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.