These were pretty much no-brainers, but I may as well take credit where it is due.
A couple months ago, the punching bag of the left, Elon Musk, got into trouble for making a tweet promising an acquisition of Tesla at $420/share, which turned out to be false. This lead to an SEC investigation and Tesla stock fell a lot. Here and here I predicted that the investigation would amount to little more than a slap on the wrist–a fine and an apology. I was right. Over the weekend, a settlement was finalized, and Tesla stock surged on Monday, erasing its earlier losses. The left-wing media wanted criminal penalties, a much bigger fine, for Elon Musk to have to resign, etc.. none of those things happened. The $20 million is just a rounding error. This was the best possible outcome. Some are crying foul for such a small penalty. But the reality is, everyone makes mistakes. We may never know Musk’s exact motive for making the tweet, but the SEC knows it has a balancing act of trying to enforce securities law, yet not be so overbearing that it compromises the autonomy of firms and their officers.
The second prediction is in regard to the Comey investigation of Trump, Manafort, and Cohen in which I predicted the investigation would stall and nothing would happen:
My prediction is, everything stalls. There may be a tacit understanding that campaign finance laws may have been broken, but no one will want to make the next move, pending further information. It remains to be seen how this will effect Trump’s public image. Being that campaign finance law, to the average American, is as interesting as reading fine print, my guess is not much. Trump can resort to his usual tools of talking-up the economy and nationalism to build support, such as on Twitter and giving speeches, which seems to be an effective strategy for him. We’ll see what happens.
After the Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort convictions, the left was certain that Trump would be next. Victory seemed so close, and then things just fell apart afterwards. The Trump presidency may go down as one of the least corrupt administrations in recent history. That may come as a surprise to some given the media’s lopsided coverage against Trump, but compared to earlier administrations, Trump so far has not messed up too badly or compromised his ethics in any obvious way. Reagan had the Iran contra scandal, which almost doomed his second term and lead to a huge mess that didn’t get resolved until the 90’s when all the conspirators were pardoned. Bill Clinton had the Lewinsky Scandal, but also numerous other sexual misconduct allegations dating as far back as the 70’s. George W. Bush, Obama, and Clinton also used war to divert media attention away from domestic problems. Obama used the IRS to go after his political enemies, among other scandals. Bush created a war on false pretenses. Given all of this, Trump, dare I say, by comparison is scrupulous.
So what about Brett Kavanaugh? What will happen? I have no way of knowing. I cannot draw upon any theories of socioeconomics or finance to try to predict this, unlike other types of predictions. I think there’s a 60% chance he’s nominated, but this is a meaningless probability. The reason is, because the nomination is a one-time event, I have no way of knowing if my predicted probability is too high or too low. If the nomination were repeated many times and he is confirmed 60% of the time, then my prediction would be considered well-calibrated.