Prognostications 2006
From David Lundell
Here are mine:

Media and Technology:
Nielsen’s Live Plus monitoring causes a major
sensation in the advertising world. For the first
time, advertisers will be able to approximate the size
of the audience that is watching TV on delay, and
likely skipping their advertisments. Such monitoring
will cause the value of sports, news, and morning
shows to skyrocket, while the value of sitcoms and
other traditional mainstays plummets. This means that
NBC will will flourish while CBS languishes. Late
night talk shows and reality TV shows, each with
several minutes of imbedded advertising per episode,
will also grow in importance for cable and broadcast
networks.

News and events:
Feedback effects accelerate global climate change.
Ecological events such as the melting of the ice packs
at the poles, the thawing of tundras, and reduction of
forests around the globe will lead to accelerated
general warming. In addition, some microclimates are
changed drastically (seaside communities and places
like Napa Valley should take note).

Al Qaeda terrorism operates over a long time scale,
with major attacks occuring every 1-4 years over the
last decade plus. As the U.S. has done little to make
itself more safe since the first WTC attack in 1993,
it is likely that terrorism will hit home again in
2006. The first suicide bombings on U.S. soil by
terrorists will hit NYC sometime, hopefully not this
year and ideally not in my subway car.

The new tough-on-the-poor bankruptcy law causes many
to feel the impact of unsupportable presonal debt.
Meanwhile, the trend of people living below the
poverty line continues to grow for the 6th straight
year, with over 13% below the poverty line. New home
starts decellerate.

Obesity becomes so common in the U.S. that unironic
calls for a redefinition of obesity are heard.

Internet:
Google Base becomes a real competitor to both Craig’s
List and eBay. While those two will remain leaders in
audience size, Google Base classifieds will be the
major third player on the scene. Free classifieds
uploads by a large Internet aggregator – who could
have thought of this?

AOL will be spun off and, with its Google partnership,
will rise from the ashes to once again play the part
of true competitor to MSN and AOL. Eventually,
consolidation will take these companies from 4 to 3,
but not in 2006. TWX is a BUY at its current 17.44.

Politics:
The Abramoff scandal becomes a top political story of
the year, feeding into the 2006 elections. Despite
prominent members of congress getting dragged into the
quagmire – most notably DeLay, who will be out of
congress by the end of ‘06 -- Democrats will not make
significant gains in either the House or the Senate in
the '06 elections. The inability of the Democrats to
take advantage of Republican missteps leads to more
shakeups within the party, with Howard Dean on his way
out as DNC chairman and an electable alternative to
Hillary emerging.

Sports:
Insurance continues to grow as a key factor in sports
management. Long contracts (6+ years) become a rarity
in all sports except football (since contract length
has little meaning in the NFL).

Superbowl: Patriots

Baseball:
=> Oakland makes it back to the playoffs, but the Mets
buy a championship win in a Subway series.
=> Barry says farewell while the Dodgers win the West.
=> The Sox finish second to the Yanks for an
incredible 9th straight time.

NBA: San Antonio

College Basketball: Florida