Winners & Losers 2012

South Korea’s rising! Obama re-elected! Facebook’s faceplant! Plus, bad deals, real heroes and a comic recap of RIM’s rotten year in our annual scorecard of the year that was.

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The past year has been either memorable or forgettable for any number of companies, people and products in the business world. A sluggish U.S. economy couldn’t unseat Barack Obama, who was re-elected in November, while Mark Carney remains the golden boy of international banking after nabbing the top position at the Bank of England. But 2012 was less kind to Facebook, whose IPO has left investors feeling particularly antisocial. And the NHL has once again alienated fans with its third lockout of the past two decades.

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In our annual Winners & Losers issue, Canadian Business has compiled a scorecard of the year that was, from South Korea’s emergence as a global superpower to Canada’s sorry state of municipal politics. Staff writer Jeff Beer gives the rundown on gadgets, with both good and bad grades for Apple, while Bryan Borzykowski checks in with the best and worst performers on the stock market. Below, you’ll find articles, galleries and infographics that chronicle the ups and downs of the business world, including a comic recap of Research In Motion’s annus horribilis.

Big Winners/Losers

Big Winner: South Korea

Big Winner: South Korea

Samsung beat Apple, Hyundai beat Honda and ‘Gangnam Style’ beat Bieber. How South Korea went from bust to blockbuster almost overnight.

 

Big Loser: The NHL

Big Loser: The NHL

A prolonged dispute with its players frustrated fans, cost millions and put the sport’s future on thin ice.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

Big Winner: Barack Obama

A weak economy—and the promise of higher taxes—should have sunk Obama. Instead, he walked on water.

 

Big Loser: Facebook

Big Loser: Facebook

High expectations quickly collapsed after a troubled IPO left investors feeling particularly antisocial.

 

Big Winner: Mark Carney

Big Winner: Mark Carney

‘He’s simply the best,’ as the British say, and we wish him luck. He might need it.

 

Big Losers: Enbridge

Big Loser: Enbridge

In a year dominated by pipeline politics, the oil and gas giant proved to be its own worst enemy.

Galleries

Big Winner: Barack Obama

The champs and the chumps

It was an awful year to be a mayor, mogul or talk show host. And a great year to be, well, George Lucas.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

The biggest business booms & busts

Companies selling snacks, cruises and theatre all suffered. But it was a great year for the slushie business.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

The baddest businessmen and women of 2012

Sex! Murder! Audits! These people bumbled, cheated and possibly even killed.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

Everyday heroes and zeroes

You don’t have to be famous to be a big winner or loser, as these regular workers learned (and may wish to forget).

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

The year in gadgets

Archrivals Apple and Google both scored big wins and losses, while Sony got trampled in the fray.

Infographics

Big Winner: Barack Obama

Research In Motion’s grim year: a comic

What more is there to say about RIM? Not much, so here’s a comic. The dialogue consists of verbatim media quotes from Research In Motion’s annus horribilis.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

Winners of the eurozone in 2012—not everyone had it bad

When you’ve been beaten down as hard as the eurozone has, you take the good news where you can get it.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

The biggest music, movie and TV hits and misses of 2012

It was the year Mumford beat Bieber, The Avengers beat Harry Potter, and Madonna started looking desperate.

Extras

Big Winner: Barack Obama

The best and worst stocks of 2012

Who would have thought that some of this year’s best performers would be European and consumers stocks?

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

‘Gangnam Style’ socio-economics

Psy’s smash hit is about more than prancing to a sweet bass line. It’s also subtle social commentary on Gangnam, Seoul’s most coveted neighbourhood.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

2012 predictions and their outcomes

Analysts predicted the Facebook IPO would flop—and it did. How three other forecasts for 2012 turned out.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

The biggest brawls of the year

The competitors, partners and families that sparred in 2012.

 

Big Winner: Barack Obama

Workers of the world, unite!

The strikes, walkouts and lockouts of 2012.

 

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