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No Mercy No Malice

2022 Predictions

December 31, 2021

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

Making predictions is a shitty business. The events leading up to the realization of any prediction make it seem less extraordinary. And when you get it wrong, you’re an insufferable numbskull. The value of a prediction is in the act of making it, not the prediction itself. Contemplating what may happen encourages us to take responsibility for decisions we make in the present. Also, revisiting a prediction and asking why it did/didn’t come to fruition provides insight into the machinations of our world and whether we are progressing or regressing.

“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.”

— Laurence J. Peter, Canadian writer & educator

So let’s review last year’s predictions to hold ourselves accountable. 2021 was a good year (maybe our best yet) in terms of understanding the world we might live in.

2021 Predictions Review

Apple Acquires Peloton 

Predicted: Dec 2020

We envisaged Apple swallowing Peloton, and a transfer of two to four hours of attention/week of the most influential people in the West to iOS. Apple hasn’t bitten, but it could (and should). Its nearly $3 trillion market cap is 240 times larger than Peloton’s, i.e. whale to krill. And over the past 12 months, as Peloton stock has plummeted, the relative cost for Apple to acquire the company (i.e. dilution) has declined 90%.

Bitcoin Hits $50,000 

Predicted: Dec 2020

Disco. We predicted this when BTC was at $22,000. The Gordon Sumner of cryptocurrencies breached $50,000 two months later. Crypto startups raised $32 billion-plus in venture capital in 2021, a fivefold increase from 2020. Bitcoin remains the bedrock of one of the fastest growing sectors in history, a hedge against inflation and FOBI (fear of being an idiot).

Twitter Hits $60, and Dorsey Is Ousted by June 2021 

Predicted: Dec 2020

Twitter reached $60 and has since dropped. But the real win was corporate governance. It’s strange, as you age, what gives you joy — and this did. #Pathetic. A win for us (because we were right) and for shareholders, who will reap the benefits of having a CEO who doesn’t spend 90% of his time with his first family.

Restoration Hardware Hits $1,000, and Sonos Reaches $40 

Predicted: Dec 2020

The pandemic catalyzed a dispersion that brought the office to the home. We predicted a commensurate reallocation of capital to home improvement and, with it, the stocks of companies such as Restoration Hardware and Sonos. Resto didn’t explode as we thought it would, but it still registered a 16% increase year over year. Sonos … did explode. It doubled in March to more than $40 and ended the year up 36%.

Airbnb Hits $200/Share and Enters Commercial Real Estate 

Predicted: Dec 2020

We predicted this when Airbnb was $68 per share. The shares hit $200 within three months. We also predicted Airbnb would do to commercial real estate what it did to hotels. That is, disperse the value of centralized, asset-heavy real estate holders across a network of commercial properties. We’ll see.

We Might Work 

Predicted: Apr 2020

Remote work represents a structural shift, and we believed 2021 would be the year of WeWork’s un-undoing. Correct. WeWork had a successful IPO in April at a more realistic valuation: $9 billion vs. its psilocybin-induced $47 billion valuation in 2019. The company also replaced desk-renting Jesus with Sandeep Mathrani. Meanwhile, 94% of Manhattan’s office workers are still hybrid or fully remote, and We’s model looks like it will endure as hybrid work becomes the new normal.

Roblox Stock Doubles from Its Offer Price Within Six Months 

Predicted: Dec 2020

Twelve months ago, Roblox was a private company valued at $4 billion. Today its market cap is roughly $60 billion. The stock doubled from its reference price within three months of listing and continued to rise. Roblox has whipped up a typhoon of capital as it inspires interest in player-created virtual worlds. Roblox was Meta before (wait for it) Meta.

AT&T Divests Time Warner Assets

Predicted: Jan 2020

We predicted this two years ago after AT&T started junking up Time Warner’s luxury product (HBO) with a mess of variants (HBO Go, HBO Now, HBO Max) — the equivalent of Hermès selling JanSport backpacks next to Birkin bags. We were early on this one (a good thing). In May, AT&T announced it would spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery. The deal’s expected to be completed in mid-2022.

CNN Goes Behind a Paywall 

Predicted: Dec 2020

Not only did we get this right … No Mercy/No Malice (the show) is going behind the paywall with it after the Bloomberg newsroom freaked out at my impression of the Village People. (Worth it.) If this sounds like another white guy failing up, trust your instincts. Tune into CNN+ this March, when I’ll become the Andy Summers to Chris Wallace and Eva Longoria’s Sting and Stuart Copeland.

