In the 86th episode of Seinfield, George, egged on by Jerry and fed up with his lack of romantic and professional success, decides that to succeed he must from now on do ‘the opposite’. It is a triumph, immediately bringing him both a beautiful girlfriend and great job. On the big political events of recent years to have guessed what was about to happen you needed to go south of prevailing orthodoxy. On that basis, in the spirit of George, we are assuming that whatever the mainstream consensus is predicting, the opposite will happen.
1. By 2020, Brexit is deemed a great success with the City’s position protected; Japanese, Korean and German car manufacturers are setting up plants in the UK; new trade deals have been agreed with the US, India, Australia, China, New Zealand and Canada that are the envy of the EU; more overseas students than ever are studying at UK universities; and London’s position as the tech capital of Europe is unchallenged.
2. Theresa May remains leader of the Conservative party until 2019 and steps down unprompted with applause ringing in her ears; Jeremy Corbyn has stood down in 2018 amidst massive internal divisions.
3. The Bank of England does not raise rates between 2017 and 2020.
4. Central London office and prime residential values rise 20% between 2018 and 2020, and sterling heads towards $1-50.
5. On 3 November 2020, President Trump, by (not despite) distancing himself from the mainstream Republican Party, is re-elected President, with a General as his VP.
6. The share prices of the big UK REITs suffer between 2018 and 2020 because they have too much cash going into a strong recovery.
7. The share price of RBS doubles between late 2017 and 2020.
Actually, all look quite sensible.