Interest rates are not expected to rise until 2014 and Europe’s problems are not going to be solved quickly, therefore income generation is still the investment theme for the year. As recession takes hold in Europe, I expect Q1 to be challenging with pressure on the ECB and European authorities to act strongly. Recent Italian debt auctions may have completed successfully but a 7% yield remains a prohibitive cost. Ultimately, this will spark the urgency to implement the fiscal measures proposed at the last European summit. For 2012, I forecast a sovereign default within the Eurozone and a ratings downgrade for France but a narrow election victory for Sarkozy. The EURUSD will trade near 1.20, and Gold’s recent correction will prove overdone. Emerging Markets will recover in the second half of the year, US GDP growth will hit 3%, and Obama will get re-elected (much to my disappointment).
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