What is there to be certain or confident about in the coming year? That the European Union will somehow resolve the historical and inherent conflict between its single currency and the vastly different political regimes and economic and social policies of its constituent countries? That the administration, which apparently thinks it is acceptable for companies to build plants in China, but not acceptable for Boeing to move operations from a plant in Washington to a non-union environment in South Carolina, will become more pro-business? That the Department of Transportation will act on proposals to invest in and develop infrastructure? That the Maritime Administration will advocate a powerful policy to promote U.S.-flag shipping, and effectively manage applicable maritime law? That the shipping industry which we thought had learned its lesson in 2009, will get it this time, and stop driving rates through the floor, all the while investing in new ships they cannot pay for?
There appears to be a growing consensus that, despite serious structural problems in housing and employment, the U.S. economy may be poised for some growth and recovery, if a greater measure of certainty and confidence can be restored. In the meantime, we all tread water until we experience fundamental change.