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Worst Predictions About 20071 "It's clear he didn't want to be a Yankee.... I don't want anybody on my team that doesn't want to be a Yankee."
HANK STEINBRENNER, Yankees' senior VP, about Alex Rodriguez, in the New York Daily News, Oct. 29, 2007. Eighteen days later, A-Rod signed a $275 million, 10-year deal.
2 "Kerkorian may be deciding to scale back his activist efforts."
JOHN NOVAK, analyst, Morningstar, quoted by Bloomberg Financial Markets, November, 2006. In 2007, at age 90, billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian made runs at Chrysler (see Worst Prediction No. 7) and refiner Tesoro.
3 "The media's great love affair with the Nintendo Wii is beginning to sour.... There are whispers that the device is tiring and gimmicky."
TYLER TODD, video-game columnist, The Gazette (Montreal), Oct. 14, 2006. Press reviews stayed positive in 2007, and buyers stood in line for the console for the second year in a row.
4 "AMZN is a stock that continues to live on borrowed time."
TIM BOYD, Caris & Co. analyst in a report about the stock of Amazon.com on Oct. 26, 2006, when the company's shares were at 38.50. On Dec. 17, 2007, Amazon shares were trading at 85.09.
5 "We do notexpect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system."
BEN BERNANKE, Federal Reserve Chairman, May 17, 2007. A global credit crunch began three months later.
6 "...[W]e enter 2007 ideally positioned to capitalize on the secular growth trends of the industry."
MITCHELL CAPLAN, CEO, E*Trade Financial, Jan. 18, 2007. Bad investments made E*Trade the worst S&P 500 performer through mid-December. Caplan resigned on Jan. 29.
7 "[W]e can now act as one integrated automotive company, and we will see huge benefits to be realized in the future."
DIETER ZETSCHE, DaimlerChrysler chairman, in an earnings conference call, July 27, 2006. On May 14, 2007, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management agreed to buy 80.1% of Chrysler Group for $7.4 billion.
8 The Bancrofts will probably "remain resolute" in opposing a sale of The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch.
BRIAN SHIPMAN, UBS (UBS) analyst, May 9, 2007. The Bancroft family, part-owners of Dow Jones & Co., folded. A deal to sell to News Corp. for $5.6 billion was announced on Aug. 1.
9 "The steady improvement in [home] sales will support price appreciation...[despite]...all the wild projections by academics, Wall Street analysts, and others in the media."
DAVID LEREAH, chief economist, National Association of Realtors, Jan. 10, 2007. Housing prices steadily worsened, falling even farther than many skeptics had predicted.
10 "There are companies that live up to their obligations to the government as well as to consumers, and [Mattel (MAT) is] one of them."
JULIE VALLESE, spokeswoman, Consumer Product Safety Commission, as told to The New York Times, July, 2007. Mattel later recalled millions of Chinese-made toys, including Barbie accessories.
11 "Sit back, enjoy the ride. It looks like all the pieces are in place for a rebound in Japan."
BUSINESSWEEK, Dec. 25, 2006. Instead, it was a rough ride for investors in Japan in 2007. The Nikkei 225-stock index fell roughly 7% in dollar terms through mid-December.
12 "But [it] is very likely that oil prices will range in the medium term around an average of $40.... In the long run it could even be $25 to $30."
LORD BROWNE, CEO, BP, June 12, 2006. Oil prices averaged $70-plus a barrel in 2007.What a Difference a Year (Sometimes) MakesMost Expensive Web Addresses
2006: Diamond.com ($7.5 million), Vodka.com ($3 million), Cameras.com ($1.5 million)
2007: Porn.com ($9.5 million), Computer.com ($2.1 million), Seniors.com ( $1.8 million)
Ad Spending, Internet
2006: $4.1 billion*
2007: $5.2 billion*
Ad Spending, Network TV
2006: $16 billion*
2007: $15.5 billion*
Top Google News Search Terms
2006: Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, cancer
2007: American Idol, YouTube, Britney Spears
Flight Cancellations, Top U.S. Business Airports**
2006: 89,836 (1% of flights)
2007: 117,830 (2% of flights)
Flight Delays Over 45 Min.**
Top U.S. Business Airports
2006: 589,049 (9.9%)
2007: 626,919 (10.9%)
Mortgage Originations, 4th Qtr.***
2006: $690 billion
2007: $437 billion (est.)
Shareholder Proposals Asking for Say on CEO Pay
Wheat Prices, December
* First nine months; **Through Dec. 10; ***1- to 4-family homes
Data: DN Journal, Interactive Advertising Bureau, TNS Media Intelligence, Google, FlightStats.com, Mortgage Bankers Assn., Risk Metrics Group's Governance Institute, UBS