What a year. The economy nose-dived. U.S. stocks have lost 38% of their value. And those of us who earn a living trying to peer into the future had our comeuppance.
Along with all the bad news, the panic of '08 will be remembered for a bumper crop of wrong predictions from pundits, prognosticators and analysts of all stripes.
Here are a few bloopers from a year that turned out to be a bust on many levels. See if you agree.
Larry Kudlow, economist and syndicated columnist What he said: "With the U.S. dollar up and oil down and businesses investing, I think (the) Goldilocks (economy) is back in business." -- Aug. 28 on CNBC's "Kudlow & Company"
What happened next: Several weeks later,filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and signed an agreement to be taken over by .
What he's saying now: "Who knew about Lehman,and the LIBOR (interbank-lending) freeze? But we will see Goldilocks again."
Worth MagazineWhat the magazine said: "Emerging markets are now the global investors' (sic) safe haven of choice." -- April/May 2008
What happened next: Emerging-markets stocks shed 52% of their value in 2008, through Dec. 19.
What they're saying now: Nothing. (Worth didn't respond to our request for comment.)
Kiplinger's Personal Finance MagazineWhat we said: Stock investors should "beat the rush to the banks." -- November 2008
What happened next: The banking industry has come to the brink of collapse over the past few months.
What we're saying now: "We grossly underestimated the risks of these companies, but at least all our picks are still in business." -- Elizabeth Ody, author of this article
Suze Orman, personal finance adviser and authorWhat she said: "If any of you have your money at brokerage firms in a money-market (mutual) fund that is not FDIC-insured, you better switch it out today to either a money-market account that's insured, a bank that has FDIC insurance or a money-market fund that invests in Treasurys." – Sept. 23 on "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
What happened next: The U.S. Treasury had already announced a guarantee of money-market mutual funds. Wouldn't a run on these funds help fuel a financial meltdown?
What she's saying now: "It is far better to be safe than sorry."
Jim Cramer, television personality and authorWhat he said: "The market will not revisit the panicked lows it hit on July 15. . . . Bye-bye, bear market. Say hello to the bull, and don't let the door hit you on the way out." -- July 30 on CNBC's "Mad Money"
What happened next: The Dow fell another 3,400 points from July 15 to its low on Nov. 20.
What he's saying now: Nothing. (Cramer didn't respond to our request for comment.)
Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher InvestmentsWhat he said: "I still think the year will end in the plus column. . . . So keep buying." -- April 21 in Forbes
What happened next: Stocks are on track in 2008 for their worst calendar year since 1937.
What he's saying now: Nothing. (Fisher didn't respond to our request for comment.)
Barron's MagazineWhat the magazine said: "Home prices are about to bottom." -- July 14
What happened next: The month-to-month price decline accelerated, and the year-over-year decline is breaking new records every month.
What they're saying now: "The story pointed out that all bets would be off if the United States were to descend into a serious recession," responded a spokeswoman.
Donald Luskin, chief investment officer at Trend MacrolyticsWhat he said: "This bull market has been born again. . . . It's time to go in and buy junk bonds . . . it's time to buy financials." -- March 24 on CNBC's "Kudlow & Company"
What happened next: Stocks, junk and financials are off 30% or more since then.
What he's saying now: "We all make (bad calls), though we try our very best not to."
Allan Sloan, Forbes MagazineWhat he said: "Lehman won't fail." -- July 7, Fortune
What happened next: The investment bank filed for bankruptcy Sept. 15.
What he's saying now: "I got it wrong."
This article was reported and written by Elizabeth Ody for Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.