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A different version of 2008

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Remember Y2K? Seems pretty embarrassing now, doesn’t it? Like when you got drunk for the first time. Except on Dec. 31, 1999 it was everyone, everywhere: Stocking up on canned food, waiting for the sky to come crashing down, and for the world to turn into chaos. And then the next day, things were exactly the same.

Except for your head hurt, thanks to a hangover and Y2K humiliation.

Even if you weren’t one of the ones who panicked as 1999 switched to 2000, you must have at least held your breath for a millisecond or made a quick Plan B.

It’s a know fact that predictions often don’t pan out. The past year alone is full of out-of-the-blue events. Who would have thought last year that Wall Street greed would cause the worst recession since the 1930s? Who would have thought a senate rookie would win the American presidential election and capture hearts around the world? And who would have thought Blackcomb Gondola would fall apart four days after Peak 2 Peak’s magnificent opening?

As much as I would like to stare into my crystal ball and predict the next 365 days of 2009, I have a sneaking suspicion my glimpses would be egg-on-my-face wrong, just like Y2K was for many. Instead I decided to turn to the brave folk who walked out on a limb and speculated on 2008. Here, in the words of others, is a look at the year we didn’t end up living…

 

On the economy:

“We will not run a deficit,” said Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Oct. 9, two months before the Conservative government announced they may run a multi-billion deficit next year to deal with global financial crisis.

“We believe we will see a significant rebound in the stock market as the credit crunch will come to an end, and it will not be as bad as some people believe,” said Benjamin Tal from CIBC World Markets, talking to the Toronto Star on Jan. 1, 2008.

“Anyone who says we are in a recession or heading into one — especially the worst one since the Great Depression — is making up his own private definition of ‘recession,’” wrote Donald Luskin in the Sept. 14 Washington Post, the day before the Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy with a record $613 billion debt.

And, the same day the Lehman Brothers went up in flames, John McCain said: “The fundamentals of America’s economy are strong.”

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