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Some Wild and Whacky Predictions for 2010 - and beyond

On the 8th January Alexander Ferguson wrote in "The Weekly":

After boring ourselves senseless talking about rates being flat or downward after the January 1/1 renewals, we thought that it would be high time to give our own predictions for this year - and 2011.

You'll be pleased to hear we won't be making predictions about rates (we think they'll be down unless it's windy in the Gulf of Mexico in the late summer), capital markets (we can see a nice little bubble emerging around Cat bonds), AIG (Chartis will get floated, by the end of Q4), or the country's financial future (one word, which I can't mention in high-brow letter like this one!).


1. There will be a General Election in the UK, and millions of Britons will drag themselves to the voting booth to vote in a government who will undoubtedly let the country down over the next four or five years. Until we vote them in....again....and again...Then, in around 2025, our PM can leave his stable at 10 Downing Street, struck by the belief that the 'world needs him', and he needs to deliver a 'Sermon On The Mount' - at only £100,000 a session! We'll then feel ripped off, and he'll still declare that the public should pay for his travel.

2. The Company Named After a Nice Place to Ski will take over The Company Named After a Washing Powder (work it out!) in the first quarter of the year, leading to lots of nice noises about co-operation. People at the Washing Powder company are subsequently cleaned out (and paid very nicely for it), but the leadership makes enough to go ballroom dancing.....for the rest of his life.

3. Some will end the year getting himself paralytic into an ambulance outside a London Market bar, as we know happened to one unfortunate lawyer of a 'WAM' company in December, who may or may not have made it onto the local evening news for his actions by ending up in the 'drunk tent'. Old habits die young in the London Market.

4. 'WAM' will want to make 'another hit with somebody', and so we'll see the merry dance of M&A. We think we could see one of the major US domestic brokers being taken out. We want Hub, so it can be 'WHAM', but we doubt one of the big brokers would give us that sort of pleasure.

5. The Omega situation will get sorted out. We revealed this week that the powers that be wanted a compromise, but we didn't expect it to be of the "pistols at dawn" variety. See you on Jan 15th for that! Would-be chairman John Coldman is a good shot, by the way.

6. XL's resurrection will continue, making the company's comeback just a little less impressive than that of Jesus Christ. Speaking of Jesus Christ, we're off to church tomorrow to find out how many hurricanes there will be this year. We're thinking 17 named ones including a 'biblical' one that hammers Miami.

7. Which is better than we say for [add your hated rival company/underwriter/broker's name here], who had quite a bad 2009....

8. Apparently, the world's going to end according to Munich Re, and Catlin. There's too much global warming. In London, this week, where temperatures are hovering around zero and in Georgia, USA, where it's snowing, we'd have to agree. I'll get my beach shorts!

9. You'll hear a lot about avoiding West Africa like the plague. Not a place for a holiday, apparently. Mind you, nor's Newark, New Jersey, or bad areas of London, Chicago, New York or LA.

10a ) Alabama and USC will play for the National Championship in 2011. Penn State won't.
b) The Yankees will win their 28th World Series. Cubs fans will throw themselves off buildings after losing yet another League Championship Series.
c) Indianapolis will win the Super Bowl, beating the Dallas Cowboys. I'll be jealous because I can't go.
d) Queens Park Rangers won't get promoted to the Premiership/Premier League/Whatever You Call It Now. Ipswich will. And I'll have to pay a senior broker a tenner.
e) Our editor believes that Liverpool will win the league. But then again, she says that every year - and has been disappointed since the (very) early 1990s!
f) Chicago will win its first title since the Bulls in ice hockey
g) Los Angeles will win yet another NBA Title.....and LeBron James will go and be a New York Knick.
h) Brazil will win the World Cup. England will lose somewhere along the line in heartbreaking fashion

Have a great year.

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