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Monday, December 14, 2020

Year End 2020

A year of sorrow is soon ending, goodbye to 2020,
Miss you we will not, you’ve brought bad news aplenty.
As we struggle towards yearend, of better days we are desirous,
We won’t so soon forget, this grim year of coronavirus.
Forevermore our lives have changed, so too our daily tasks,
As we stare into a Zoom, and don our cotton masks.
Exposed this year it has, our lack of ready for pandemic,
Deep divisions in our society, and racism that’s systemic.
Before we turn the page, let’s take some time just to reflect,
And review all that’s transpired, each event we will dissect.

It snuck up on us slowly, and then with a sudden quickness,
Across the globe it spread, this horrid covid sickness.
Our closeness was our enemy, human bonds became our sins,
From a bat or from a lab, we’ll never know its origins.
By spring we were in lockdown, our behavior somewhat manic,
We disinfected every package, and hoarded TP in panic.
Ventilators, PPE, and testing, all in desperate short supply,
States pitted against each other, as we all wondered why.
Days at home stretched into months, and we all became quite grouchy,
We binge watched Tiger King, and grew fond of Doctor Fauci.

Spirits lifted with the temperature, and gatherings moved outside,
Some things began reopening, as infections did subside.
While the NBA prepared to bubble, to keep the spread at bay,
Any peace was quickly shattered, on a fateful day in May.
As George Floyd lay upon the street, handcuffed for all to see,
On his neck for nine long minutes, a cop pressed down his knee.
As he lay there slowly dying, and said he couldn’t breathe,
The footage quickly spread, and the nation began to seethe.
Protests raged across the country, people marching in solidarity,
In support of Black Lives Matter, and against police brutality.

Against this wretched backdrop, we had a strange election,
From two granddads in their seventies, we were making a selection.
The vast disparity between them, didn’t take too much explaining,
Quite stark even the difference, in their own styles of campaigning.
As the ballots all were counted, the gap began to widen,
The result was soon revealed, as the swing states broke for Biden.
To the embarrassment of most, Trump has not gracefully conceded,
And with a melting Giuliani, with claims of fraud he has proceeded.
Mr. President it’s over, your lame duck days are numbered,
Of your presence in the White House, we’ll soon be unencumbered.

This year we’ve lost so many, the majority of them nameless,
Over a million and a half from covid, victims that are blameless.
Many legends too were taken, some lives just cut too short,
Kobe Bryant the black mamba, who ruled the basketball court.
Naya Rivera brightly shined, in the glow of glee club lights,
The Honorable RBG, paved the way for women’s rights.
In the Golden Age of cinema, Kirk Douglas was always bold,
Kenny Rogers you did teach us, when to hold and when to fold.
The smiling Regis Philbin, forget you we will never,
The Black Panther Chadwick Boseman, RIP in Wakanda forever.

Don Shula’s undefeated season, no team has ever done the same,
Another feat no one’s repeated, Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game.
We lost other athletic greats, who lit up the big scoreboard,
Maradona and Tom Seaver, Lou Brock and Whitey Ford.
Jack Welch had all the answers, as 20 year boss man of GE,
Alex Trebek took all the questions, as 36 year host of Jeopardy.
Eddie Van Halen and Little Richard, Hall of Famers for their endeavors,
Civil rights leaders from the south, John Lewis and Charles Evers.
Sean Connery the great Scotsman, aka British special agent Bond,
May you continue your heroics, out in the great beyond.

Like everything this year, financial markets too were nuts,
You stood to make big money, but you had to have some guts.
We sold off hard in Feb and March, with all risk assets in the red,
Until we got some major stimulus, from both Congress and the Fed.
Oil futures traded negative, as lockdowns sapped demand,
And with a Saudi/Russia feud, global supply it did expand.
Growth stocks resurged anew, IPOs staged a huge comeback,
A lucky few have been invited, to the raucous party of the SPAC.
As the year draws to a close, a strong bull market is in session,
Not many would have guessed it, in the depths of this year’s recession.

