Predictions For 2015: U.S. Stock Market Crash Debated, But The Rich Will Be Richer In This Economy

Some predictions for 2015 claim a U.S. stock market crash is possible, but even if that’s the case, experts are already saying that the rich will be richer in the 2015 U.S. economy.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, assuming a U.S. economic collapse and a U.S. stock market is inevitable, one interesting explanation claimed that anime, cosplay, and the overabundance of neets in American society is the cause. While that explanation is questionable, George Soros made a $2.2 billion bet that the United States will see a downturn, and other businessmen like Donald Trump and Wayne Gorsek claimed the country is still marching on the path to ruin.

Wallace Hopp, professor of technology and operations and senior associate dean for Faculty and Research, claims the U.S. economy is stuck in a “spiral of doom” which leads to more noticeable income disparity, where the rich become richer and poor become poorer.

“All signs point to a continued concentration of income and wealth in 2015 unless there is shock to the economy. The larger the disparity in income, the less money is in the hands of those who spend it the most. The bottom 20 percent spend every nickel they get because they need to. That money circulates in the economy very quickly. If you put it in the hands of the top 20 percent, they are going to save it, which means it will circulate more slowly. The result will be slower growth, fewer jobs, and potentially a spiral of doom.”

Wall Street strategist Roland Kaloyan of Societe Generale is not claiming a 2015 U.S. stock market crash is coming, but he is taking a contrarian view by predicting a negative slide.

“Since 1875, we have never seen the S&P rise for seven calendar years in a row, so an eighth year would seem highly unlikely,” Kaloyan said, according to Business Insider. “We assume that the S&P 500 will finish the year slightly down as the strengthening of the US dollar and the new tightening cycle offset the strong US GDP growth already priced-in at the start of the year.”

Decisions made by the U.S. government in 2015 will also have long-reaching repercussions. Predictions for 2015 in regards to the U.S. economy still have the U.S. federal deficit projected to be around half a trillion dollars next year. Currently at over $18 trillion, the U.S. gross public debt as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is over 100 percent, and economists have theorized that any country which reaches this threshold may eventually face severe repercussions.

Experts have warned that if the U.S. federal debt gets high enough, the interest payments alone could outpace defense spending and require the U.S. government to both decrease spending and increase taxes dramatically. For example, total interest payments on the federal debt in 2013 were approximately $255 billion, which is more than the $200 billion a year spent on Social Security Disability Benefits… and that fund is projected to start running out of money in either 2016 or late 2015. In addition, if President Obama manages to push through his executive order for illegal immigrants, then it’s being reported these millions of people will be able to claim Social Security and Medicare.

Although some predictions for 2015 tend to learn toward economic disaster, others like Forbes’ Jim Blasingame claims the U.S. economy will grow, but not as much as we’d like.

“Buoyed by consumers buoyed by low gas prices and six years of recovery fatigue, the U.S. economy will grow, but global economic headwinds and currency influences on exports will result in U.S. annual GDP averaging near an unremarkable 3%.”

Another bit of good news is that United States oil production made America the world’s largest oil exporter, due to the fracking of shale oil, and U.S. oil reserves are said to be at record high levels. A recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration claims the “U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate increased for the fifth year in a row in 2013, and exceeded 36 billion barrels for the first time since 1975.” Some experts even predict the 2015 U.S. gas prices will drop to less than $2 a gallon at the pump in the majority of states. On the negative side, Blasingame makes 2015 predictions that claim “geopolitics, geo-competition and the supply/demand dynamic for crude oil won’t find equilibrium anytime soon, causing prices to fluctuate, but average less than $70 per barrel.” As of this writing, Brent crude was at $59.45 per barrel.

Do you think the bears or the bulls are correct in their stock market predictions for 2015?