What to Expect From the World in 2022

December’s end is when we reflect on what we hope to improve in the year to come … and also the time for my annual predictions of news headlines for the next 12 months.

Usually I begin by evaluating last year’s predictions, but this year only one bears mention: For the second time in the past three years, I correctly called the long-shot winner of the World Series. I predicted that the Washington Nationals would win in 2019, and I predicted that the Atlanta Braves would win in 2021.

Apart from that, when it came to 2021, my crystal ball was cloudy. (Whose wasn’t?) But it’s clearing. Here, then, are my predictions for 2022. It’s up to readers to guess which ones are offered with tongue in cheek:

1. Worried about the blockchain, members of Congress will continue demanding regulation of cryptocurrency. To the relief of investors, federal agencies will move at their usual glacial pace. Nevertheless, the House and the Senate will continue to hide ridiculous rules on the subject in the middle of thick bills ostensibly dealing with other issues. Curiously, nobody in the news media will venture to ask any member who’s upset about crypto to explain what “blockchain” means.

2. Relatedly, federal agencies confronted with evidence that their systems have been penetrated will continue their habit of stonewalling. But worry not. Thanks to the infrastructure bill, the government’s digital networks, which have fallen well behind China’s and Russia’s, stand an even chance of having 2022-level security in place by 2027.