The US public is unprecedentedly pessimistic about the prospects going into 2013, with 56% "fearful" against 40% "hopeful" according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. When one looks at the world's markets, and at the policies that have been almost universal since the crash of 2008, one can see the rationale for their pessimism. However this column wishes to inject an element of cheer into the conversation: with good luck, given a continuation of current policies, it may be 2014 before an almighty market and economic crash occurs!
One event that will not itself cause a crash in 2013 is the much-feared "fiscal cliff". If this goes into effect and is not reversed, it will reduce the US federal deficit by about US$700 billion per annum, to a level of a