I'm very pessimistic about 2013:
Mitt Romney has a good chance of winning the presidency, but even if he doesn't, Republicans will likely have full control of Congress in 2013. Under Republican control, Congress will pass necessary austerity measures that will put negative pressure on the economy. The economy will already be weakened by growing inflationary pressures, and will fall into recession in Q1 2013 if predicted tax increases and spending cuts are triggered.
the Federal Reserve, whoever is president in 2013 will be stuck with
Ben Bernanke as chairman for the duration of the year. Mr. Bernanke, who
has made it clear that he will try every Modern Monetary Theory
trick in the book to avoid a second Great Depression, will be unable to
pull the economy out of recession. Bernanke will, however, exacerbate
inflationary pressures, which will be particularly harmful to the poor
and the unemployed, whose government entitlements will be severely cut due to austerity.
So, what do I see in 2013, apart from an official declaration of recession from the National Bureau of Economic Research?
Mobs of disgruntled unemployed and poor Americans whose entitlements
will be cut and whose dollars won't be able to buy what they used to.
This speaks to the threat of political instability.
2) A new wave of layoffs in tandem with negative GDP.
The wave will be much smaller than what we saw in 2008, but it will
negate the tepid job growth we've witnessed during this "recovery".
3) Inflationary pressures continuing to drive up the prices of energy
and commodities, especially oil (stagflation). Recessions are often
accompanied by falling oil prices, as was the case in 2008. But the Fed
has printed so much money and there is so much threat of political
instability in Europe and oil-rich Venezuela that a scenario in which an
economic collapse accompanied by rising oil prices is more plausible.
we might be cheering for a Eurozone collapse. A Eurozone collapse would
certainly send recessionary shock waves throughout the world, but it
would also relieve some of our inflationary pressures. (See point 3.) Not only would it significantly reduce the velocity of the dollar, but it would also encourage Euro reserve holders to amass dollars.