are trying to talk tough, it seems unlikely that the French or Club Med would accept the commander of the Bundeathstar running the economy. TMM's guess is that a "non-candidate" from Belgium or Luxembourg or wherever gets the job, much like the recent appointment of Baroness Ashton (who?) as EU Foreign Minister.
15) At least 1 member of TMM will NOT have the same employer by year end.
TMM feel that there is about to be another round of musical chairs in the world of finance with quite a few more being removed.
16) The UK 2011 X-Factor winner will NOT make UK No. 1 for Christmas.
We feel that the X-Factor phenomenon saw a blow off spike in popularity last year and cannot believe that even the gullible UK public can fall for the same old con any longer. We would also like to make Ben Elton's book "Chart Throb" compulsory reading for anyone wanting to view the show.
17) Australia's Cricket team is NOT.