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Finding Order in Chaos

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It's that time of year when analysts and prognosticators begin issuing their forecasts for the year to come. This is always challenging business, and predicting 2023 promises to be even more difficult than usual.

My initial thoughts on 2023 are that it will be much like 2010 and 2019, years where an early or unexpected Fed pivot to loosening and QE drove strong gains in the COMEX precious metals. That part of the next twelve months seems a certainty. The only question is timing—and that's the hard part.

Take, for example, this year. I missed on my year-end price targets because the Fed has taken longer to pause/pivot than I expected. Part of the reason for the slower than forecast monetary policy shift was the fact that the initial stage of the rate hiking policy was itself delayed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So this forecasting stuff is tricky in its own right. And then, when you have to deal with timing and unexpected geopolitical events, it gets downright challenging and nearly impossible.

I bring this up today because early predictions for 2023 are beginning to roll out. The first I've seen is from Saxo Bank, and it’s entitled "The Ten Most Outrageous Predictions For 2023". As you look through this list, you'll realize that these guesses are not really that "outrageous" and all of them have a reasonably high degree of likelihood. However, as an analyst, you can be correct about the general idea but dead wrong on the timing. In any event, you might look these over:

And then there's the latest from Credit Suisse analyst, Zoltan Pozsar. Since it's proprietary research, I haven't yet seen the full report. However, you'll recall that Pozsar has been writing all year about a "new Bretton Woods" where the global monetary system shifts to a more commodity-backed system.

I found the following two snippets on Twitter. You should read them both. Are the scenarios improbable? No. Are they likely? That answer may be "no" too. But who can say for certain? And how would an unforeseen, further escalation in the Ukraine War impact these scenarios? Do you see how this prediction stuff is challenging? Maybe Pozsar is correct about the changes, but the timing could be next month, next year, or five years from now. Who can say?

QUOTE from online

2nd online quote

And it's not just war escalations that could derail or escalate the timing of events. How about some of these other items that have suddenly appeared over the last few days?

Here's more on that $80T in off-balance sheet derivative exposure story: BIS warns of $80 trillion of hidden FX swap debt

What about the future viability of Tether and crypto: FTX on Steroids: Is “Tether” the Biden World’s Crypto BCCI?

You already know about physical metal tightness around the globe. HSBC began the process of exiting the industrial metal business in 2020, and as of this week, they're completely out. What's that they say about rats and sinking ships? HSBC resigns as LME member after exiting industrial metals

And the stonk market appears to be right on the edge of the abyss again. On the chart below, note that the last two taps of the trendline resulted in 20% drops in the weeks that followed. A drop of 20% from here would take the S&P down to 3200. How would that muddy the macro waters in early 2023?

ESPY00 DECEMBER 2022

From Twitter, here are two more charts that suggest a renewed plunge in the stonk market could be imminent:

REFORMED TRADER TWITTER

$VIX Reformed Trader tweet

So, anyway and in conclusion, it's that time of year when we all look ahead and strategize for the months to come. However, the year 2023 will be defined by Chaos Theory as much as anything else, so take everything you read over the next few weeks with one of those proverbial grains of salt. As with 2022, the only thing predictable about 2023 will be its unpredictable nature.

The more you know, the more wisely you invest.

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About the Author

Our Ask The Expert interviewer Craig Hemke began his career in financial services in 1990 but retired in 2008 to focus on family and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Since 2010, he has been the editor and publisher of the TF Metals Report found at TFMetalsReport.com, an online community for precious metal investors.

*The author is not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by Sprott Money Ltd. The views and opinions expressed in this material are those of the author or guest speaker, are subject to change and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprott Money Ltd. Sprott Money does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness and reliability of the information or any results from its use.

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