He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news.
Bertolt Brecht

(Editors Note: As a necessary corrective to the unbridled optimism of the mainstream media, heres a selection of forecasts for 2015 by some of the most insightful alternative voices on world politics, energy and the economy. For those in a hurry, heres a one-line summary: a global recession may be around the corner.)

The Cold Wet Mackerel of Reality
John Michael Greer
One of the entertainments 2015 has in store for us is a thumping economic crisis here in the US, and in every other country that depends on our economy for its bread and butter. The scale of the crash depends on how many people bet how much of their financial future on the fantasy of an endless frack-propelled boom, but my guess is it’ll be somewhere around the scale of the 2008 real estate bust. (Also read Greers follow-up post: A Camp Amid the Ruins)

Forecast 2015 — Life in the Breakdown Lane
James Howard Kunstler
The signal event of 2015 will be the disintegration of Tom Friedman’s global economy, the trade and banking relations we have known for about a quarter century, especially the frictionless flow of goods and capital between East and West.

Oil and the Economy: Where are We Headed in 2015-16?
Gail Tverberg
Eventually we are likely to experience a much worse situation than we did in the 2007-2009 period, although this may not be evident at first. It will be only over a period of time, after some of the initial “dominoes fall” that we will see what is really happening.

Five energy surprises for 2015
Kurt Cobb
The coming year is likely to be as full of surprises in the field of energy as 2014 was. We just don’t know which surprises! I am not predicting that any of the following will happen, and they will be surprises to most people if they do. But, I think there is an outside chance that one or more will occur, and this would move markets and policy debates in unexpected directions.

Oil Price Scenarios For 2015 And 2016
Euan Mearns
In this post I use an empirical supply and demand dynamic to try and constrain the oil price a year from now and in 2016. The outcome is heavily dependent upon assumptions made about supply and demand and the behavior of OPEC and the banking sector. Three different scenarios are presented with December 2015 prices ranging from $45 to $100 / bbl.

The bear is back: A cautionary tale of global gloom
Gerard Minack, former Morgan Stanley strategist
The problem is the next crisis will not be in the periphery and it will not be in the banks; it will be economic and it will be in the core.

11 Predictions of Economic Disaster in 2015 from Top Experts All Over the Globe
Centre for Research on Globalization
Over the past couple of years, we have all watched as global financial bubbles have gotten larger and larger. Despite predictions that they could burst at any time, they have just continued to expand. But just like we witnessed in 2001 and 2008, all financial bubbles come to an end at some point, and when they do implode the pain can be extreme.