I’ve decided to pause for a bit on the budgeting posts. The statistics seem to indicate that almost no one is reading them, and they take a lot of work, so maybe I’ll save the rest of this series until there’s more readers of this blog.

In the meantime, I’m going to use this bit of space to make some predictions for what some things in the financial world will look like by the end of the year. No, I’m not Nostradamus, but I see trends, and want to see how well I can do at this. Remember, this is only a test:

* Unemployment will be at 10.7% at the end of the year; we’ll know if that’s correct in the first week of January.

* The reason unemployment is going to jump is because companies are going to start laying off a lot of people after Thanksgiving, and we’re going to have the kind of rush we had last year that’s going to peak by the second week of January.

* And that’s going to happen because foreclosures are going to start being reported more for commercial properties by the end of the year. We know that it’s already been predicted that by the end of the year the loans on many commercial properties are going to come due, and many of those businesses are in distress.

* There will be 130 banks closed at year end. Since there’s already 89 closed, this means I’m predicting we’ll hear about 41 more in the next four months. That’s actually pretty conservative, since it seems that three banks a week are closing right now, but I’m going to hope it doesn’t suddenly escalate until the new year.

* Foreclosures will be more than the previous year in the same month every month for the rest of the year, but it’s going to be tapering off. This is for homes, not commercial property. New home sales are going to drop off as we head into the colder months. Because unemployment is going to rise, there’s going to be a slowdown of people purchasing pre-existing homes also, even if the government extends another tax credit on homes.

* A health care bill will be passed, but it’s not going to have much meat in it. It’s probably only going to cover some of the things President Obama really campaigned on, which is electronic medical records, but there won’t be a health coverage plan in there, unless Massachusetts places a senator in there quickly, which probably won’t be enough to get one passed anyway.

* GM is going to be back in bankruptcy unless they drastically change. Actually, I think they’re going to be bought out by one of the foreign car companies, then dramatically reduced.

* Good news? Man, I wish I had some. No jobs, no money, rising deficit, credit card companies have already figured out how to mess with us when the new laws kick into effect,… someone help me out.