Santa Claus Has Some Sage Views on What's Been a Most Interesting Year

Santa Claus Has Some Sage Views on What's Been a Most Interesting Year
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During my career as a financial market economist, I made it a holiday tradition to write a “review and
outlook” for the economy in the style of Clement Moore’s classic, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” I have
continued this tradition since my retirement in 2012. In this year’s rendition – the 34th – Santa himself
offers his perspectives on what has been a most interesting year.
A Visit from Santa
David H. Resler
’Twas the night before Christmas at nearly high tide
In the bright moonlight, the marsh seemed endlessly wide
In awe and enthralled by this peaceful night scene
My eyes grew heavy and I felt calm and serene.

Then in this half-conscious state I sensed something weird.
Was I just dreaming or had Santa really appeared?
I had my answer when the old man finally spoke:
“I’ve brought you an odd gift – don’t think it’s a joke”

“I’ll give you my take on this year now nearly passed,”
“In hopes it will help you make a better forecast.”
Although my forecasting days long ago ended
I accepted the offer he’d kindly extended.

What I tell you right now I did not fantasize
This tale is the one seen through old Santa’s eyes.
His smile grew broader and his bright eyes opened wide
When he spoke of the stock market’s sky-rocket ride.

“Stock prices,” he said “keep reaching new record highs,”
“ ’Cause the economy’s been such a pleasant surprise.”
As business got stronger, more workers were hired,
People felt good and soon a boom in spending transpired.

So at its fastest in years did G-D-P grow,
And unemployment now stands at a two-decade low.
But some skeptics think this is all mere illusion --
And just the result of some collective delusion.

Just one year ago did these same “experts” opine --
The economy would falter and stock prices decline.
These doubters said then the markets must reckon with Trump
And when they do, we’ll slide into another deep slump.

But Santa and I think they’ve still got it all wrong
Scaling back poor regulations helped bus’ness get strong.
And of tax cuts and reforms the markets take heed
So G-D-P growth now seems to be picking up speed.

Santa then laughed that bitcoin’s price has gone berserk
Proving that block-chains as money really won’t work.
Speaking of money, policy is being re-set
To ensure that inflation remains not a threat.

Janet Yellen, who soon will depart as Fed Chair,
Showed patience that gave markets time to repair.
Her successor, Jay Powell, will likely take the same tack
Trying to ensure we stay on a healthy growth track.

Santa then chuckled ’bout how last year’s election
Has left many Trump foes feeling boundless dejection
So daily they grow more angry and bitter
As Trump taunts and provokes them by “tweeting” on Twitter.

Santa noted too the failure of health-care reform
Was partly ‘cause Trump, as deal-maker, failed to perform.

The press seems obsessed by “facts” falsely created
So real policy issues are rarely debated
And as all sides focus on their arcane details,
They never make hard choices so gridlock prevails.

Our government’s now such a swamp – a partisan mess,
And that puts our future at grave risk of distress
Then without warning Santa looked tired and beat
And said that back north to the Pole he now must retreat.

As I thanked him profusely and bade him farewell
I swore that his Yule-tide message I’d happily tell.
I heard him shout as northward on a jet ski he sped,
“Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year Ahead!”

David Resler is the former Chief Economist at Nomura Securities.  A more extensive collection of his thoughts can be found at Top Dog Economics

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