Exit Santa Claus, Enter the Grinch

By Reuters Staff
December 18, 2008

Nomura Chief Economist David Resler has made it an annual tradition to write his year-end review and outlook set to the rhythm and rhyme of classic poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

Better known by its first line “T’was the Night Before Christmas”, the 19th century poem is largely responsible for the popular conception of Santa Claus as a jolly, rotund, white-bearded man on a reindeer-pulled sleigh.

In keeping with the prevalent mood, Resler has this year substituted the merry figure of St. Nick with Dr Seuss’ Christmas-ruining, green-skinned Grinch who goes about “brewing up trouble” in the “housing price bubble” by posing as a
home mortgage lender:

Prudence and judgment the Grinch deemed simply passé
Neither income nor job would stand in his loans’ way.
For a Grinch-loan nothing had to be verified.
‘Cause in MBS bundles these risks would he hide.

When agencies scored these loan pools triple-A sound
Investors chased his high yields like fox-hunting hounds.
All this was part of the Grinch’s mean little scheme,
Popping the bubble, he wrecked the home owner’s dream.

Like the Seuss’ picture book, Resler offers us a happy ending to the Grinch-inflicted mayhem.

But that nasty old Grinch shall not our Christmas steal,
We’ll drive him from town or we’ll cut him a deal.
We’ll line up for some help from Tim, Ben and Hank..
We’ll use the might of the Federal Reserve Bank.

New regs for markets will stop all Grinch-like deceivin’
“This,” says Obama, “will be change you can believe-in.”

– By Sebastian Tong

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