So now we’re in December, and covid cases are exploding,
Vaccines are being rolled out, but the long dark winter is foreboding.
Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and many others are quite close,
Some need a cold supply chain, and require a double dose.
New things this year we’ve learned, like how a curve is exponential,
We know now what it means, for a worker to really be essential.
So much this year’s been tragic, as a nation we’ve been tested,
But together we will triumph, by this virus we will not be bested.
Happy holidays to all, do your best some cheer to spread,
I tell you with conviction, better days lie not far ahead.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The New Age of Covid

We’re hiding in our basements, we’re staying off the grid,
We’re scared to go outside, in the new age of covid.
To flatten out the curve, in bunkers we have hid,
Waiting for the apex, in the new age of covid.
Social distancing’s the norm, any closeness we forbid,
Six feet of separation, in the new age of covid.

The virus is among us, spreading its tentacles like a squid,
Asymptomatic carriers, in the new age of covid.
Please don’t touch your face, your ear or your eyelid,
Don’t touch your nose or mouth, in the new age of covid.
It started out just slowly, suddenly into a crisis we all slid,
It’s exponential growth, in the new age of covid.

Wuhan, Daegu, New Orleans, Milan, New York, Madrid,
Cross continental pandemic hotspots, in the new age of covid.
The old, middle aged, and young, grandparent and grandkid,
It appears no one is safe, in the new age of covid.
Sanitizer, soap, and wipes, anything to help us to get rid,
Of the deadly pathogen, in the new age of covid.

ICU counts and death rates, it all seems quite morbid,
Flying blind without good testing, in the new age of covid.
The national stockpile has run dry, divvy it all up we did,
Hoards last only a few weeks, in the new age of covid.
For PPE and ventilators, sadly many have been outbid,
Every state is on its own, in the new age of covid.

How to cope with all this horror, this sadness we’re amid?
The lonely suffering of so many, in the new age of covid.
We must stay strong alone together, into despair we musn’t skid,
Humanity will emerge triumphant, from the new age of covid.
Better treatments and immunity, on this scourge will put a lid,
And finally a vaccine, will bring us to a new age post covid.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Year End 2019

Twenty nineteen is now ending, goodbye to the year and the decade,
Let's look back and then move forward, please do not be afraid.
As always in a year, there's been bad and there's been good,
We'll examine both below, we'll take a look under the hood.
The Patriots won again, they now have six Super Bowls,
This season may be different, their offense appears to have some holes.
We had some first time winners, that started brand new chapters,
The Nationals in DC, in Canada the Toronto Raptors.
In soccer the US women, took the win over in France,
UVA in college hoops, took the win in the big dance.

Many legends we have lost, great legacies they did bestow,
Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, the billionaire Ross Perot.
Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, actress and singer Doris Day,
JuiceWRLD the emo rapper, legendary architect IM Pei.
Peter Mayhew played Chewbacca, Cameron Boyce one of Disney's stars,
Eddie Money's got tickets to paradise, Ric Ocasek headlined the Cars.
Lee Iacocca rescued Chrysler, Gloria Vanderbilt's blue jeans were so tight,
Paul Volcker tamed inflation, Toni Morrison sure could write.
More shocking deaths emerged, fighting Thanos in Endgame,
Without Ironman and Black Widow, the Avengers won't be the same.

In Maduro’s Venezuela, things have really gone downhill,
A catastrophic dam break, in neighboring Brazil.
A crash in Ethiopia, revealing flaws for Boeing’s Max,
Mosque shootings in New Zealand, in Sri Lanka church attacks.
A mass shooting in El Paso, hours later a Dayton copy,
A Mormon massacre in Mexico, in the DR they shot Big Papi.
A tragic dive boat fire, California homes destroyed by flame,
The rainforest too is burning, another fire wrecked Notre Dame.
To know the climate’s not like the past, you don’t have to be a historian,
Just look at the Venice flooding, or the wreckage left by Dorian.

