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Prepare for bitcoin-backed mortgages and a shortage of pants in 2022

Commentary

To close out the year, we’ve asked our contributors and staff to make a prediction about 2022. You would think, at least since the early days of 2020, that we’d have learned our lesson about making predictions, but we couldn’t resist. Feel free to save these if you want to embarrass us with them later.


Prepare for the bitcoin-backed mortgage in 2022

By Chris Spoke

I’ve got two big bitcoin-related predictions for the new year.

First, the price of bitcoin will surpass $100,000 CAD in 2022, and second, we will also see the first purchase of a home in Canada using a bitcoin-backed mortgage.

Here’s how that will work.

Let’s imagine a house priced at $1,000,000. Someone will stake $1,000,000 worth of bitcoin to access a bitcoin-backed mortgage of $1,000,000 to cover the full cost of the house.

The house will then also become security for the mortgage so that we’re really dealing with a bitcoin-and-house-backed mortgage.

And it will be the first of many more to come.

Chris Spoke is a real estate investor and the founder of August, a Toronto-based agency that designs and builds digital products.


There will be a supply-chain shortage in clothing in the new year

By Rob Leone

There will be a broader return to work desire in the Fall of 2022.  Enterprising individuals have spent two years perfecting the business-above-the-waist, party-below-the-waist business attire (former MP Will Amos maybe perfected it a little too well. That is why my prediction is that there will be a supply chain shortage in business attire for men and women from the waist down. You won’t be able to find pants, skirts, and more, which will inevitably delay the full return to work to sometime in 2023. Shorts, flannel PJs, and leggings, and more (or less) will continue to get a few extra seasons of wear before getting relegated to a box in the attic.

Rob Leone holds a PhD in public policy and serves as an Associate Professor of Leadership and Policy at Niagara University in Lewiston, NY. In addition, he is a Principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group in Toronto.

In 2022, we’ll start celebrating Canada again, and Justin Trudeau will resign

Commentary

To close out the year, we’ve asked our contributors and staff to make a prediction about 2022. You would think, at least since the early days of 2020, that we’d have learned our lesson about making predictions, but we couldn’t resist. Feel free to save these if you want to embarrass us with them later.


By J.D.M. Stewart

The Trudeau government will discover that history in this country is about more than apologizing for its failures since 1867. Running out of things to be sorry for, Prime Minister Trudeau will change direction in the new year and begin celebrating the accomplishments that have made Canada the envy of the world. His job will be made easy by all of the low-hanging fruit to choose from when highlighting achievements of the past. For example, Mr. Trudeau will begin by honouring the 40th anniversary of the patriation of the British North American Act (now the Canada Act 1867) and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Additionally, the Trudeau government will throw money at Library and Archives Canada so that its collection becomes more accessible, both in person and digitally. The infamous scrubbed web feature on prime ministers will return and Canadians will discover they have had steady and remarkable leadership during the past 155 years. 

J.D.M. Stewart has been a history teacher and writer for more than 25 years. He is the author of Being Prime Minister.


Justin Trudeau will resign before the year is out

By Rudyard Griffiths

Five bold predictions for the new year:

1. Ukraine/Taiwan

Neither Russia in Ukraine, nor China in Taiwan, will initiate a major land invasion in 2022. The costs of invasion, and more importantly occupation, are too high for both states. Russia and China face significant internal economic challenges brought about by the pandemic. The risk that their economic vulnerabilities are crystallized by a “hot war” will act as ongoing deterrent to conflict. Expect instead both powers to pursue their interests in having Ukraine and Taiwan respectively remain “neutral” through disinformation, military threats and economic levers such as energy supplies, trade embargoes and sanctions.   

2. Adieu Trudeau

Trudeau will resign as prime minister in 2022. The growing fiscal pressures on the government and inherent check they impose on the prime minister’s ambitious policy agenda are already evident in the fast declining Canadian dollar. Higher borrowing costs starting early-to-mid 2022, courtesy of the Bank of Canada, will only further complicate the task of squaring a raft of big-ticket government programs with a deteriorating fiscal backdrop. The prime minister will wisely leave the difficult, if not soon impossible, work of balancing Canada’s diminished fiscal capacity with the Liberal Party’s political agenda to another leader.

3. Universal Vaccine

Some kind of universal COVID-19 vaccine will be created in 2022. Scientists are getting closer to teasing out the genetic similarities between different variants and how they can be used to neutralize the infectiousness of SARS-CoV-2 as a whole. The development of a universal vaccine would finally provide the world with the opportunity to mass inoculate and exit our current treadmill of reoccurring variants, closures, boosters, etc. The combination of protein modelling techniques using machine learning and gene editing tools provided by technologies like CRISPR will be responsible for the creation of a universal vaccine.

4. Cyber Attacks

The world will witness a major inter-state cyber conflict in 2022. This will likely take place between Iran and Israel but it could also involve Russia, China, the U.S., and Europe. The ability to use powerful state cyber weapons as non-kinetic means to project force and pursue key national interests is the future of warfare. Whether it is the risk of an Iranian bomb or a Great Power miscalculation over Ukraine or Taiwan, largescale state cyber attacks will be a precursor to any hot war in 2022. This event will set a new, important precedent in international relations and lead to urgent calls for an international treaty on cyberwarfare.

5. Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada will return to purchasing government bonds in 2022. With much fanfare, the BoC announced this autumn it would stop adding to its now almost $400B portfolio of federal and provincial bond issuances. This will change in 2022 as rates move up on longer duration government debt. The BoC will respond to the threat of higher borrowing costs for governments by purchasing long dated debt. This in turn will drive the dollar down as investors react to Canada monetizing its debt. Expect as a result of a lower dollar the importation of more inflation, trapping the BoC ever deeper in a policy morass of its own making.  

Rudyard Griffiths is The Hub’s executive director.