Only the gloomiest of Wall Street's prognosticators got it right in 2008 and 2009. Since then, their pessimism has been infectious. On almost any investing topic -- from emerging markets to U.S. stocks, from commodities to sovereign debt -- there are respected experts predicting the worst.
So far, apocalypse hasn't arrived. The U.S. economy shows signs of life. Europe is muddling through its debt concerns. The economies of China and India have slowed but not stalled.
If these commentators, who range from short-seller Jim Chanos to GMO's Jeremy Grantham, prove prescient -- and Bloomberg.com will check in later this year to see if they are -- the biggest surprise in 2012 would be some truly good news.
(Left, a protester throws tear gas back at riot police in Athens.)
Photograph by Angelos Giotopoulos/Falcon/Redux