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The Price Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land

Inflation was stirring, getting out of hand.

Our bills were all paid, but we were feeling repressed,

Seeing our savings were very depressed.

On our children most of our money was spent

Since the cost of their Christmas was up forty percent.

My wife looked at me, and I gazed at her,

Knowing next year things would cost more for sure.

When out in the driveway I heard a loud backfire

And jumped like a rabbit to express my ire.

Throwing open the door with language ready to sting,

“The H.O.A. disallows such a thing.”

The light of the moon on the new-fallen snow

Revealed a heroic attempt to move colossal cargo.

My astonished eyes seemed on the point of failure

When I spied an old station wagon towing a trailer.

The red-suited driver got out and he waved.

Of course, it was Santa, looking somewhat depraved.

“Santa!” I cried “What has happened to you?

No reindeer, no elves, no sleigh and no crew!”

“I blame it,” he said, “on this cursed inflation.

It’s wreaking havoc on the entire nation.

The reindeer have become too expensive to feed,

So now my old station wagon serves as my steed.

As for the elves, they all quit in a rage,

Despite offering them double minimum wage.”

The elves asked “Why work for you making toys every day?

We all went to Amazon and got premium pay.”

“So I’m stuck doing the work by myself,

Hoping supply chains keep toys on the shelf.”

“But surely,” I cried “this is less than we deserve.

Where is our savior, the Federal Reserve?”

Santa looked grave, his beard gave a twitch,

“The Federal Reserve has been asleep at the switch.

For too long they’ve claimed inflation was transitory,

Ignoring facts before them—it’s the same old story.

In a panic, money stimulus they’ll now abate,

Trying to tame the monster they helped create.”

“Thank heaven!” I said, “they’re removing the punchbowl!”

Reassured to know the Fed’s got things under control.

Santa grimaced and winced and he gritted his teeth,

Saying “Don’t ignore the legacy the Fed has bequeathed.

Leverage and debt on a stupendous scale,

Predicated on money stimulus without fail.

What happens when that fountain of cash

Ceases to disguise the investments in trash?”

The lack of Fed cash means we may have to rough it,

And recall the words of old Warren Buffett,

Who said “When the tide goes out with assets inflated,

Then Wall Street will see who’s been swimming naked.”

Santa got in his car with an experienced wink,

Reminding me interest rates can climb higher than we think.

For inflation will continue to force the Fed’s hand,

And refuse to bend to their weak-willed command.

But for now, look inward, enjoy what you have.

In this watershed time, it may provide welcome salve.

“And this,” he said smiling, “is my best piece of advice,

For family and friends and love have no price.”

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