Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Toast

My wish, friends and countrymen mine,
As we take leave of 2009:
Before we get aulder,
And fatter and balder,
May all of our debts be lang syne.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Deduction of Interest

A chap of a speculative bent
Saw the market up twenty percent;
He concluded: "Give thanks
To the Fed. Reserve Banks
For how cheaply on margin is lent."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Painful Adjustment

Stock returns may appear to have leapt ahead,
But over time, says the Journal, they've crept ahead;
Controlled for inflation,
Your wealth aggregation's
Been running to keep just two steps ahead.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays from California

In Sacramento, San Fran and L.A.,
Some state workers observed Boxing Day;
No, they weren't Anglicized
But simply realized
You can't work if the state cannot pay.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Night before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas '09,
And o'er Wall Street they looked for a sign:
A star to portend
When, in 2010,
The bull and the bear would align.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Before They Get Too Big To Fail Again

Ex-St. Louis Fed President Poole
Says, "To cut risk, revise this Tax Rule:
Strike the interest deduction -
You'll get a reduction
In leverage, as we learned in B-school."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Concentrated Thinking

"It's risky," the analyst said,
"That, pre-crash, the top 20 banks had,
of all assets, three fourths;
Post-crisis, of course,
It's seventeen twentieths instead."

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Hoped-For Snowball Effect

Said the chief of the 1st Bank of Vail  
To the board: "We'll grow 'too big to fail'. 
If we get in a jam, 
Our dear Uncle Sam 
Will schuss down the ski trail and bail."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Answers in the Stars

A bard of the macroeconomy
Found new life in the field of astronomy
He discovered black holes
Could play useful roles
In explaining our vanishing solvency.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Senator Accuses, The Fed Chairman Muses

At his hearing Bernanke thought, cunning,
"What a grilling I'm getting from Bunning!
At least," he sighed, squirming,
"They'll soon be confirming,
When Bunning is done with his gunning."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NYU Economist: P.O.Y. Not Me?

Says Roubini, "It's unfair that I'm 
Not the P.O.Y. touted by Time. 
Sure, Bernanke's aggression 
Averted depression, 
But the chance for prevention passed by 'im!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Golden Bear

"Gold prices," says Nouriel Roubini,
"Remain high if loan rates remain teeny.
But without that cheap cash,
Your bullion will crash,
Like an out-of-control Lamborghini."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Your Bank's in the Tank

"Rare's the bank that can lay claim to solvency,"
Dr. Nouriel Roubini says mordantly;
"CDOs o'er the brink
Left a pool of red ink,
For which banks lack the capital absorbency."

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Growling Bear

Warns economist Nouriel Roubini,
"Tim Geithner, put down that martini!
This economy's tough,
You've not goosed it enough;
Your green shoots may become dead branzini!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Prime that Pump

In a crisis, what everyone wants
Is an adequate fiscal response;
As much unbridled vigor

As a college frat kegger,
Not like tea with your elderly aunts.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Barney Triumphant

"Mark my words," bellowed Congressman Frank,
To each hedge fund, investor and bank,
"When my purview's systemic,
No more risk epidemic
There'll be, and you'll have me to thank."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Taking Stock

TARP recipient Goldman Sachs
Hopes they've blunted the Ken Feinberg axe;
Their new equity bonus,
With apparent risk onus,
May politically unburden their backs.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trade Deficit Success Story #17

Brown-Forman, defying belief,  
Made a ginseng-infused aperitif;
It became the "in" thing
In the clubs of Beijing,
And prevented a brewing trade beef.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trade Deficit Success Story # 32

US researchers, clad in white raiments,  
Became nouveau-riche patent claimants,
With an SUV line
That ran on rice wine,
They went green and re-balanced our payments.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


An economist, sure of his talents,
Exclaimed: "I can right the trade balance!
My ingenious invention's
To fund Chinese pensions;
Thus secured, they'll buy Jeeps and Impalas."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

Ken Feinberg, the government's Pay Czar,
Says, "How wicked our corporate ways are;
They'll end up, I bet,
As Marie Antoinette,
And her mate, King of France Louis Seize, are!"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Legislative Branch Wants Oversight (or is that Insight?)

