Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Here's the Prediction for 2015

Stuart A. Hoffman, chief economist of PNC bank:

National Debt: 10 Trillion when Obama took office, 18 Trillion in 2015, of which 6 Trillion is owed to ourselves (Medicare trust funds, etc). GDP 18 trillion.

2015 will be a recovery year in America, a puzzle in the rest of the world. The US has comparatively small trade, should not affect the rest of world, much. House prices, wages, employment should improve, some short-term interest rates will be announced by FED as symbolic.

But after 2016, the future is less promising: education, medical care, especially ominous. Oil is what saved us. But it's bad for Canada and Mexico. The Swiss pegged their currency to Euro, which they did not join. When Euro promised bond-buying (QE3), the Swiss exporters rebelled, forcing an end to peg, so Swiss franc soared. Too small to affect the world, Switzerland might still have an effect influencing Germany to follow the same pattern, possibly followed by England.

Viewed from the other end of 2015, was he right?

Originally published: Thursday, December 10, 2015; most-recently modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2019