The Water Tiger

Column box-John Mangun-Outside the Box

The year 2022 is set to be the year of the Water Tiger. From Karma Weather: “The New Year symbolizes determination, spontaneity, and novelty. It is a period which draws its strength despite adversity, from dynamism and enthusiasm. The Chinese Year 2022 is synonymous with unforeseen changes and surprising developments.”

I will definitely go with that last sentence. But also, “It is also a good time for all those who wish to forget their stormy past and find a legitimate place in society.” I am hoping in 2022 to find a legitimate place in a reclining chair at the Director’s Club of a nearby SM Cinema. Then I will know the pandemic is over or at the “live with it” stage.

However, 2021 is still far from being in the rearview mirror, so there is time to forecast the end of this year.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, forecasts that a “giant” market crash is set to happen this month of October. He said on October 2 that the wheels are in motion for this to come about, and the price of gold, silver and Bitcoin will drop dramatically as a result. Kiyosaki: “This is going to be the biggest crash in world history. Any intervention from the Federal Reserve will not stop the pending market crash.” Well, that’s depressing.

Out of the UK comes Miles J, an abstract artist and “investor and trader” of Non-Fungible Assets and BTC. He also looks amazingly like Jon Snow of Game of Thrones. He predicts that Bitcoin will reach $450,000 to $520,000 by December 25, 2021.

I can predict with 100 percent accuracy that there is at least a 50/50 chance that one of these gentlemen will be wrong. I will bet money on it.

At times I have been known to give forecasts for the future. On ANC yesterday I predicted that the Philippine Stock Exchange Index would be at the 8,000 area by end-2021 or early 2022. Notice the “early 2022” and that is subject to revision in “early 2022” to “end second quarter 2022.” Can I say that my forecasts are “never wrong” even if not always right?

To the attributes of the Water Tiger, can we add “opportunistic”, even vengeful? Brent crude oil went from $70 in January 2020 to $28 in April as demand dropped. Not only was Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) plus Russia selling less oil but at a super low price. Joe Biden became US president and immediately turned the US into an oil importing country from a net exporter. Now oil is back to 2018 levels ($80).

Opec said it “reconfirmed the production adjustment plan” after relatively swift ministerial talks. This referred to its previous decision to add 400,000 barrels per day in November. The US and India hoped soaring oil prices could persuade the group to offer more supply or lower prices. Much laughter was heard in the background at the Opec ministerial meeting.

Inflation? The US Cost of Living Adjustment for 2022, which could reach 6 percent, could be the highest since 1982. Economic growth? The International Monetary Fund expects global economic growth in 2022 to be 4.9 percent. But with global inflation rate forecast at 3.3 percent, real gross domestic product growth will keep the total world economic output at near 2018 levels.

Add to that data the impending bubble-bust in the Chinese real estate sector and bond market. Further we have the potential of some idiot —pick any country—pushing the wrong button on a warship/plane in the South China Sea region. The Water Tiger of 2022 could be extremely unforeseen and surprising.

E-mail me at mangun@gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock-market information and technical analysis provided by AAA Southeast Equities Inc.

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