Here are some of the worst predictions that were made about 2008. Savor them—a crop like this doesn't come along every year.
1. "A very powerful and durable rally is in the works. But it may need another couple of days to lift off. Hold the fort and keep the faith!" —Richard Band, editor, Profitable Investing Letter, Mar. 27, 2008
At the time of the prediction, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 12,300. By late December it was at 8,500.
2. AIG (AIG) "could have huge gains in the second quarter." —Bijan Moazami, analyst, Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, May 9, 2008
AIG wound up losing $5 billion in that quarter and $25 billion in the next. It was taken over in September by the U.S. government, which will spend or lend $150 billion to keep it afloat.
3. "I think this is a case where Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) are fundamentally sound. They're not in danger of going under…I think they are in good shape going forward." —Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, July 14, 2008
Two months later, the government forced the mortgage giants into conservatorships and pledged to invest up to $100 billion in each.
4. "The market is in the process of correcting itself." —President George W. Bush, in a Mar. 14, 2008 speech
For the rest of the year, the market kept correcting…and correcting…and correcting.
5. "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble." —Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator, Mar. 11, 2008
Five days later, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) took over Bear Stearns with government help, nearly wiping out shareholders.