The Fed's the economy's watchman,
But now Congress is jealous and wants in.
Says Bernanke, "Your ilk
Would turn up a kilt
To see what girds the loins of the Scotsman!"

Friday, December 4, 2009

War Economics of the Ancient World

His accountess reported to Croesus:
"To raise arms you've a million gold pieces."
Replied Croesus, "I dig your
Callipygian figure;
Now let's subjugate everywhere Greece is!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chairman Bernanke's Testimony at his Reconfirmation Hearing

"True, I did not foresee this catastrophe,
But since then I've done all that's been asked of me;
Now, should I take the blame
For Him I'll Not Name,
Whose baton was, four years ago, passed to me?"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to Prick the Next Asset Bubble

New York Fed Chief William C. Dudley
Has a game plan when prices get bubbly:
Excessive debt funding
Should trigger a plunge in
Advance rates, thus un-bubbling subtly.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Something to Chew On

Of US kids, border to border,
Food stamps now buy the lunch of one quarter.
You may find this obscene,
But that's just the mean;
It's one third in Alaska and Florida.

Bring Back the WPA

Paul Krugman, scratching his chin,

Says: "Let's give Federal hiring a spin.

With a weak private sector

Ill-equipped to correct 'er,

Unemployment is bound to set in."

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Veiled Threat

To Dubai crossly carped Abu Dhabi,
"You've developed a very dear hobby.
For your real estate wreck
Don't expect a blank check -
You belong to me now, Kemo Sabe."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Too Big to Veil

"I'm afraid," said the Sheikh of Dubai,
"That our property market's run dry.
For a bailout we'll lobby
Our friend Abu Dhabi -
If we sell, the Emir has Dubai."

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Holiday Season Begins

Today retailers wonder suspensefully:
Is Black Friday concluding successfully?
While economists fret,
"We're already in debt;
This business plan doesn't make sense to me!"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The First Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims gave Indians praise
Who taught them to cultivate maize.
"You're welcome," said Squanto,
"Have more if you want to -
It's preferred to la cuisine anglaise

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Case for FEMA?

Of US homeowners, one quarter
Now reside in abodes under water.
In the last mortgage bubble
Some did not take the trouble
To review the fine print, as one oughter.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beijing Bluster

To Bernanke said Liu at the summit,
"Stop allowing the dollar to plummet!
In Beijing we've got trouble
Because of the bubble
You've blown with loose money, dadgummit!"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Takeover Italian Style

Said Marchionne, from Fiat centro,
"Signore, let's proceed più lento,
At Chrysler we've laid
Careful plans to upgrade
Their 300 to our Cinquecento."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Interest Rate Parity

Jan Hatzius, chief Goldman economist,
Warns," The Federal funds rate is anomalous.
Given money supply,
Payrolls and CPI,
Why not sub-zero loan rates for all of us?"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Après moi, le stimulus

"How to judge," asked the Sun King of France,
"The success of job stimulus plans?
Après le déluge,
Not just 'jobs in the bush,'
One must keep those one has in one's hands."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who Do You Blame?

On Washington's Sunday talk circuit
Big names are expected to work it
At the risk of suspicion
Many take a position
Assuming they later can shirk it.

- or -

By now it's abundantly clear
Under Washington's culture of fear
Some political hacks
Hid their sneaky attacks
While they ran up more debt every year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Alleged Violation of the Securities Act of 1934

"Find an edge!" bellowed Raj Rajaratnam,
To the geeks at his hedge fund in Gotham.
But a Galleon tipper
Informed on her skipper;
Crowed the SEC: "Ha! Now we've gotten 'im!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Financial Market Reform

The debacles of subprime and Madoff
Present free marketeers with a trade-off:
Markets need innovation,
But so too, regulation
That's neither deaf, dumb, blind nor paid off.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The New Economics

"Inflation's" the cry, much like "fire"
As the national debt caroms higher.
But though it seems stranger,
Deflation's the danger,
Of a lackluster cash multiplier.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Money Supply

"I'm afraid," said Bernanke to Geithner,
"The debt crisis still has lots of bite in 'er.
Though it may cause some ranklin',
We'll print lots more Franklins;
Let's loosen our money, not tighten 'er!"

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