All I want for Christmas…

December 11, 2013 admin

TO: Santa Claus
CC: Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen
FROM: Larry Gray
DATE: Dec. 11, 2013
SUBJECT: Christmas list

I’m not gonna lie, Santa, 2013 wasn’t a very good year. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad year … after all the unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent, the lowest level in five years, and the stock market put forth a strong rally, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 16,000 points for the first time ever. 2013 was definitely better than the preceding few years. But something just doesn’t feel right.

Maybe it’s the bad taste and disillusionment left by the U.S. government shutdown in October. Maybe it’s the sense of political inadequacy in Washington, D.C., a feeling that politicians are unwilling or incapable of addressing and solving the numerous issues of the day. Or maybe my uneasiness is rooted in the global financial crisis. It planted a fear of the unknown that’s been hard to shake. And it wasn’t very reassuring when Mr. Bernanke’s hint of a slowdown in quantitative easing efforts produced a tailspin in the financial markets.

What I really want for Christmas, Santa, is something to boost my spirits, provide some encouragement that things will get better. Maybe my wife has the right idea. She and thousands of other “holiday junkies” are faithfully tuned in to the Hallmark Movie Channel, where at this time of year they can watch holiday movies, all day and all night. Whether it’s A Dog Named Christmas or Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus or A Season for Miracles, my wife will watch it. These Hallmark holiday movies are predictable, but they’re certain to fuel your holiday spirit with a joyous happy ending. When you watch these formulaic “feel good” movies, you pretty much know what you are gonna get.

And, Santa/Ben/Janet, that’s all I really want for Christmas: a reasonable degree of certainty for a happy ending.

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LarryFinalwebv2Larry Gray is editorial director of Institutional Real Estate, Inc.

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