Trump and Kim Jong Un, becoming buddies seemingly,
Met up in Vietnam, then crossed Korea’s DMZ.
Major protests in Hong Kong, much to China’s consternation,
Riots too in Chile, over subway fare inflation.
Drone attacks on Saudi oil, Iran allegedly the source,
Al-Baghdadi in a tunnel, taken out by Delta Force.
Elections there were many, Zelensky in Ukraine,
Who then was asked to play a role, in an American campaign.
Modi’s BJP in India, won in a significant landslide,
As did Johnson in old England, where Brexit will not be denied.

The Dems too are campaigning, and grandstanding up on stage,
They're shaking all their fists, some are filled with lots of rage.
If you don't know whom to back, ask your daddy or your mommy,
There's the extremist Lizzie Warren, or Bernie the old commie.
After watching them debate, it's hard to feel inspired,
Andy Yang has decent energy, Joey Biden's looking tired.
Mayor Pete is quite articulate, he's one of two Rhodes scholars,
The other's Cory Booker, though he's behind in campaign dollars.
Billionaires Steyer and Bloomberg, have joined the magic quest,
Along with Klobuchar and Gabbard, they're a bit of a snooze fest.

In the markets things were rosy, as equities screamed higher,
For every stupid seller, there was an even dumber buyer.
Despite a trade war and more tariffs, and a brief inversion in the curve,
Jay Powell had your back, and gave the bulls plenty of nerve.
But not so unicorn IPOs, which were pretty much a bust,
And so in private valuations, engendering distrust.
Uber, Lyft, and Slack all traded lower, and then there was WeWork,
Where Masa bailed out Neumann, who ran off with billions and a smirk.
Crude oil rallied strongly, the bitcoin almost had a double,
Not so the bonds of Argentina, where an election caused some trouble.

So wrap up your year end business, wrap up the presents too,
Perhaps a baby Yoda, or some Air Pods for your crew.
Get away from all the noise, go find a respite on some beach,
Whichever side you’re on, of the motion to impeach.
In the coming vote next year, we may change the President’s name,
But we all should be prepared, that it may remain the same.
Let’s resolve to be more civil, on all of us rests this onus,
Let’s worry more about each other, than the size of this year’s bonus.
Happy New Year to you all, we’ve made it through another year,
Be good to those around you, and spread some holiday cheer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Year End 2018

Two thousand and eighteen, come and gone so fast,
Turn the page in a few weeks, put it firmly in the past.
The days are growing shorter, the nights are getting colder,
As fall turns into winter, another year we all are older.
Put your politics aside, for a moment let’s be civil,
If you watch CNN or Fox, forget about all that drivel.
To this year’s beginning, let’s re-wind back the clock,
We’ll look at it holistically, not on a basis that’s ad hoc.

News there was aplenty, stories of people very brave,
A Thai soccer team and coach, rescued from a flooded cave.
Winter in PyeongChang, we saw the Olympic flame ignited,
And the South and North Koreans, marching with one flag united.
A Windsor Castle wedding, how those British royals sparkle,
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
At his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh faced some strong objections,
The Dems took back the House, in November’s midterm elections.

Farewell to Steven Hawking, Godspeed to John McCain,
Respect to Aretha Franklin, good eats to Anthony Bourdain.
The rich and famous lifestyles, did show us Robin Leach,
The evangelist Billy Graham, he sure knew how to preach.
George and Barbara Bush, a classy couple he and she,
A fond goodbye to Burt Reynolds, so long now to Stan Lee.
The most gruesome death this year, Khashoggi we do remember,
For whom a hit squad was dispatched, to murder and dismember.

A fourth term coronation for Putin, Xi’s now emperor for life,
Genocide in Burma, in Syria endless strife.
A June summit down in Singapore, Trump and Kim Jong-Un,
Raising hopes for a de-nuking, assuming you trust that pudgy goon.
A duck boat disaster in July, California fires in a recurring cycle,
Tragedies in Florida, the Parkland shooting and Hurricane Michael.
A former Russian spy in England, poisoned but still alive,
Great progress down in Saudi, where the women now can drive.

