After a series of downbeat posts, it is good to close the year with kudos.
Kudos to Peer Steinbrueck. This German with a Dutch name is finance minister of the world's best-run large economy. He won't drink the Anglo-Saxon Kool-Aid. He said:
". . . we must make sure that a policy of cheap money does not lead to a new growth bubble founded on credit, as happened after September 11, 2001. It is therefore important that the focus . . . be on sustainable investments in infrastructure and less on consumer spending financed by debt."
Go, Peer: and stay sober! Even on New Year's Eve . . .
Kudos to the University of Michigan, which the NYT reports has been building for growth largely w/o state help. UM is my alma mater and has some of the best beer parties in the US. Not that I was ever into beer. Beer notwithstanding, UM has been a center of excellence in a state that has been in a state of decline for decades. Go Blue!
Kudos also to some of the best financial predictors on the Net. Mish has been prescient re deflation and numerous other topics. He also gets my "Best of the Net" award for his impassioned efforts against the TARP bailout bill and other horrors. Kudos also to Reggie Middleton, who through research detailed specific problems with banks, I-banks, REITs, and the like. And Prof. Roubini little needs praise from the likes of me. Wouldst he had less of a Big Gov solution for the problems he predicted with such amazing precision, however.
May 2009 surprise on the upside as much as 2008 did on the downside.