Blankets of snow kept shoppers from malls;
The year that was closing was almost wrapped neatly;
But Congress had one toy that wasn’t boxed completely.
While Ma in her kerchief, and I in my hat;
Had just settled in for our last Yuletide chat;
A tiny default that would collapse the dollar;
Needed containment so markets wouldn’t holler.
You see, there was a matter that kept up Beijing;
The gold in our debt was loosing it’s ching;
Our debt limit pressed through a blizzard of spending;
Concerned Hu and Wen at the government’s year ending.
When through Senate halls there came a solution;
While no one was watching came economic evolution;
To fix the default and keep holidays jolly;
The Congress embarked on a February folly.
You see, in this year, when a problem arises;
The prudent solution that wins all the prizes;
Is to extend much more credit, abolish debt ceilings;
The future be damned, it’s all about feelings.
So down the chimney on Pennsylvania Avenue’s cold night;
Over self-righteous, duplicitous, Grinchy protests from the Right;
To $12.4 trillion the debt limit was raised;
A move that was sure to earn Treasury’s praise.
On Freddie, On Fannie, On Pensions and Banks;
On Goldman, and Citi and legacies of Hank’s;
We need not be burdened with debt default sorrow;
As long as we have our solution – Tomorrow.
In case you had too much eggnog and figgy pudding, you may want to recall that also in this year’s December stockings were:
- another 16 banks “protected” by the insolvent FDIC;
- a record of your neighbors officially no longer unemployed (we’re making so much progress) because now they’ve been without work long enough to no longer be unemployed – they’re the uncounted;
- fiscal conservatism immaculately conceived in the Republican party – the same folks that spent us $11 trillion into the hole – making the Virgin birth downright plausible; and,
- record non-compliance with Basel II for another year insuring that U.S. banks and financial institutions will simply compound the problems created by 2010’s arrival of Solvency II – the capital adequacy standards for the insurance industry that, you guessed, enjoy non-compliance at present.
Accountability does not find itself a frequent bedfellow of expediency. In 2010, I hope that fewer of you look for change to “believe in” but rather change that has the maturity to confront reality and deal with tough problems head on. When the February note comes due on the Christmas Eve debt ceiling limit charade, we will be confronting the consequences of deferral. And, if we don’t learn from the past year’s folly, we’ll have to choose between noses… will we follow a red nose through the darkening night sky or will we continue to look to a wooden puppet wishing he was real?
_P.S. More like the SAIC posting coming... stay tuned