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Oops! The Seven Worst Predictions About 2012

People gesture toward the Kukulkan temple in Chichen Itza, Mexico, on Dec. 21, 2012.

Photograph by Israel Leal/AP Photo

People gesture toward the Kukulkan temple in Chichen Itza, Mexico, on Dec. 21, 2012.

If to err is human, then the prognosticators who made the seven worst predictions about 2012 are truly superhuman. They were wrong about everything from the overturn of Obamacare (Right: What overturn?) to the supposedly huge gains awaiting investors in Facebook’s (FB) initial public offering. Lots of other people were equally clueless, but these seven were brave enough to say what they believed. Always a mistake.

Facebook rocks!
“We believe that Facebook will redefine advertising and that the company is on course to be the most valuable media company in existence.”
—Ken Sena, consumer Internet analyst for Evercore Partners, May 2012.
Before Facebook’s IPO, Sena said the company was worth $140 billion to $160 billion. Value as of Dec. 28, 2012: $56 billion.

The Supreme Court will kill Obamacare.
“This law looks like it’s going to be struck down. I’m telling you, all of the predictions, including mine, that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong.”
CNN (TWX) legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, March 27, 2012.
The high court made a liar out of Toobin in June by upholding most of the Affordable Care Act.

Opposing gay marriage will kill sales.
“Chick-fil-A Likely Has Permanent Brand Damage.”
—Headline on Business Insider article by Sebastian Bailey, president of the U.S. branch of corporate consultancy Mind Gym, Oct. 19, 2012.
USA Today reports that consumer use, visits, and ad awareness of Chick-fil-A were all up measurably in the third quarter (i.e., even before Bailey’s “prediction”).

Housing has no headroom.
“Prices are where they belong, and that’s where they’ll stay.”
—Peter Morici, economics professor at the University of Maryland, Dec. 26, 2011.
Since Morici spoke, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index has risen 4.3 percent to its highest level in more than two years.

“President Romney.” Count on it.
“It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney.”
—Republican strategist Karl Rove, in the Wall Street Journal, Oct. 31, 2012.
Two weeks after the election, Rove’s sure thing for the White House was spotted riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland.

Mortgage rates are jumping!
“We see mortgage rates increasing to 5 percent by the end of 2011 and roughly to 5.5 percent by the end of 2012.”
—Michael Fratantoni, vice president in charge of research and economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association, in Mortgage Banking, Sept. 1, 2011.
Instead of rising, 30-year fixed rates sank to less than 3.4 percent by the end of 2012.

Kiss your sweet tushie goodbye.
—Frank Lake, Weekly World News, Dec. 20, 2012.
After this, how can we ever trust the Weekly World News again?

Coy is Bloomberg Businessweek's economics editor. His Twitter handle is @petercoy.

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