Predictions for 2014

By Lloyd Graff

These are a few of my best guesses for what 2014 may bring. Give me your feedback, and some slack.

1) The trends of the last few years will tend to continue — tepid economic growth, weak employment, rich getting richer and the poor falling further behind.

*A few exceptions, however. A powerful hiring tool will gain more traction. Companies will offer to pay off school loans to recruit prime applicants. For programmers, engineers and some other specialists in demand — maybe machinery set-up people — the school loan pay-off will be an important hiring inducement.

2) In 2013, 42% of home purchases were for 100% cash, meaning hedge funds and syndicates have been buying up the housing bargains in bulk. This will start to subside because the supply of distressed homes is finite, and shrinking with fewer distress sales, new homes will become more desirable, especially if developers have pre-arranged financing options similar to car dealers.

3) The hottest thing at IMTS 2014 will be 3D printers. I think in a few years most shops will have at least one and we will see 3D printing job shops sprouting up for short-run work. They will also be popular for home inventors. The stock of Stratasys has gone through the roof already but it is probably still cheap. Inexpensive robots will also be hot at IMTS.

4) Everybody hates bonds today, which means they could be a good contrarian play. If we are in a long-term deflationary slide in prices of goods, which I think is likely, bonds may go up as rates go down because there is more capacity than buyers, and China will continue to cut prices to keep people working. Long term, labor will trend cheaper as a percentage of the cost of manufactured goods as robots and automation add more value.

5) Republicans will win the Senate in 2014 because of the unpopularity of ObamaCare.

6) Obama will allow the oil pipeline to be built from the Canadian tar sands to the Gulf. I say this because Warren Buffet is buying up pipeline assets. He has a pipeline into the White House. If the U.S pipeline is not built to the Gulf, another one will be built to take the tar sands oil to British Columbia for shipment to Asia.

7) Gold will fall to $750 per ounce as fear of inflation continues to abate. Oil at NYMEX will fall to $70 per barrel.

8) San Francisco wins the Super Bowl. Detroit finally wins the World Series. San Antonio wins the NBA Finals. Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup again. Jason Day wins the Masters.

9) Miscellaneous – Amazon stock hits $600. Hillary Clinton decides not to run for President and divorces Bill to marry a woman. Downton Abbey is turned into a hotel. Carrie on Homeland turns over her baby to her sister so she can take over the CIA station in Istanbul. Ben Bernanke will succeed Jamie Diamond as Chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase.

Question: Is IMTS 2014 important enough to you to display at or attend?

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12 thoughts on “Predictions for 2014

  1. Tim Matthews

    Thank you for another enjoyable read. I don’t always agree with you but I always get a kick out of your comments. This was another gem.

  2. Bob Bolhouse

    “Income inequality” will replace “global warming” as the progressive’s new mantra.

    1. Josh

      And if you think “income inequality” is a liberal fabrication you’re a bloody buffoon. Enjoy the rest of your life in the new gilded age.



    1. Josh

      Inequality is real. There is no reason that the top 1% of Americans should have 20% of all income in the country nor should the top 10% have 50%. That’s a broken system and if you think otherwise you’re a dolt. If you think that those incomes arose because of hard work and a free market you’re an even bigger dolt. The system is rigged and it’s funneling money upwards toward the rich, there is class warfare and it’s against the middle class from both sides. It hasn’t been this bad since the 20’s and we all know what happened in ’29. But yeah, just keep spouting off stupid crap about the liberal menace while you ignore the fact that both parties support the same gosh darn platform with minor differences to keep us at each other’s throats.

      1. jd

        “keep us at each other’s throats.” it seems that you have fallen victim to that very thing you dislike.

      2. Eric

        You are a victim of jealousy and self-pity.
        There are so many life success stories of people who through timing, hard work, sacrifice and smart decisions have become very successful.
        I have become more successful than I or my family ever dreamed. I was the first to graduate college in my family on either side. I am successful in a fortune 500 company job and have a very successful side business that I could now retire to and operate solely.
        Was I lucky or did I have an inside track to “funneled money”? No.
        (1) I paid my way through college. It took me 8 years to get a bachelors degree.
        (2) I work my day job and then run my business at night and on the weekends.
        (3) I seek out successful people and learn from them.
        (4) I refuse to blame my failures on others or the system.
        (5) I never give up…

  4. allen

    1) Har!

    2) Regression to the mean but the urge to “fix” the market means more interference in the market. Whatever the mean might be, with government interference, it’ll be a moving target.

    3) Why? What will everybody do with them? There’s only so many “Yoda” figures people want and about the only thing I’ve seen that looks like a good use for 3-D printers is to be found over at Defense Distributed, i.e. magazines for firearms and AR-15 lower receivers.

    4) Ah, the contrarian coming out. Just because everyone hates it today doesn’t mean they’re wrong. When you march to the beat of different drummer you ought to expect to get knocked down by a lot of people marching to the more widely-heard drummer.

    5) And the IRS scandal and Benghazi and the economy and, well, the recognition that an ever-lovin’, blue-eyed bargain Obama ain’t.

    6) Buffett takes the long view. Ten years from the pipeline could be built and Buffett’s heirs will benefit handsomely.

    7) Unless a resurgent world economy reignites demand for gold just because people will have more dollars, renminbis, pounds, euros, etc. to spend.


    9) Maybe. Har! Huh? Huh, again? OK.

    Yeah. Plus, this year I’ll be able to afford to go.

    1. Emily Halgrimson Post author

      Buffet has pledged to give his fortune to charity. He has set aside a modest inheritance for his family. I believe most of it is going to the Gates Foundation, which has almost wiped out polio on earth. Just an interesting aside …

    2. John

      RE: 3) Why?
      3D Printing is not just STL anymore.
      DMLS, Direct Metal Laser Sintered technology can provide superior to billet materials at increased metal deposition rates and larger envelopes than ever before, and also deliver gradients between different materials.
      And even the lowly “Yoda” technology of STL can deliver engineered resin production parts, not models.

  5. Jerry Levine

    I especially loved your prediction #9, “Miscellaneous” because 1) I own Amazon stock and 2) I laughed out loud reading all the other miscellaneous predictions.


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