When truth is stranger than fiction: Outrageous Predictions that turned out to be true When truth is stranger than fiction: Outrageous Predictions that turned out to be true When truth is stranger than fiction: Outrageous Predictions that turned out to be true

When truth is stranger than fiction: Outrageous Predictions that turned out to be true

Søren Otto Simonsen

Senior Investment Editor

Summary:  Saxo's annual Outrageous Predictions are never about being right - but they are always about being outrageous. Still, sometimes the world catches up and becomes just the right amount of outrageous for the predictions to become true. We've checked our archives to find out the Outrageous Predictions that were much closer to the truth than anticipated.

2023 honourable mention: A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030

Reviewing last year's predictions, it's evident that they were more outrageous than they were correct. A fan favourite was Market Strategist Charu Chanana's prediction about a country agreeing to ban all meat production by 2030. It didn't turn out that way and it would be a stretch to say that it was close. But, at a supranational level, meat, as an important part of fighting climate change, was spotted on the agenda at the UN-arranged climate change-focused COP28 in the latter part of the year. Here, the UN was, in time of writing, expected to publish a road map for global food systems with a focus on lowering meat consumption.

"While we didn't see any country banning meat production, we did see a growing recognition that meat (and the consumption of it) needs to be in focus when talking about climate change. So, picking a topic that turns out to get attention and taking it a step further than reality is really what this exercise is about," says Chanana.

2022 Outrageous Prediction: The plan to end fossil fuels gets a rain check

As we headed into 2022, Ole S. Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy, wrote that policymakers would kick climate targets down the road and support fossil fuel investment to fight inflation and the risk of social unrest, while rethinking the path to a low-carbon future.

The overarching prediction came to fruition, but it was regrettably fueled by the unforeseen invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

"Little did we know last November that the world was galloping into an energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine," says Ole S. Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy, who explains how he then caught on to the idea that fossil fuels would become relevant again in 2022: "Lack of investments and an increasingly urgent need to support gas over coal led us to come up with this idea, which basically envisaged a more investor friendly environment for (up until then) shamed investment in so-called 'dirty' energy production.  A move that led to the decision by the EU to classify gas and nuclear as green investments," he says.

2018 Outrageous Prediction: Volatility spikes after flash crash in stock markets

"We did not get a 25% drop in a single 1987-like event, but we did get two dramatic events in 2018 that vindicated our point," says Peter Garnry, Head of SaxoStrats.

He further explains how the prediction came about: "We got the idea about this Outrageous Prediction in late 2017, as the year was about to end with astonishingly low volatility and Bitcoin had gone from just below $1,000 in late 2016 to around USD 10,000 in November 2017 (Bitcoin eventually rose to almost USD 20,000 before year end). Everyone speculated in Bitcoin and selling volatility in currencies and equities was heralded as easy predictable money. That's where we got this super awkward feeling that the entire euphoria and these types of positions can have dramatic outcomes if conditions change even the slightest."

Garnry says that the volatility kicked in during February and ended in dramatic fashion over Christmas: "The ‘Volmageddon’ event in February 2018 almost completely wiped out short volatility funds including some famous ETFs in these strategies as the VIX Index exploded from 13.64 to 50.30 in just two trading sessions. The event changed the short volatility complex in the subsequent years. Later in 2018, the market was trying to tell the Fed that it was doing a policy mistake by hiking its policy rates because the economy was deteriorating. It led to a selloff of 20% from the peak in October to the intraday bottom on 26 December 2018 with the most dramatic trading sessions happening over the Christmas holiday period when liquidity was drying up. Dramatic events that set the stage for the crazy bull-run in 2019 as investors again forgot everything about risk."

2017 Outrageous Prediction: Huge gains for Bitcoin as the cryptocurrencies rise

As cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, began gathering momentum in the public eye, our SaxoStrats predicted that the then leading currency would have a huge bump in value. The rationale behind the jump was justified by US President Donald Trump's regime overspending, causing national debt to rise and inflation to skyrocket. Combining this with the global public wanting to break away from the currencies of central banks, Bitcoin became a preferred alternative. The Outrageous Prediction ended up coming to fruition and more, with the price of Bitcoin growing to almost USD 20,000 at its 2017 peak.

However, the circumstances around the prediction weren’t spot on. It wasn’t as much due to macroeconomic movements of the Trump era, as it was due to speculation in Bitcoin that fueled its initial meteoric rise. However, when looking at the more recent spikes in cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin in 2021, the justifications outlined in the 2017 Outrageous Prediction held true.

2015 Outrageous Prediction: Brexit in 2017

In the Outrageous Predictions for 2015, our SaxoStrats wrote that the UK Independence Party (UKIP) would win 25% of the national vote in Britain’s general election on 7 May, 2015, sensationally becoming the third largest party in parliament. UKIP would then join David Cameron’s Conservatives in a coalition government and call for the planned referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in 2017. As a result, UK government debt suffers a sharp rise in yields.

The timing was a bit off, but the circumstances around it were pretty accurate. “We had a very strong sense that ‘protest votes’ would be coming both in the US election and also ultimately in a vote on Brexit” said Steen Jakobsen, CIO at Saxo. “We, to some extent, correctly talked about the ‘social-contract being broken’ – meaning society no longer benefitted as a whole from monetary policy, which created an increased gap in equality. 

“This call was too early, but the context and reasoning was spot on. The split in the Tory Party could not be healed and the modus operandi of ‘Talking down to the voters’ was a blatant mistake, which we used for this call,” Jakobsen said.

2013 Outrageous Prediction: Gold corrects to USD 1,200 per ounce 

"Our $1,200 call, at the time of writing, signaled a one-third drop in the price," says Head of Commodity Strategy, Ole S. Hansen who, in 2013, had the first correct Outrageous Prediction. 

Here's what he had to say about it: "Gold corrected to and actually went below USD 1,200 per ounce in 2013, as investors increasingly turned their attention to stocks and the dollar. A major trigger was the April 2013 break below key support at $1,525 - a move that in our mind raised the risk of a bear market taking the price down towards $1,100," says Hansen.

How will the Outrageous Predictions turn out for 2024?

Most of the SaxoStrats' predictions don't come true, but they are guaranteed to be Outrageous. If you want to read what they have to say about 2024, be sure to check back with us on 5. December 2023, or open an account to get the predictions sent straight to your inbox. 


Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/.

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication.

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments.Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Capital Markets or its affiliates.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Full Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)
- Analysis Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/analysis-disclaimer/saxo-analysis-disclaimer)
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited
Suite 1, Level 14, 9 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

Contact Saxo

Select region


The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit www.home.saxo/en-au/about-us/awards

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Limited ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. The Target Market Determination should assist you in determining whether any of the products or services we offer are likely to be consistent with your objectives, financial situation and needs.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.

Please click here to view our full disclaimer.