CNBC's Boldest Predictions for 2011


There's nothing like a bold, even outrageous prediction, and in compiling some 150 predictions from three-dozen staffers and contributors this year, we came away with some out-of-the-box prophecies. Though they may be bold, they are certainly in the realm of possibilities. So, take a look at who at CNBC is saying what, in their own words.

8. Euro Weakens Further, Nearing Parity With the Dollar

The move will come as it becomes clear to the currency markets that growth in America is stronger than anticipated and that Euorpe's peripheral countries will need to restructure their debts. The big winner from this depreciation will be Germany, which will see export volumes continue to surge."

— Guy Johnson

7. Ford Has Most Profitable Year Ever

"This really isn't much of a stretch given Ford Motor (NYSE: F - News) is currently having one of its best years ever. But in 2011, as North American sales pick up and Ford enjoys the benefits of a full year of sales from the Fiesta and Explorer, along with roll out of the re-designed Focus, Ford will crank up the profits. The roll Ford is enjoying right now is reminiscent of when Toyota was in the sweet spot a few years back."

— Phil LeBeau

6. U.S. Undergoes Nuclear Power-Plant Building Boom

"Summer-time brownouts and shovel-ready sluggishness will spark a national effort to build a nuke in every state — 50 fast-tracked, nuclear power plants to create jobs and juice needed for a great future."

— Matt Nesto

5. Stars Will Monetize Their Brands

"Celebrities, who both create and curate content, will increasingly monetize their brand value. Will Smith, Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian, and the like will sell content and merchanise directly to fans. We may see some celebrities self-finance videos and distribute to consumers, cutting out media conglomerates."

— Julia Boorstin

4. Netflix Sells Off and Is Acquired

"Netflix's (NasdaqGS: NFLX - News) stock gets rocked as the company's margins take a hit, the result of a price war over video streaming … The stock will lose three-quarters of its value, as the market for streaming video becomes more competitive and commodity like, and Netflix will be acquired. After a lengthy bidding war, which drags in Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - New) and Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN - News), the winner is: Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - News)."

— Herb Greenberg

3. New Pressures for Banks

"Banks will be under renewed stress as housing prices fall and loan losses reaccelerate. Another round of capital raises may be in the offing as more and more banks find themselves undercapitalized … Bank failures may also accelerate, and industry consolidation will result in an even higher concentration of assets held at a handful of huge banks. Investors will seek out the strongest, best capitalized banks and avoid the undercapitalized."

— Michael Farr

2. U.S. Military Action in Yemen

"Due to growing terrorism fears over a disintegrating Yemen, there will be direct U.S. military action there. Concerns about terrorist activities spilling into Saudi Arabia, Yemen's neighbor to the north, will amplify concerns over the region and engender significant action against Al Qaeda assets in the country."

— John Kilduff

1. Jamie Dimon Retires

"Next year, Jamie Dimon will reach his 55th birthday. Why would he retire at this point? Because his job is over. Under his leadership, JPMorgan Chase has emerged as the most successful of the country ' s biggest banks. Almost alone among his peers, Dimon made it through the financial crisis better off than he entered it. Dimon may stay on as chairman of the board, however."

— John Carney


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