Giving Thanks

What do we have to be thankful for?

We can be thankful that we have free markets and free capital, where we can invest where we want and when we want without many restrictions. If I want to buy shares in a Chilean airline or a Chinese oil company, I can do that. And they’re obligated to provide audited financials.

We can be thankful that we have an open and deliberative political process. Sure, it can be chaotic. The failure of the Supercommittee and the upcoming dust-up over funding the government on December 16th are evidence of that. But the alternative to a messy system is often a closed system, where no one knows what’s going on but a few insiders, and they’re not talking. Japan had that. No thanks.

We can be thankful that it’s not 2008. I know there are rumblings in Europe; that Greece could be Europe’s Lehman; that Italy is now the lynch-pin of the Euro. But the Lehman bankruptcy was the most intense marker of the sub-prime mortgage debacle that started in 2007, and it came after the failures of Bear, Fannie and Freddie, and AIG. For all its import, the European debt crisis doesn’t have the same impact as the mortgage crisis over here.

And we can be thankful for the extraordinary wisdom and insight that the Founders showed some 224 years ago when they framed the Constitution that still governs our republic. It was a singular coalescence of talent, initiative, and opportunity that enabled leaders like Madison, Franklin, and Washington to lead a raucous convention to a happy conclusion. Our nation has survived wars, depressions, invasion, insurrection, and assassinations as a result.

We have a lot to be thankful for.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
Hit reply if you have any questions—I read them all!

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