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Forecasts fun but don

The recession is apparently making astrology a hot market. We all seem to want to know what the future holds.

The recession is apparently making astrology a hot market. We all seem to want to know what the future holds.


In trying to fill this yearning for accurate forecasts, I add my two cents’ worth each year with 10 forecasts. In recent years I have been prompted to do this by my friends at Florida’s Sarasota Coin Club who have graciously invited me to speak on the topic. This year I did not attend the Florida United Numismatists convention, so I have to do my personal accounting to the readers via this column.

Last year I noted that you could do just about as well by flipping a coin. This year it is more of the same. By my perhaps too charitable accounting of the record, it looks like I have five correct calls and five incorrect ones. A .500 average is good in baseball, but as the saying goes, I shouldn’t quit my day job.

The first forecast that I made last year I nailed. The American Numismatic Association needed a new executive director. I forecast that the board of governors would turn to someone from the hobby to take the position after being disappointed by a number of predecessors who did not come from numismatics. They chose Larry Shepherd of Simco Numismatics in early March.

My second forecast was there would be more lawsuits filed against ANA. The organization has been a lawsuit magnet. As hard as they work to settle one, another pops up. I count this as a correct forecast.

My third forecast was that more shows would copy the Baltimore show by abolishing Sunday show hours. While not having show hours on Sunday seems to be more acceptable, there was no rush to copy Baltimore’s action. So I count this as an incorrect forecast.

4. I forecast that the 2009 District of Columbia quarter design and those for the other U.S. territories would be outstanding and would help win collectors over to the new program. Sales have now started. I count this as a correct forecast because the expressions of opposition have disappeared.

5. Last year I noted that the Mint had acquired more authority to control the use of its name and trademarks – a good thing. But I forecast that the Mint would overzealously use this authority. It didn’t. I was wrong.

6. I said the paper money hobby would move toward official grading standards. It has not done so even as third-party grading has become even more important. So I was wrong again.

7. Gold I said would reach $1,000 some time during the year. It did in March. A win for me.

8. Silver I said would reach $20 in 2008. It was almost $24 in March. Another win for me.

9. I beat a dead horse by forecasting composition changes for the cent and nickel. Legislation on the matter failed to pass. I was wrong. Metals prices are now way down so this issue is of little importance now.

10. I said the Mint would head toward privatization. It hasn’t yet. I was wrong, but we did publish a story about the British Royal Mint. Hmm.

Five right. Five wrong. A coin flip is as accurate, but not as much fun.