Incorrect. A close miss, but still a miss. The U3 unemployment rate peaked at 9.8 percent in 2011. It was, as expected, masked by a decline in the Labor Force Participation rate to 63.9 percent. Even so, the employment-population rate only fell to 58.1 percent in July before recovering to 58.5 percent in November.
Correct. The first three quarters of 2011 were all below 2%, so this one can be called even though the initial Q4 report isn’t out yet.
Correct. The deficit in the fiscal year of 2011 was $1,295 billion. And the only reason it is that close was the delay in bumping up the debt ceiling, which has already been reached again. So much for the oft-heard assumption that a Tea Party-inspired Republican House would solve the spending problem.
Incorrect. Not even close. Only 92 banks failed this year, none of them giants. Bank of America’s stock took a hit, but it is still staggering around, hemorrhaging red ink. I suspect the flat stock market prevented this from getting out of hand.
Incorrect again. The Fed managed to keep bank lending propped up; TOTLL is still holding tight at $6.9 trillion, although it is still below peak.
Incorrect, unless Federal debt falls more than $762 billion in Q4. Although its rate of growth did slow down considerably during the first two quarters, federal debt outstanding leaped 4 percent in the third quarter alone and exceeded $10 trillion for the first time thanks to the debt ceiling hike. The state and local sector is a bit of a mess, since some serious revisions in the last Z1 report suddenly show that a sector which has been showing flat for three years growing 23.8 percent in from Q2 to Q3. Z1 itself showed $1.3 trillion in growth from Q2, but most of that was historical revisions and is now at $53.8 trillion. The numbers look increasingly sketchy, but regardless, my prediction of a sub-50 all sectors Z1 was wrong.
Correct. Home prices fell to 156,100 in February. As of the November report, they presently stand at 164,200
Correct. Greece has technically defaulted even though it’s being spun as a “restructuring”, and although no nation has announced that it is leaving the Euro yet, there is definitely a serious Euro crisis taking place, as the IMF-led overthrow of the governments of Greece and Italy demonstrates.
Incorrect. One big county and one state capital too small to count as major aren’t enough.
Overall, the score is 4-4, with the bonus tipping the balance in my favor, 5-4. Not very good, and I’m disappointed with the Z1 revisions rendering the historical statistics potentially useless now. That was a little worse than last year’s 5-3 scorecard. In light of another mediocre performance, I’ll have to think about whether I’m going to bother making any quantifiable predictions for 2012, other than to say that I expect it to be more chaotic and contractionary than 2011 was.