This content originally appeared on RealMoney Silver.
Through the balance of the year, I will be issuing two of my 20 surprises for 2011 on CNBC's "Fast Money" every Monday at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Surprise No. 1: I expect a series of populist initiatives by the current administration beginning by a frontal assault on mutual fund 12b-1 fees. The asset managers -- Franklin Resources (BEN), T. Rowe Price (TROW) and Waddell & Reed (WDR) -- are exposed, and I am short all three of them.Surprise No. 2: The Internet becomes the tactical nuke of the digital age. Cybercrime likely explodes exponentially as the Web is invaded by hackers. A specific target next year will be the NYSE, and I predict an attack that causes a week-long hiatus in trading and an abrupt slowdown in domestic business activity. Surprise No. 3: Scarcity of water boosts agricultural prices and causes a military confrontation between China and India. The continued effect of global warming, the resumption of swifter worldwide economic growth in 2011, normal population increases and an accelerated industrialization in emerging markets (and the associated water contamination and pollution that follows) contribute importantly to more droughts and the growing scarcity of water, forcing a continued and almost geometric rise in the price of agricultural commodities (which becomes one of the most important economic and stock market themes in 2011). Increased scarcity of water and higher agricultural commodity prices (corn, wheat, beans, etc.) not only have broad economic consequences, but they become a destabilizing factor and serve as the basis for a developing powder keg in the relations between China and India. China has about 23% of the world's population but only approximately 7% of the world's fresh water supply. Moreover, China's water resources are not distributed proportionately; the 550 million residents in the more industrialized northern area of the country are supported by only one-fifth of the fresh water and the 700 million in the southern region of China have the other 80% of the country's fresh water supply. The shared resources of water supply have been a focal point of conflict between China and India since the 1962 Indo-China War.
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