A caravan of migrants, heading northward towards the border,
So Trump dispatched the troops, vowing to keep the law and order.
China’s modifying the genes of babies, opening Pandora’s box,
In Boston they’re still cheering, the triumph of their Red Sox.
The Eagles flew and flew, and seized a rare victory dance,
At the World Cup in Russia, the trophy went to France.
The Warriors won in four, beating Cleveland in a hurry,
Even mighty LeBron was no match, for Durant and Curry.

Mueller’s investigation moves apace, slowly tightening the noose,
Seems he’s angling for bigger fish, and unwilling to call a truce.
White House turnover continues, it’s stormy near the throne,
Hope Hicks resigned in Feb, followed in March by Gary Cohn.
Rex Tillerson was fired, these shifts seem almost daily,
McCabe and McMaster, and don’t forget about Nikki Haley.
We’re told it’s no big deal, please don’t get the wrong impressions,
John Kelly’s out as well, following in the footsteps of Jeff Sessions.

This year in the markets, to almost nowhere could you flee,
It mattered not if you were in, fixed income, gold, or equity.
Two issues were to blame, which caused all this bloodshed,
One was the Chinese tariffs, the other was the Fed.
Two stocks were worth a trillion, the Amazon and the Apple,
For redemption from that greed, we’re now praying in the chapel.
Many charts are off the peak, so much it makes you holler,
The only things that have gone up, are volatility and the dollar.

So what awaits us all next year, in this uncertain future,
How to stop this sudden bleeding, and give our wounds a suture?
Perhaps reset your expectations, to a lower notch than outright brash,
It’s not time for crazy leverage, you’re not a fool to hold some cash.
The QE is unwinding, there’s no prior roadmap for this journey,
Before it’s over rest assured, some will be rolled out on a gurney.
Prepare to take more off the table, if risk assets make another rally,
You’ll be glad you did before, this pullback makes its grand finale.

But enough with gloom and doom, in this annual search for clarity,
Let’s count our many blessings, in this season of hope and charity.
If your tower’s Trump or made of ivory, let’s stop the nasty tweets,
And work to bridge our differences, and share some holiday treats.
Though we disagree quite often, consensus we must reach,
Whether you’re in the camp of one more term, or the one of let’s impeach.
Let’s take a year end break, from trade wars and yield curve kinks.
Look up now from your smartphone, and enjoy some New Year’s drinks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Year End 2017

Another year is ending, seventeen is in the books,
Before moving to the passing lane, let’s take some rearview looks.
Let’s review who’s made the news, every hero and every chump,
And take stock of where we are, a year into the reign of Trump.
We’ve had some ups and downs, of some things we are not proud,
Like the challenge some had measuring, the tiny inauguration crowd.
With my rhymes now please bear with me, your patience I do beseech,
Sit back now and relax, like Christie on a shut down beach.

The eclipse was pretty awesome, moving from northwest down to southeast,
Love or hate that guy Tom Brady, that Super Bowl comeback was pretty beast.
Sexual misconduct allegations, men abusing positions of power,
Weinstein, Franken, O’Reilly, Moore, Rose, Spacey, and Lauer.
Catalonia voted for secession, alas the Spaniards took it back,
Too bad Equifax can’t do that, with your personal info lost in the hack.
The women marched on Washington, with quite a large turnout,
The Astros won in seven, the Warriors won in a rout.

Bad news we had aplenty, always on terror high alert,
Trucks driving into people, bombs at a Manchester concert.
Migrants fleeing into Europe, refugees pouring out of Burma,
Hurricanes smashing the Carribean, Maria, Harvey, Nate and Irma.
Maduro in Venezuela, Kim Jong-Un and other kooks,
Destroying their own countries, or hell bent on having nukes.
Destruction in Aleppo, a double California fire outbreak,
Mass shootings in Vegas and Texas, a Mexican earthquake.

