2012 is unlikely to be a much easier year. However, there are certainly big events to look forward to worldwide - big, impactful events. These range from forward-looking elections in many countries around the globe and blossoms arriving from the Arab Spring to sporting events like the Olympics in London.
1. Blossoms from the Arab Spring
So, Muammar Gaddafi has kicked the bucket and things are not looking quite so rosy for Mr Mubarak in Egypt right now. Still, the dust from the many North African Islamic revolutions last year is only just settling.
2012 will be a telling year for the likes of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Will they try to go it on their own, or be sensible and acknowledge that some international assistance will be required in order to set up the right governance structures to take the respective countries forward to a stable political democracy?
Certainly given the South African experience, if these countries don't make a concerted effort to collect arms from the recent struggle, there will likely be a massive increase in crime later. On the whole though, I am quite optimistic that these countries have a bright future to look forward to.
2. Barack Obama and the 2012 US Elections
When Mr Obama was elected, in what seems like just yesterday, America, and indeed the world, was filled with hope and optimism. Four years on, and Obama's popularity has waned significantly. For the most part, his hands were tied on many issues and by any account, his achievements fall far short of public expectations.
Will he get a second term in the November 2012 elections? Or will the first American black president be written off as a failure after his first term?
3. London 2012 Olympics
In these times of economic turmoil in Europe, I see the London Olympics as a shining light in the region. Sure, it will no doubt be branded as a royal waste of money by many jobless Londoners, but I do believe there will be great value in creating some (much-needed) spirit of national unity in the UK at least.
Possibly the funniest predictions I've read about this epic event was on the mascots as part of a World News horoscope. I'm not sure if they were intended to be overly-politically correct or just plain silly - in either case, the creators were successful. As a PR professional I can only wonder what the thought process behind these mascots was!
4. Euro-zone crisis
Finally, I believe one of the biggest economic related items in 2012 will be the Euro-zone crisis and the impact of resolving it on the larger players in Europe, viz. Germany and France. Certainly, any action that is to be taken cannot be drawn out indefinitely - doing that would be tantamount to punting on some online casinos - you can make your 'investment' easily but unless you're smart enough to make some tough decisions soon, you're practically guaranteed to lose your pants.
It remains to be seen what the impact on the Greek, Irish and some of the Med countries will have on the rest of Europe and the world... one can only hope that the disaster can be contained and we don't continue to dip into yet another recessionary economic cycle.
So, quite a bit to look forward to in 2012!
As an aside to all my friends, colleagues and my small following for my increasingly irregular blog (sorry!), I wish you all the very best in the year ahead - make 2012 an absolute stunner in terms of achieving your goals.
For my friends in India that still cling on to making January a month filled with debauchery (you know who you are!), be sure to get on the web and buy lottery tickets online there now. Jason, just for you, I managed to scout out a great online casino South Africa directory given our last conversation! Happy New Year to you all and I wish you the very best of luck in making your mark on the World News in 2012!