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2012: The Year of Recovery. Again.

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Predictions are easiest to assess, when a year is over.

In March 2009, Goldman Sachs predicted that that year would be the "year of survival,'' for investment banks and other top-drawer global financial players. 

The following year, 2010, was dubbed the "year of doubt,'' as recounted Monday by Heather Shemilt, manging director and head of the bank's pensions, endowent and foundations group, at the outset of the Super Bowl of Indexing here.

But that year ended with the Federal Reserve buying back a lot of long-term bonds, to keep borrowing rates down.

Which, in theory, meant that 2011 would be the Year of Recovery for the U.S. economy.

Hasn't quite worked out that way. Joblessness remains high, even if recent results have gotten that down to 8.6 percent of the work force.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well as the sovereign debt crisis in Europe have changed the outlook considreably, she said Monday at the start of the Super Bowl of Indexing here MonDAY.

But the price of 10-year Treasury bonds has been pushed as low as 1,72 percent a year. And stock prices, year to date, are still down from a year ago, despite early December gains.

"The better question is, will the year 2012 be the year of recovery?'' she asked.

Or, how about 2013?