A friend of mine is getting married on January 2nd in Maine, about 75 minutes from my house in New Hampshire, which has resulted in 6 of my good friends and their wives coming to party with me and the Missus on New Year's Eve in my house in the woods. I am, needless to say, looking forward to it - hopefully the snow that just started falling won't effect anyone's travel plans.
Here's a final batch of links for 2009:
Felix Salmon with the last word on Synthetic CDOs. A great point, succinctly:
"Now that we’ve pilloried Merrill Lynch for being so stupid as to get synthetic CDOs spectacularly wrong, we’re moving on to pillorying Goldman Sachs for the equal and opposite crime."
MISH brings us a Christmas Eve letter from the Governor of Arizona:
"We face a state fiscal crisis of unparalleled dimension – one that is going to sweep over every single person in this state as well as every business and every family..."
"We must solve these problems and we must solve them now. More than calling for cooperation, today I had state government implement various emergency measures meant to ensure Arizona’s fiscal solvency. Among them:
- I ordered the Arizona Department of Corrections to return to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) -- as soon as possible -- all non-violent criminal aliens as is allowed under existing law. These inmates are the responsibility of the federal government (as is securing our border with Mexico). Arizona should not have to bear this cost.
- I am restating my Arizonans-only directives to state agencies to ensure that public benefits are provided only to those who are legally in this country and who reside in this state.
- Effective immediately, I have ordered all state agencies who benefits to citizens to implement means testing and sliding fee schedules. While the government safety net must stay in place, we need to secure help only for the neediest among us."
Also from MISH, an interview with Kevin Duffy of Bearing Asset Management
"As a country we've become less tolerant of economic failure. The result has been a series of interventions, such as meddling in the credit markets, promoting homeownership and creating a variety of safety nets for investors. Each crisis leads to an even greater crisis. The solution is always greater doses of intervention. So the system becomes increasingly unstable. The interventionists never see the bust coming, then blame it on "capitalism."
Vegas Rex: "The 2000's: A Retrospective"
"When I hear kids playing music today, I ask them when the overdrive kicks in. Even so-called “alternative” stuff sounds like pop. When the biggest rock groups cite the Pet Shop Boys as a major influence, something’s gone terribly awry.
Nobody rages against the machine anymore. Instead, the angst of the modern male is expressed through perpetual bedhead and incessant whines directed toward dominant girlfriends who insist on swiping their guyliner. Ecstasy is now the drug of choice amongst today’s musical youth, and it shows. Goodbye Screaming Trees and Soundgarden — hello Killers, Fallout Boy, and Panic at the Disco. For Christ’s sake, I’m actually starting to miss Creed."
If you're pissed off at the bank bailouts, there's something you can do about it. Move your money elsewhere!
From Calulcated Risk: The NY General Fund will end the year in the red for the first time.
The Reformed Broker: In 2009 In Learned That....
Trader Mark (Fund My Mutual Fund): Ben Bernanke can remain irrational far longer than I can remain solvent.
Leigh Drogen (Surfview Capital): there is a real meaning to "don't fight the fed".
Wade Slome (Sidoxia Capital): $14 trillion in debt, 10% unemployment, and approval of socialized healthcare can lead to an +80% move in the NASDAQ Composite over a 10 month period....also Tiger Woods prefers eating out at the buffet rather than at home, even though it’s cheaper to eat at home and having Swedish meatballs every night ain’t so bad.
Saving the best for last, a picture of Oscar, from the 2009 Dynamite Family Holiday Card.
I hope to have a few more 2009 recap posts in the next week, but until then - thanks to all my readers for your feedback and support. Wishing you all the best in 2010.