OK, to infinity and beyond: 2022 predictions.

2022 Predictions (Teaser)

Join us on January 4 for the full experience (sign up here) — but here are the cliff notes.

“People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes.”

— George Orwell, British writer

The Zuckerverse Is the Biggest Tech Fail of 2022

The value proposition of exiting this reality for a new one is nihilistic — a symptom of an epidemic that’s infected the most fortunate people on the planet. Many of our tech billionaires, letting their inner child stunt their outer man, are focused on leaving this universe or creating an alternative one. This is not visionary; on the contrary, it’s void of the leadership we need to address the problems of this planet in this universe.

What’s more precarious, however, is the notion that we’d trust Zuckerberg to be our shepherd in this new world after he chipped away at the self-esteem of our children and harvested, leaked, and sold the personal data of more people than the population of Earth’s southern hemisphere plus India. The mortal who controls the envisioned metaverse would be rendered a god, and the Zuck is a first-ballot hall of fame candidate for people who deserve dramatically less power.

There are already several metaverses. The Appleverse boasts several thousand metaverses sitting on top of one of the most accretive business models in history (the app store) with a portal (Airpods) that ships 40 times as many orders as the Meta portal (Oculus). Apple has already submitted a patent to install a camera in its Airpods and is even experimenting with temperature sensors for health monitoring. The Airpods business alone generates roughly $12 billion a year, more than Shopify, Snap, and Twitter combined.

More reasons Facebook’s VR headset is uniquely positioned to fail: It causes motion sickness and skin rashes and prevents other people from having sex with you. It also doesn’t pass the Crocs Test. Whenever a product seems to be garnering a degree of hype incommensurate with its value, ask yourself: Do people like it more than a rubber clog with holes in it? Answer: Not even close. The firm that will realize (some of) this meta vision with what may be the biggest tech IPO of 2022 is Epic Games. Epic is also the best/worst acquisition for Meta/society that should not happen if the DOJ still has a pulse.

Fundamentals and Valuations Reunite

The second-, fourth-, and fifth-most Googled news searches of 2021 were AMC stock, Dogecoin, and GME stock, respectively. GameStop has produced returns this year 28 times greater than the S&P 500; AMC beat it by 38 times. Tesla is the sixth-most valuable company in the world, with an enterprise value 23 times its sales. The fifth-most valuable carmaker in the world, Rivian, hasn’t delivered any vehicles. If 2021 was the year of the bubble, 2022 may be the year of the pop.

The watering hole of hype and speculation should start to run dry this year. Company valuations will begin reuniting with fundamentals and proven business models. Larger-than-life CEOs chasing larger-than-reality total addressable markets will become a point of remorse, not promise. Story stonks and meme coins and the illusory movements behind them will start to spell C-R-A-S-H, not M-O-O-N. As such, we predict that by the end of the year:

  • GameStop and AMC’s stocks will be below $10 per share.
  • Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid’s stocks will be cut in half.

Bring it, Tesla Taliban. Re Rivian: It’s shaping up to be a great company, like Tesla, and I pre-ordered one — again, like Tesla. (Sidebar: 2018 Falcon Model-X for sale, no reasonable offer refused.) However, when you claim your TAM is solving climate change and register valuations of $1 million-plus per car sold, you’re falling victim to the same dangerous trend ignored over the past two decades: Prioritizing asset values, disconnected from economic growth, over productivity or citizenship.

Nuclear Will Explode

Hollywood has levied destruction on many brands in our society, including high school bullies, axe murderers, and evil emperors. There is one brand, however, that’s been unfairly and problematically tarnished: nuclear energy.

Godzilla was the product of nuclear radiation in the ocean. The Atomic Twister was a fictional tornado whose greatest danger was crashing into a nuclear reactor in Tennessee. The most evil man in Springfield owns the nuclear power plant.

Our apprehension toward this powerful clean-energy source stems from a one-off disaster in Chernobyl (also dramatized as a miniseries). In reality, nuclear power is one of the safest energy sources in the world, registering accident- and pollution-related death rates roughly 300 times lower than those of coal and oil. And it produces no CO2.

But … it has a terrible reputation: 62% of the world population opposes the use of nuclear energy. It’s time to rebrand nuclear. Josh Wolfe believes we should call it “Elemental Energy.”

There’s more where this came from, but we’re saving it for January 4. I’ll be covering, among other things: space travel, NFTs, fintech, and the future of luxury. If you can’t make it (or you just want to watch it again), we’ll send a recording after the event.

