A bit belatedly, Happy New Year to everyone. Some optimistic wishes for 2008
* The end of the Bush era will prove to be the end of political power for the Republican party in its current (religious right/militarist/pro-rich class warfare) form, and will be followed by a return to reality-based politics
* The crisis in Pakistan will provoke the world’s leaders into serious action on nuclear disarmament. Pretty clearly, unless this happens, nuclear weapons will sooner or later fall into the hands of someone who wants to use them. There was quite a good article in Prospect unfortunately paywalled, making the point that Gordon Brown could take a lead on this if the UK (one of the prime examples of a country maintaining nuclear weapons for no better reason than national pride) was willing to offer disarmament as a bargaining chip.
* The Rudd government will deliver the goods on education, industrial relations and global warming. Despite some silly mis-steps, I’ve been favourably surprised so far at how well things have turned out.
* The slow-motion financial crisis will stay slow-motion producing a gradual reversal of the explosion of dubious debt derivatives seen over the past decade, and a relatively smooth rebalancing of household and national balance sheets.