NDTV’s Prannoy Roy ‘Sir’ is the kind of generous teacher those who couldn’t join Morgan Stanley should have got

Every new year, Ruchir Sharma, the precocious Morgan Stanley banker sits down with NDTV’s Prannoy Roy for one hour of ad-free programming, in which he makes predictions for the year ahead.

It is first-class television: calm, clean, chummy, insightful—and fun.

The “Limousine Liberals”—Sharma gives a bunch of journalists and pollsters a 7-star ride before every major state and general election, Roy being one of them—engage in a bit of droll leg-pulling.

All very harmlessly Lutyens Delhi, although a full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest would be nice, thank you.

Last night, before Ruchir Sharma began looking into the crystal ball for what 2019 has in store, Prannoy Roy went through his predictions for 2018 to see how they had panned out.

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Prediction 1: Global growth will peak in 2018
Reality: Every major economy in the world, with the exception of the United States, decelerated in the year gone by.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA WRONG

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Prediction 2: Boom shaka-la laka in Europe
Reality: The hope that the ‘sick continent’ which suffered two recessions in a decade would break out in 2018 proved to be false.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA WRONG

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Prediction 3: Good economics may not be good politics
Reality: Ratings for 20 major democracies were 10% higher for leaders in 2018 when their economies were down from 2017.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA WRONG

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Prediction 4: The ‘everything’ bubble
Reality: Every bubble did burst in 2018. Oil was down 2%, commodities down 10%, global stocks down 8%, bitcoins down 70%. Only cash up 2%.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA RIGHT

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Prediction 5: “Peak calm” in stock markets
Reality: After a calm 2017, an even calmer 2018 was not to be. Volatility in the stock markets all over. In India it rose from 6% in 2017 to 22%.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA WRONG

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Prediction 6: Tech as good as it gets
Reality: The sheen came off tech. FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) stocks were down 25% on-average by the end of 2018.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA WRONG

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Prediction 7: “Big” dominates like never before
Reality: The top-three companies in every sector, FMCG, automotive, white goods will increase market share at the cost of small and medium companies.
So: Duh!

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At this point, when only one out of seven predictions have come true, Prannoy Roy exclaims, “Were you always a student of distinction? We are doing quite well. You have got six out of seven spot-on.”

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Prediction 8: India’s three concerns
Reality: Deterioration in India’s main macro-economic indicators: In 2018, current account deficit, fiscal deficit, core inflation rate were ramped up.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA RIGHT

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Prediction 9: Indian companies best in class
Reality: Nothing really worked in 2018. India’s companies were not the best advertisement for return on equity, return on investment, earnings growth.
So: RUCHIR SHARMA WRONG

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Prediction 10: Peak distraction
Reality: There is increased awareness that there is diminishing returns with the use of gadgets when it comes to productivity.
So: Duh!

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Prannoy now declares: “Being a very generous and not very strict teacher, I will give 9/10. Next year, we expect better.”

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In other words, what was at best a 2/10 score—4/10 if you include the Duh!— becomes 9/10 in the hands of a lax evaluator.

But as all-rounder Lance Klusener said after running South Africa out of the 1999 World Cup against Australia: “So what, no one died.”

Photograph and screenshots: courtesy NDTV

See the full video: Top trends of 2018: reality check