Tag Archive for '2015'

Results of Blasingame’s 2015 Predictions and His Score

Here are my 2015 predictions and what happened. My prior 14-year record is 73% accuracy.

Prediction: Geopolitics, geo-competition and the supply/demand dynamic for crude oil won’t find equilibrium anytime soon, causing prices to fluctuate, but average less than $70 per barrel. Plus 1 - Crude averaged around $50 per barrel for the year

Prediction: With consumers buoyed by low gas prices and six years of recovery fatigue, the U.S. economy will grow, but global economic headwinds and currency influences on exports will result in U.S. annual GDP averaging below 3%. Plus 1 – Owing to a disastrous Q1, annual GDP is closer to 2%.

Prediction: Consumer optimism will produce small business contribution to GDP greater than any year since the Great Recession. Minus 1 – Incredibly, in the sixth post-recession year, consumers, the small business sector and economy are all going in the wrong direction.

Prediction: An improving economy, plus anticipation of a business-friendly 114th Congress will cause an upward trend in small business optimism toward NFIB Index’s 42-year average of 100 points. Minus 1 – NFIB Index reports trend was no better than flat.

Prediction: Small business loan demand will increase as growth opportunities exceed the ability to fund them with organic capital resources. Plus 1 – The increase came mostly from non-traditional sources, like asset-based lenders.

Prediction: With organizational productivity maxed out, even marginal economic growth will cause small and large businesses to increase hiring. Plus 1 – Hiring did increase. But exposing the irrelevance of U3, not enough to drop true unemployment to 5%.

Prediction: Continued concern about the fragility of the U.S. and global economies will cause the Fed to maintain monetary easing by keeping the Fed Funds rate unchanged. Plus 1 – I took a lot of heat on this from every economist I know – most predicted a June rate increase.

Prediction: In King v Burwell, Supreme Court will rule 5-4 that Obamacare was written to exclude subsidies to states with Federal exchanges. Minus 1 – In the Bizarro World of the Roberts’ Court a 6-3 majority contrived that “only” really means “every.”

Prediction: The GOP-controlled Congress and President Obama will agree on tax reform in 2015.  Plus 1 – Nothing sweeping, but year-end reforms will help small business.

Prediction: Congressional Republicans will thwart the execution of Obama’s executive order on immigration. Plus 1 – This happened, with help from the Courts.

Prediction: The Sony cyber-assault by North Korea will elevate corporate America cyber-security to a de facto national security level. Plus 1 – Corporate cyber-security spending increased by 20%.

Prediction: Unprecedented foreign state cyber-assault on a U.S. corporation will cause the government to stop companies from responding to such threats on their own. Plus 1 – These conversations did happen.

Prediction: In political theater redux, a Clinton and a Bush will become presidential candidates, but neither will be their party’s front-runners by year-end. Push – Got Bush, missed Clinton. Surprised Bush hasn’t done better and Clinton’s baggage hasn’t hurt her.

Prediction: Oregon will defeat Florida State in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Plus 1 – A 59-20 whuppin’.

Prediction: Alabama will win the inaugural NCAA Division I Championship Game Jan10. Minus 1 – My first ever football miss.

Write this on a rock …This year I went 11 for 16, or 69%, taking my 15-year record to 72.7%. How’d you do?

RESULTS: What do the signs read for your business in 2015?

The Question: Looking into 2015, what do the signs look like for your business?

28% - All signs point toward 2015 being a great growth year for us.
55% - We’re cautiously optimistic 2015 will be better than last year.
15% - We’re expecting no more business than last year.
2% - Right now, 2015 looks like a tough year for us.
Jim’s Comments:
As you may know, we’ve been polling small business owners about many topics for several years. At least four times a year we ask about the economy, either how it has been or what it’s looking like. Since the end of the Great Recession in July 2009, it’s been interesting that our responses have consistently shown about a fourth to a third doing well, about half doing just okay, and the rest doing poorly.

Many sources are reporting how the economy seems to be finally gaining some momentum. We wanted to know what you thought about these reports, so last week we asked how the New Year was looking. As you can see, the ratio of responses hasn’t changed much from past polls. This tells me after six years of a moribund economy most small business owners aren’t going to get excited until they can confirm that economic momentum has reached all the way down to the last mile of Main Street.

Resolve to overcome your fears and achieve your dreams in the new year

One of the greatest sins is the unlived life.

That’s the title of my favorite section in one of my favorite books, Anam Cara, by my late friend and favorite Irishman, John O’Donohue.

John says that the more we postpone the dreams of our hearts the more we are in danger of an unlived life.  “We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny.”

In that same theme, I also like this New Year poem by Lillian Gray.

New Year’s Thoughts


Let us walk softly, friend;
For strange paths lie before us all untrod,
For New Year, spotless from the hand of God,
Is thine and mine, O friend.


Let us walk straightly, friend;
Forget the crooked paths behind us now,
Press on with steadier purpose on our brow,
To better deeds, O friend.


Let us walk kindly, friend;
We cannot tell how long this life shall last,
How soon these precious years be over past;
Let Love walk with us, friend!

Let’s find a way to forge John’s firm admonitions and Lillian’s soft encouragements into an alloy for living in the New Year.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio and the Internet.

RESULTS:Have the midterms impacted your attitude about the 2015 economy?

The Question:

Photo credit to DonkeyHotey on Flickr.comHow have the results of the midterm election impacted your attitude about the economy in 2015?

18% - I’m optimistic about next year but not because of politics
44% - I’m more optimistic about 2015 because the GOP control Congress
0% - I’m less optimistic because the Democrats lost control of Congress
38% - I’m pessimistic about the economy because of all the politicians
Jim’s Comments:
As you can see, over half of our respondents are either indifferent toward, or negative about the impact of the Political Class on their business.  The rest are hopeful about their business because of the upcoming Republican-controlled Congress. Alas, the Dems got no love in this poll.
I’m going to have more to say about these results in a longer piece in the next week or so. Stay tuned. Thanks for participating and be sure to take our new poll this week.

**Photo credit to Donkey Hotey on Flickr.com. Image links to page. (CC).




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