Andy Levene

I am going to stay home tonight. Not getting Covid before 2022 is my new Squid Game. I will take pause to contemplate the reward and joy I get from my animals (sons) and beasts (dogs). I will resolve to be stronger, demonstrate grace, and be a positive force in the lives of my sons, as well as young men I have no connection to — as several men did for me growing up. More than anything, I will remember my cousin Andy Levene, who died at 52 earlier this week from Covid complications. Andy was ebullient, handsome, and in perfect health. He chose not to get vaccinated. He is survived by his mother, sister, and 9-year-old son.

I wish for each of you a 2022 full of health, prosperity, and time with loved ones.

Life is so rich,

76 comments

  1. Bernadette Macmillan says:

    I think that you have forgotten a few other nuclear accidents &/or leakages which had immense repercussions. Three Mile Island comes to mind and one not so very long ago where some of our fish on the West Coast were still testing positive…

  2. Bob says:

    I missed the predictions cast, how do I watch it now?

  3. Bill Dietrich says:

    Nuclear is safe on average. But economics are killing nuclear. Renewables and storage are steadily decreasing in cost, while nuclear’s cost trend is flat or even slightly upward.

  4. John says:

    I’m a young man and you’re a positive force in my life from afar. Just letting you know.

  5. Florent says:

    Hello, I missed the live prediction webinar (I’m in Europe so it was quite late…). Can you let me know where I can find a recording please? Thanks, Florent

  6. Tim says:

    So where are the 2022 predictions then?

  7. Andre says:

    How do we watch a replay of the predictions?

  8. Steve Turano says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. If you are ever in Tampa, dinner (and the Zacapa) is on me at the restaurant of your choice. I’m not a young man but you make me want to be a better man. Life is so rich and I am so lucky I met Prof G. I still think you’re one smart guy. ~Steve

  9. jerry schendel says:

    i really enjoyed your webcast of 2022 predictions but had to listen while driving. is there a replay available? i would like to watch on my macbook and take some notes. thanks in advance. best js

  10. alper nakri says:

    miss the 2022 video any one got a link ?

  11. Sam John says:

    Wind farms are a bad joke… Solar someday… Nuclear power is the only green bet

  12. Ignacio says:

    Why should Apple buy Peloton and not NIKE, don’t you think NIKE is a better fit? Just synergies in commercial real estate is huge, also potential to market apparel thru Peloton platform.

  13. craig brown says:

    Praise Scott for having the sense to realize that scrap yards full of used wind turbines and used solar panels is sub optimal.

  14. Marie says:

    I don’t have enough bandwidth to digest Scott’s analytic musings. However, I look forward to them nevertheless. Like Marilyn Monroe, I’m not stupid, just uneducated.

  15. Ann says:

    Can you talk more about the negative effects Web3 will have on children and teenagers, the way social media has increased anxiety and depression? I’m very worried about the negative effects web3 will have, which I believe will be 10x worse than web 2.0.

    • Alexander Jones says:

      Teenage girls who voluntarily share nude selfies and belfies to drug dealing Chad and Tyrone deserve the anxiety and depression that they get. Not my problem. Feminism caused it.

    • Sam John says:

      You will have to excuse Alex… he’s referring to the teenage girls in his life not yours…

    • Sam John says:

      You’ll have to excuse Alex he is referring to the teenage girls in his life not yours

  16. dallasboiler says:

    Scott, sorry about the loss of your cousin. It’s especially tragic for a 9yr old to grow up without a dad from something that was preventable.

    I hope that your prediction is spot-on re: Meta. When I think about Meta being the flag-bearer for what VR could become, I envision the movie Strange Days and the weird alternate reality porn that leads to users’ brains turning into mush. Almost any other company would do a better job cultivating this technology (although I’m equally suspicious of Elon’s brain chip).

    Another fact supporting nuclear is it’s continual safe and more economical usage in the military. There are hundreds of reactors currently at sea which have operated safely for decades, and which are operating in a more volatile environment with many people within close quarters. For the price of one 2,250 MW nuclear powerplant, the US gov’t can purchase two Ford class aircraft carriers (each with ~1,400 MWs of electrical generation capacity via nuclear reactors).

  17. TeslaWins says:

    Tesla $$$$ 🤣🤣📈📈📈📈📈📈📈📈📈📈📈 bwoahahhaha

  18. Trump says:

    The job market will discriminate against able-bodied White men, increasing the risk of drug overdoses, homelessness and incel mass murders who are affected by feminist policies and Brandon’s cancel culture agenda.

