10 Surprises for 2014: Blackstone's Byron Wien

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners today issued his list of Surprises for 2014. This is the 29th year Wien has published his outlook and predictions on a number of economic, financial market and political events and trends likely to play out over the coming year.


Wien defines a "surprise" as an event which the average investor would only assign a one out of three chance of taking place but which Byron believes is "probable," having a better than 50% likelihood of happening.


Byron Wien's Ten Surprises of 2014 are as follows:

1. We experience a Dickensian market with the best of times and the worst of times. The worst comes first as geopolitical problems coupled with euphoric extremes lead to a sharp correction of more than 10%. The best then follows with a move to new highs as the Standard & Poor's 500 approaches a 20% total return by year end.

2. The U.S. economy finally breaks out of its doldrums. Growth exceeds 3% and the unemployment rate moves toward 6%. Fed tapering proves to be a non-event.

3. The strength of the U.S. economy relative to Europe and Japan allows the dollar to strengthen. It trades below $1.25 against the euro and buys 120 yen.

4. Shinzo Abe is the only world leader who understands that Dick Cheney was right when he said that deficits don't matter. He continues his aggressive fiscal and monetary expansion and the Nikkei 225 rises to 18,000 early in the year, but the increase in the sales tax, the aging population and declining work force finally begin to take their toll and the market suffers a sharp (20%) correction in the second half.

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