Goodbye we said to many, without them empty we may feel,
Chuck Berry rolled over Beethoven, Monte Hall taught us how to make a deal.
David Cassidy and Jerry Lewis, of you we were quite fond,
Hugh Hefner was our playboy, Roger Moore was our James Bond.
Sam Shephard and Tom Petty, Lil Peep and Fats Domino.
The psychopath Charles Manson, no one’s sad to see him go.
The diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, we never could pronounce your name,
The chancellor Helmut Kohl, reuniting Germany brought you fame.

The first year of the administration, an interesting one it’s been,
Few legislative victories, but a guilty plea from Flynn.
The Russia thing’s a mess, always another strange plot twist,
Manafort, Gates, and Papadopolous, on Mueller’s naughty list.
Price, Preibus and Steve Bannon, not one a year did survive,
Scaramucci had his day, well to be accurate he lasted five.
Comey from his post ejected, for excessive investigatory intervening,
Before resigning I wish that Spicer, had explained covfefe’s meaning.

Our country is divided, the left against the right,
Every issue that’s debated, ends up a bitter fight.
All you nutty fringe extremists, on both sides of the aisle,
Put your country before your party, and stop being so hostile.
Enough with the shouting and the violence, don’t get all up in my grill,
Please stop all of this chaos, we don’t want another Charlottesville.
Our country isn’t perfect, we have many problems that do displease,
But to the NFL you’ve made your point, it’s time to get up off your knees.

The markets have been bullish, with synchronized global growth,
To short every little vol spike, we all have now taken an oath.
Credit spreads have tightened, the momentum trade has been astounding,
US short rates have moved higher, dollar weakness has been confounding.
The yield curve it has flattened, emerging markets all have rallied,
Large cap growth stocks are on top, a winning year they’ve tallied.
But the winner of them all, has been the bitcoin and the crypto,
They’ve sprinted ever higher, this is no walk, or jog, or tiptoe.

So the New Year is upon us, it’s getting really close,
Please put down all those opioids, you don’t need another dose.
In eighteen please stay alert, I don’t think it will be boring,
Vol may just make a comeback, you don’t want to be caught snoring.
A new Fed chair’s taking charge, as the balance sheet is shrinking,
Of buying every dip, you may want to do some fast rethinking.
With your gains this holiday season, be generous and don’t be chintzy,
Be charitable with your winnings, and don’t spend $450 million on a da Vinci.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Year End 2016

Twenty and sixteen, over in a flash,
Remembered it will be, for the Trump and Clinton clash.
To follow up Obama, on the presidential throne,
Hillary or the Donald, a poorer choice we've never known.
The one a scheming liberal, always above the law,
The other an inflated ego, looking at himself with awe.
She had more votes by millions, and allegedly more knowledge,
With deplorables in his corner, he took the electoral college.

This year we had some horrors, all of them causing fright,
Such as the Zika virus, spread by a mosquito bite.
Bombings in Brussels, Belgium, a crazed driver in Nice, France,
Fanatics bent on killing, innocent victims of circumstance.
In Oakland a warehouse fire, where 36 did die,
In Orlando a nightclub shooting, that leaves you asking why?
In Aleppo death and carnage, by Assad a true barbarian,
If you don’t know where that is, don’t ask a libertarian.

In sports we had nice action, led by a guy named Manning,
Who then retired at the top, leaving Newton also ran-ning.
Always much excitement, in the world of college ball,
Villanova at the buzzer, leaving Carolina feeling small.
LeBron brought it home in Cleveland, after going down three to one,
Despite a Warrior record season, 88 games they won.
In Chicago they're still celebrating, the kids, the wives, and hubbies,
After a century long hiatus, the victory of their Cubbies.

Again we lost some great ones, some women and some men,
Mrs. Brady Florence Henderson, the astronaut John Glenn.
Gene Wilder and David Bowie, the word genius they evince,
The doves are all still crying, at the sudden loss of Prince.
Muhammad Ali was the greatest, in a fight no one was calmer,
He mixed lemonade and tea, the golf king Arnold Palmer.
Fidel Castro was a menace, a commie tyrant like no other,
In Cuba they’re still suffering, in the shackles of the brother.

