There is no shortage of candidates for the naughty list this year, but Xi Jinping tops my list. First, he has violated his obligations to the people of Hong Kong by destroying democracy and liberty there, a real loss for the world and the Chinese people. Now, he is extinguishing whatever remains of independence at the People’s Bank of China, their version of the Federal Reserve. The dictator will now be controlling credit and monetary policy at the bank, which has dramatically lowered its reserve requirements since 2018. Invest there at your peril.
In this, the Chinese strongman is following in the steps of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, my second choice for the financial and humanitarian naughty list. Turkey’s “president” has discovered heretofore unknown monetary principles, including that high interest rates cause inflation and that low interest rates fight it. Erdoğan has lowered interest rates even as the lira has collapsed, putting once-prosperous Turkey in the economic basement with Maduro’s once-rich Venezuela. Erdoğan fires every new banker as he searches for his financial Trofim Lysenko, Stalin’s famously crackpot genetic scientist. Unfortunately, Turkey is an important NATO ally and is located in a strategic hot-spot.
Also making the naughty list are all of our own central bankers who engage in activities that look suspiciously like insider trading. They now join the conga line of congresspeople who abuse their positions of trust for personal enrichment.
The nice list includes Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin, the husband-and-wife Turkish-German scientific team who used their mRNA knowledge to develop an effective Covid-19 vaccine at lightning speed. Hungarian-born Katalin Kariko also makes the nice list for her early recognition that mRNA technology could be effective against all sorts of diseases. The losses by unfree nations always seem to result in gains for free ones.
The nurses and doctors who unselfishly risk their lives to save the lives of others should surely be included on the nice list, along with the businesses who used their staffs, facilities, and supply-chain expertise to deliver medications to supermarkets and pharmacies around the country.
The nice list, once begun, becomes far too long to recount, which reminds us during this holiday season that the world created by television and the internet is not the real world at all. The real world is filled with nice people, and at the top of the list at Treasure Coast Financial Planning are the wonderful people who make what we do possible. Thank you.