  19. marina schneider says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Predictions are as good as our capability to go back and reflect on why it didn’t happen as we thought it would. Also, I think you may be sending the wrong message to some men here. I fiercely believe when you say that you want to be a role model for your sons and other young men you are teaching them how to enter a world where women should be treated equally with respect and be given the same opportunities in education and work as men.

  20. Timbo says:

    Great to here your negative comments on Tesla. I’m jumping for joy since every one of your stock predictions prove to be wrong. Not much going on with Airbnb and I appreciate the losses you recommended on Lemonade. You’re an extremely smart man and I enjoy your newsletters and podcasts, but a stock picker you are not.

  21. Claudia says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss -_-

  22. Vivek Khurana says:

    Your prediction foe 2022 is gloomy and full of failures.. But I believe it will be a year more kickass than 2021 with pandemic virus weakening due to mutation and pandemic coming down to endemic stage.

  23. Duke says:

    The coming years will be that of grief, despair and hopelessness for the bottom 80 percentile of men in terms of looks and income. The religious texts have warned about the rise of feminism.

    In the religion that Bible thumpers loathe, Islam, there is a prediction that 50 women will flock to one man who is rich and will sustain them.

    We are living in the Last Days. Russia and Putin are our salvation. An economic collapse and COVID were supposed to liberate the men from the oppression of the feminist system.

  24. Chris says:

    Just wondering your thoughts on Fukushima with respect to elemental power. Thank you for your newsletter. Happy New Year.

  25. Albert says:

    Incels will increase in number, while more and more teenage girls line up at the sidewalk of Drake’s Toronto mansion and Shaq’s Bridle Path mansion.

  26. Fred Williamson Miller says:

    Happy New Year Scott, I thoroughly enjoy your work, I concur with numerous of your positions on issues. One of your best moments this past year had to do with an interview with Smerch, another of my favorite people along with Bernie and Joe(Pres). The issue was the generation/creation of millions of young men essentially never to get to where they need/deserve(?) to be. I have been watching with horror as this has multiplied almost exponentially over the past 40 years or more all around me. I have tried to be a decent role model in a small way but it is very discouraging. Keep up your excellent work, live long and prosper. Fred

  27. Fabien L says:

    Thank you Scott. I will attend your prediction session with great excitement. I agree with your previews with one exception: I believe (hope?) that we will collectively focus on clean energy (wind & solar) rather than nuclear… I don’t see any prediction on climate change. #dontlookup

  28. Danny says:

    Sorry for your loss Scott. Appreciate the analysis and looking forward to next week’s deep dive into your 2022 predictions – especially around big tech’s moves into healthcare.

  29. Justin says:

    So sorry about your cousin. Have you considered adopting his son? You have so much to give boys and young men – he would be very fortunate to join your family, if your sons and wife agree to taking him in.

  30. Justin says:

    Thanks Scott, I love your thoughtfulness, courage and humour. Please tell me, what did you mean by “the Gordon Sumner of crypto currencies?”

  31. Dan Smith says:

    Sorry about your cousin. Hope you’re right about nuclear.

  32. CA Nandkishor says:

    My heartfelt condolences to you Scott for your personal loss of a dear person in your life 🙁 May God give eternal peace to the departed soul .Again reflects your mature sense of cautioning reckless/careless ones from taking unnecssary risks is appreciated.

  33. CA Nandkishor says:

    Scott’s red signals to some hot shots in present “Verse”looks really cautioning how fundas are being wrapped by hypes ,but isn’t it game always in the “stock” ” market” ? The only market place where most want to buy for selling (with illogical profit margin)and not to keep /retain what one purchased ?A typical misuse of the very concept “market “

  34. Todd says:

    How about your prediction this year that Square would acquire Twitter – still think that will happen?

  35. Gokulram Arunasalam says:

    Gokulram Arunasalam
    Good predictions for 2021! Looking forward to 2022 predictions.

  36. Frances 🇨🇦🇲🇶 says:

    Very sorry you lost someone close to you. I admire your priorities for 2022. Stay well. We all enjoy you . Also, your animals🙂 and beasts❤️ Need you.

    • Tony says:

      Very happy to see nuclear pop into the 2022 list! Could not agree more with the need for a rebrand industry wide. And you nailed it, Mr Burns did more to crush an entire industry for 2 decades than actual financial chicanery caused. There are certainly downsides as many have commented, but they need to be reconsidered and rebalanced against our current needs.

  37. Jim Hensley says:

    My condolences on the loss of your cousin.

  38. TeslaGuy says:

    I’ll give you $46,995 for the Tesla!

