For the last 29 years, Mr. Byron Wien, currently vice chair of Blackstone Group Investment and Advising firm, has released a list of 10 surprise predictions for the coming year. He often includes predictions that he doesn’t feel belong in the top 10, but that he still feels the need to flex his ego over and publish them anyways. This year, Bitcoin has finally made the list.
Byron Wien describes a “surprise” as an event which would have an occurrence rate that the “average investor” would only assign a probability of 1/3. However, Mr. Wein, as a self-proclaimed “above-average investor,” believes these surprise events will happen with a probability greater than 1/2.
Early last December, Business Insider author Steven Perlberg took a comprehensive look at Byron Wien’s ten big surprise predictions for 2013 and scored them. In order for Wien to be considered an accurate soothsayer, at least half of his predictions for 2013 should have come true; in reality, only one prediction actually came to fruition. Perlberg gave each prediction a score from 0.0 to 1.0 based on its correctness; in an act of incredible generosity, Perlberg even gave partial credit to the majority of Wien’s failed predictions. Even partial credit doled out everywhere it could fit only aggregated a meager score of 2.9/10 for Wien’s 2013 predictions. Byron Wien’s predictions have become increasingly out of touch over the last few decades.
I’m absolutely positive that a random list of 10 items generated by your average redditor after perusing /r/worldnews for the better part of 3 dozen clicks would have done better than Byron Wien’s predictions for the year 2013. It’s no surprise that his predictions about 2014 are starting off the year looking weaker than ever. Byron Wien has this to say about Bitcoin in 2014:
During the year Bitcoin’s acceptance collapses as investors realize that it cannot be used as collateral in financial transactions and its principal utility is for illegal business dealings where anonymity is important.
Considering that I just used Bitcoin as collateral in a financial transaction that was not in any way shape or form anonymous by selling Bitcoins to Coinbase: I suggest that Mr. Wien do more research before shooting off his mouth. Seeing as how he has not done so in the last 29 years, instead I must turn my pleas to you readers to do more research before blindly following the predictions of old, moneyed individuals.
For the complete list of 14 predictions from Byron Wein, check out Business Insider’s article.