'Twas the year before mortgage reform, when all through the House
Not a creature was stirring, not even Tiger's spouse.
The proposals were hung by the lectern with care,
In hopes that private lenders soon would be there.
The members were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of campaign donations danced in their heads.
And Bernanke in his Brooks Brothers, and Geithner with his hair,
Had just defended their jobs, avoiding despair!
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Lenders sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window they flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a slew of defaulters led by lawmakers dear.
With little old ladies, and young borrowers named Dick,
Geithner hoped in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Boxer! Now, Baucus! Now, McCain and Corker!
On, Cochran! On, Daschle! on Frank and Rockefeller!
To the top of the list with the mortgage problem all!
Now dash away! Dash away! Avoid the topic? What gall!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
Our leaders have avoided this issue, our resources misapplied!
So trapped in House and Senate on our behalf they will be,
with the Bills full of fixes for the home market, with glee.
And then, in a twinkling, the debate will begin
The gnashing and gnawing on each little thing.
"How many goodies will I get as an edict?"
"Give me a bridge or I'll vote with my District!"
The media will fuss, fret and harrumph,
And Talk Radio will cry 'foul' and dole out the lumps!
Left-leaning commentators will join in the bellows,
Lending truth to the phrase," Politics makes strange bedfellows."
Then 'round mid-year, a consensus will form,
Fannie and Freddie will morph, no one will remember the norm!
Questions will be answered and private lenders will listen,
But the government's credibility will not yet glisten.
The damage of '09 is certain to the economy,
But the Fed is also at risk – of losing its autonomy!
The Financial Reform pushed forward, at "moral hazard," is directed
But bring another shock, and new Capital Hill laws will be erected.
Near the end of '10 some new decisions will mold,
And private lenders will appear like goose bumps in the cold.
"Raise fees, raise fees!" They'll scream from their towers,
And the people will accept their money as rainy-day saving showers.
Home prices will stabilize and consumers will shop,
The stock market will rise and yields will pop!
GDP will grow even after government spending,
But that's not until '11 when activity will start trending.
So enjoy the Season and the next year of stagnation,
Prepare to thrive and leave this frustration!
Look forward to better times, but keep a close eye on our leaders,
Mortgage Reform in '10 — let's all be cheerleaders!
The Producer Price Index (PPI) came in much higher than expected in November. The index rose 1.8 percent from the previous month, a large increase due mainly to higher fuel and energy prices. Excluding food and energy, PPI rose 0.5 percent month-over-month.
The Leading Economic Index advanced by 0.9 percent in November. This is the eighth consecutive month that the index has increased. The report reinforces the expectation that the economy has stabilized and is poising itself for future growth.
The Federal Reserve Board unanimously voted to keep the benchmark overnight rate in the range of zero to 0.25 percent. In addition, they reiterated the need to keep interest rates "exceptionally low" for "an extended period."
The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of SVB Financial Group, or SVB Asset Management, or any of its affiliates. This material, including without limitation the statistical information herein, is provided for informational purposes only. The material is based in part upon information from third-party sources that we believe to be reliable, but which has not been independently verified by us and, as such, we do not represent that the information is accurate or complete. The information should not be viewed as tax, investment, legal or other advice nor is it to be relied on in making an investment or other decisions. You should obtain relevant and specific professional advice before making any investment decision. Nothing relating to the material should be construed as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to acquire or dispose of any investment or to engage in any other transaction.
SVB Asset Management, a registered investment advisor, is a non-bank affiliate of Silicon Valley Bank and member of SVB Financial Group. Products offered by SVB Asset Management are not FDIC insured, are not deposits or other obligations of Silicon Valley Bank, and may lose value.