“The Great Prognosticator Returns”    

Issue 21

By:  Ron Brounes  

January 1999


Just when you thought those self-proclaimed sages had finally completed their predictions for the new year (century, millennium), I’m BAAAAAAAAACK.  But unlike those so-called “experts” who conveniently forget about their prior incorrect prognostications, I stand prepared to re-visit my 1998 forecasts.  Remember these winners?


The true results (of Asia) will be reflected in the second quarter and the stock market should react accordingly.  Expect a short-lived correction in the Dow as investors rethink their aggressive strategies.  Fear not long-term investors; the Dow will ultimately move to higher levels.

(The market tanked in Aug./Sept. but rebounded by year-end; you read it here first.)


Clinton continues to ride the popularity train despite his lame duck status and an upcoming date with Paula Jones.  Though polls can quickly change, Buddy should remain his best friend for the long haul. 

(Though not quite a prediction, certainly an accurate foreshadowing of the Monica “affair.”)


President (I mean) Governor Bush easily wins re-election and lays the groundwork for 2000.

(I don’t believe anyone else predicted this victory; OK, it was an easy one.)



(King Michael goes out in style and NBA championship predictions just got a lot harder.)


Robin Williams rides the wave to the Oscars promoting his surprise hit film of the year, Good Will Hunting.

(The film was not that highly acclaimed until my prediction which undoubtedly contributed to Williams capturing the “best supporting actor” award.)


All in all, not a bad first effort.  With that said, let’s try again for 1999.




What more appropriate place to start than with the story that has dominated our “tabloid society” for the past year (is that all?).  Despite their early attempts at bi-partisanship, Senate Republicans and Democrats show their true “primary colors” over the bitterly debated witness question.  Eventually, the world will be denied a firsthand view of Monica, and we will all be forced to wait for her “tell all” memoirs and appearances on the talk show circuit. (Tremendous potential for Jerry Springer.)  As the trial nears an end, one new “Wag the Dog” incident will temporarily distract the nation’s attention. The sideshow ultimately ends with a strong, yet meaningless, censure. A level headed Senator John McCain (AZ.) emerges as a voice of reason during the trial and a strong contender for his Party’s nomination (until those skeletons in his closet are revealed).  Throughout the process, a few more Republicans are “outed” by renown pornographer, Larry Flint, and are forced to apologize to their God, their families, and their country. Once a career path reserved for lawyers and business (wo)men, politics becomes a hotbed for aging wrestlers as Governor “Body” Ventura and Speaker Denny Hastert, a former wrestling coach, pave the way for such hopefuls as Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Savage to seek office.  Actually, their backgrounds fit perfectly with the current behavior of our nation’s partisan leaders, who all but wrestle over the (non) issues of the day.




The Dow continues to surge toward 10,000 and beyond (possibly before this publication reaches the stands) with help from a strong economy, a smart Fed Chairman, and sheer speculation in the technology sector.  The nonsensical rise in internet stocks resembles the old “Dutch tulip bulb mania” of the 17th century which we read about in past finance classes. The balloon is finally burst when some guru like Warren Buffet reminds investors (speculators) that the vast majority of these overpriced companies are not making any money.  Lots of “I told you so’s” are uttered by jealous analysts who missed these incredible returns of the past year.  (I told you so.)  After a relatively smooth transition period, the Euro stumbles by mid-year as traders realize that the economies of 11 diverse countries are not exactly correlated.  Despite a ballooning trade deficit, the dollar surges and remains the international currency of choice.




Fans become the true losers from the NBA lockout as they are forced to pay higher prices to watch out-of-shape 300 lb. point guards dish the ball to flabby 400 lb. power forwards.  Michael Jordan hangs up his sneakers (again), leaving the sport to thugs and beginning its ultimate demise.  Veteran teams have huge advantages in this short (barely watchable) season, as the Jazz defeat the Pacers in the finals, prompting Karl Malone and John Stockton to contemplate following in Michael’s footsteps.  Despite some ugly name calling in the off-season between the Astros front office and his agent, Roger Clemens eventually returns home, but still can’t lead Houston to the World Series.  Robin Williams is shut out at the Oscars this year, when the Academy realizes that “Patch Adams” is simply a re-creation of his “Dead Poet Society,” with an unconventional doctor instead of an unconventional teacher.  Foreign film, “Life is Beautiful” proves to be this year’s big winner as Americans show the world that we are smart enough to watch and enjoy a film with subtitles.  And as the new millenium approaches, countless new prognosticators begin making outrageous predictions about the “end of the world,” “President Quayle” or a “National Championship for Texas A&M.”  Fret not about these pretenders: I’ll be BAAAAAAAAACK.


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FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH is a publication of Brounes & Associates focusing on business marketing and general communications strategies. Please call Ron Brounes at 713-432-1910 for additional information. Look for the annual prognostication issue same month next year (unless, of course, the world has indeed come to an end, or I was very wrong in this year’s predictions). For more information about that “famous” Tulip craze, check out one of the many interesting internet web sites (i.e. “”). What an amazing technology; maybe those stocks aren’t so overpriced after all.