In the markets things were choppy, until the election gave direction,
Many hedge funds lost real money, buying useless put protection.
In long/short returns were tough, being down or flat the norm,
As the small caps and the value, did strongly outperform.
Passive flows keep rising, bringing higher correlation,
From bonds to stocks some say, we’re in a generational rotation.
Uncertain is the future, try as we might to see it squinting,
The Fed too knows not what’s coming, or the harms of money printing.

Populism’s all the rage, as people 'round the world revolt,
The status quo's being upended, at the speed of Phelps and Bolt.
Paul Revere said the Brits were coming, from the EU now they're leaving,
For the European experiment, it may be time to start the grieving.
The Bushes and the Clintons, their time it has now passed,
America wants change, in its political crew and cast.
And what about Chris Christie, who drove his career off of a bridge,
He’s somewhere back in Jersey, seeking solace in his fridge.

So the election is now over, though the tweets are just beginning,
He says he'll make us great again, and that we’ll all get used to winning.
Don't lose much sleep for Hillary, she won't suffer from starvation,
She's saved up quite a nest egg, in that dirty Bill & Hill Foundation.
After eight years of his lectures, we won't much Obama miss,
As we head into a world, of pure Republican bliss.
In this year's holiday season, please don't be a Scrooge,
Let's pray for one another, and for this Trump thing to be huge.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Year End 2015

Goodbye to twenty fifteen, hello to fifteen plus one,
I hope your year’s been good, as it’s all but said and done.
Some ups and downs we’ve had, we’ve taken a bruise and bump,
We’ve heard some stupid stuff, almost all of it from Trump.
How will this year be written? When historians look back,
It will likely be remembered, as the year of the terror attack.
Another likely legacy, when scholars about the year will ask,
Is that even the liberals conceded, that Obama wasn’t up to the task.

There was much bad news this year, and more than just one crisis,
Many of them caused, by the lunatics called ISIS.
Our hearts go out to all, our friends in Paris, France,
Attacked twice in the past year, by crazies in a suicide trance.
Plane crashes too we saw, over the Sinai a Russian jet,
A deranged pilot over the French Alps, stranger than that it doesn't get.
Mass shootings almost every week, on this side of the Atlantic,
Jihad in San Bernardino, it leaves you feeling frantic.

Goodbye to Yogi Berra, so much we learned from thee,
As we look out towards the future, it sure ain’t what it used to be.
We’ll miss you Leonard Nimoy, you went where no man went before,
May we all live long and prosper, as we continue to explore.
Your voices will live on, Ben E. and BB King,
You sure could play the R&B, and boy could you guys sing.
Omar Sharif and Kirk Kerkorian, John Nash and Lee Kuan Yew,
You left your mark on this world, as very few can do.

The markets all were tough, making everyone feel pissy,
It started right in January, with the revaluation of the Swissie.
By springtime we had thawed, though commodities kept sneezing,
The risk appetite was whetted, with Draghi’s quantitative easing.
Though early summer felt nice, by August we were back on our knees,
As we saw crude oil break forty, and a devaluation from the Chinese.
All the while the Fed kept threatening, to give the rates a raise,
We’ll see if their recent boost, will bring an end to this malaise.

Growth destroyed the value, as the FANGs all did rerate,
Labor force participation and Brady’s footballs, sadly did deflate.
Junk amongst your junk bonds?  It’s enough to cause a panic,
E.coli in your burrito? It’s not even safe to eat organic.
A nukes deal with Iran, with Cuba diplomatic relations,
Some places to consider, for your next spring break vacations. 
Josh Duggar and Bill Cosby, two sickos down in flames,
Brian Williams and his stories, all based on bogus claims.

Prepare yourself for next year, it’s really not far in the future,
If your portfolio is bleeding, raising cash could be a suture.
You can blame any losses on the Fed, or blame it on bad karma,
You can blame it on dispersion, or just blame Valeant Pharma.
Making choices can be tough, with spouses and with money,
It’s all about the tradeoffs, like choosing sad or funny.
You can’t always win in life, whether it’s investing or badminton,
Choices can be no win situations, as in choosing Trump or Clinton.