Blackstone's Byron Wien Unveils His 'Ten Surprises' For 2015

Jan 7 2015 | 1:39pm ET

Wien added, “Every year there are always a few Surprises that do not make the Ten either because I do not think they are as relevant as those on the basic list or I am not comfortable with the idea that they are ‘probable.’”

Here are four "also rans":

1. Water becomes the central environmental issue of 2015, eclipsing carbon-caused air pollution.  While a shortage of water has always been a potential problem in the Western United States, it becomes a source of considerable tension in India and China, where large parts of the population do not have safe drinking water on a consistent basis.
 
2. Internet commerce runs into trouble.  Established hotels push legislators to make Airbnb pay the same taxes and fees that they are required to charge customers.  Uber is asked by local authorities to prove that its drivers have commercial insurance to protect passengers.  The stocks affected decline sharply.
 
3. Brazil provides an emerging market favorable surprise.  President Dilma Rousseff abandons some of her long-held socialist ideas and moves to the center.  She introduces a number of business-friendly policies and the economy improves.  It is helped more than it is hurt by the drop in the oil price.  Brazil becomes a favorite of emerging market investors once again.
 
4. I liked this one, but I didn’t have more than 50% conviction about it.  Hillary Clinton decides not to run for President.  She fears that Jeb Bush would siphon off some of the votes of Hispanics, who substantially voted for Obama.  Many liberals are disenchanted with Clinton and may not vote for her.  She wants to be the first woman President but she doesn’t want to lose.  

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