From the February 2013 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Tops & bottoms of 2012

2012 was a stormy year in many ways. Politics, fiscal policy and then the real deal that hit the New York/New Jersey area, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of damage and perhaps affecting the election. Here is our tongue-in-cheek look at a difficult year.


Presidential election: Not necessarily the outcome depending on your leanings, but its end. See bottoms for our political system.

Year of the Apple — iWhatever: Just a few months after Steve Jobs, the iconic co-founder and leader of Apple died, the firm surpassed the $500 billion valuation level. Apple seems to operate on another plane outside the current fiscally challenged perma-recession environment. New products receive rock star status, with people waiting in line to grab the newest gadget.

Stocks outperform: Despite an economy that continued to sputter and a stubbornly high unemployment rate, stocks continued their four-year rally from the great recession low. The major indexes shook off another May swoon as the Dow finished more than 7% higher on the year, the S&P 500 gained 13% and the Nasdaq posted a better than 15% year. 

USA, USA, USA: The Energy Information Administration sharply revised upward its estimates for U.S. crude oil production this fall and the International Energy Agency says the United States could become the world’s largest oil producer by 2017 and could stop importing oil altogether by 2035.

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