A couple weeks ago, I sent out a bold assertion:

However, given the unprecedented shenanigans of this election cycle, I also said:

And since then, this did happen:

The rekindled FBI probe, questions about her health, whatever.  She went from a 4-in-5 probability of winning the election to losing it, all in just 2 weeks.  (To her credit, she did win the popular vote, just not the electoral vote – the only thing that matters.)

Statistical models be damned.  We all should have instead relied upon the Simpsons cartoon episode originally aired in 2000, wherein they successfully predicted a Trump presidency long before he was ever even on Celebrity Apprentice.

There strikes me 2 big take-aways:

  1. Even the supposedly-smartest people in the room cannot predict the future.  We’ve long held that NO ONE can reliably, consistently predict the future.  Not in politics, not in economics, not in capital markets.  Next time you hear someone on the news say “Employment is up and the Fed is raising rates, so therefore the market will ________”, just remember the NYT chart from above.  Quoting William Goldman, the guy that wrote Butch Cassidy and The Princess Bride and a lot of your other favorite films, “Nobody knows anything…… Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.” 
  2. Donald J. Trump will be the next President of the United States.  Say that again to yourself: Donald J. Trump will be the next President of the United States.  47% of the country is elated with this; 53% not as much.  But almost 100% of us are wondering what happens next.  I gave a presentation a couple weeks ago on his economic and tax plans; I’ll update this in context with the Republicans sweeping the House, Senate, and Presidency last night and send it out in the next couple days.

Oh, and the Cubs won the World Series last week.  You can’t make this stuff up.