  39. Michelle says:

    I am truly sorry for the loss of your cousin. This is a senseless loss of life. I too am staying in for 2022 and will be contemplating why the shit storm that is hitting education is not garnering any public attention. Could it be because schools are tied to zip codes which are tied to property value?
    Have a Happy New Year and thank you for illuminating and non-business brain!!

  40. Alan Zucker says:

    LOL. Let’s rebrand Nukes with the headline “Nuclear Will Explode.”

    As pointed out by others… Fukushima. And, the multi-thousand year disaster that the hot radioactive waste presents to our kids and grandkids.

    • J. Peterson says:

      Yes. This. And if you go further back, there’s Three Mile Island, WPPSS (no leak, but vast $$ wasted), and other nuke power plants from the ’70s shut down because they simply Did Not Work (Trojan, Rancho Seco). There’s valid economic reasons the US gave up on nuclear – it’s not just a public creeped out by toxic waste that never goes away.

  41. Ken says:

    Happy new year, Scott! Thank you for your insight this year. I have learned a lot from your posts and podcast. I am going to make time for a sprint very soon. — All the best!!

  42. Grant Manheim says:

    Economics is a language not a science; it has no predictive value, validity, authority or power; if it did there would be a lota rich economists.

  43. Tim Feran says:

    Always great reading your stuff, but I do have to caution you that Chernobyl isn’t the only reason why people don’t like nuclear. Three Mile Island may not have been a Chernobyl size disaster, but it was hardly a ho-hum event. And the fact that we in Ohio have two nuclear plants on the shore of Lake Erie (only one of our greatest sources of fresh water), leaves us very nervous.

  44. Sheila S. Cameron says:

    Thank you, Scott for your predictions past and future! And your newsletter all year. I’m sad to learn of your cousin Andy Levene’s passing – covid is so real, and so are vaccinations – his loss is a message for anyone who thinks it can’t happen to them. Live everyday in vaccinated health everyone!

  45. Michelle Gabriel says:

    Just Chernobyl? What about Fukushima? And before that Three Mile Island.

    • Eddie says:

      How many people died at Fukushima and 3MI? None from anything to do with the nuclear energy process.

      3MI only looms large people of the movie that was released before called The China Syndrome.

      Nuclear is safe, effective, and there is absolutely no chance we slow climate change without it.

      Modern reactors are orders of magnitude more safe

  46. Laura Peck says:

    So sorry about the young man who died. Thank you for writing about it
    I have passed this along to a relative who refused the vaccination.
    I send him a message every day.
    Love and respect all your work.
    Happy 2022,
    Laura

    • Ofa Swann says:

      Blessings for 2022 Professor to you and your loved ones. Thoroughly enjoy reading your newsletter. Our deepest condolences to you and your family on the recent loss of your cousin may his soul Rest In Peace. Love the boys and dogs reference. Continue doing good. Vinaka vakalevu.

  47. Michael says:

    Idk about “Tesla Taliban” lol but imo everyone seems to forget Teslas ever expanding portfolio. They are moving beyond just cars – power walls, solar panels, solar tiles, energy storage solutions (large scale ie Texas power grid) and the impeding rollout of semi trucks to excite a trucking industry that needs a lift. Why is it when we talk Tesla we only talk cars? Future is looking bright. .

  48. Oliver Dean says:

    Great post! Sorry to read about your cousin. Condolences!

  49. Robert Akscyn says:

    Always a good read. Thanks!

  50. JackR says:

    Thanks for your good work, Scott. You da Man.
    … I’ve benefitted from your POV since subscribing to your and Kara’s podcasts Feb 2021.

  51. Robert Zimmerman says:

    Appreciate your taking the time to share your Light with me.
    Happy New Year!

    • Michael says:

      Idk about “Tesla Taliban” lol but imo everyone seems to forget Teslas ever expanding portfolio. They are moving beyond just cars – power walls, solar panels, solar tiles, energy storage solutions (large scale ie Texas power grid) and the impeding rollout of semi trucks to excite a trucking industry that needs a lift. Why is it when we talk Tesla we only talk cars? Future is looking bright.

  52. Man k says:

    Prof GODoway..

  53. Robert McCullough says:

    Way to use your cousin for your agenda. Would you like to comment on Carlos Tejada, the New York Times editor who died of a heart attack a day after receiving a Moderna booster? The NYT did not mention that strange coincidence in their obituary of him, but you’d bet your house that they would mention COVID if that was related to his death. 2022 Prediction: mainstream media platforms fade to irrelevance because no one trusts them anymore.