Magazine

Many Happier Returns


A rhymed retrospective by Marc Miller

2009? No valentine—

The landscape looks like District 9,

Though corporate corpses line the lawns

Instead of otherworldly prawns.

Among the living, those once strong

Now huff and puff and wheeze along,

Unless, of course, they got a gift

When stimulus gave them a lift.

So many deemed too big to fail

And so few deemed too big to bail,

The situation gives one pause—

Who made Tim Geithner Santa Claus?

With federal spending out of sight,

Paul Krugman says it's still too slight.

The controversy's fierce, but wait,

There's still the health-care-bill debate.

The public option's blown a fuse,

The Senate bill will lose, win, lose,

They'll never make Olympia Snowe see

Eye to eye with Ms. Pelosi,

Lieberman says no, yes, no,

While Harry Reid—oh, let it go.

A back-and-forth on cap-and-trade

Means going green's again delayed,

And how can joy be unalloyed

With double-digit unemployed

And upward-sailing federal debt...

Did I say Merry Christmas yet?

Well, Merry Christmas anyhow,

And first of all, the deepest bow

To those whose companies survived,

And in some cases even thrived:

At Goldman Sachs, somehow Lloyd Blankfein

Kept the profits of his bank fine;

Richard Anderson impressed

With Delta's merger with Northwest,

While Citi's Pandit spread some cheer

By working for a buck a year,

As did the chief of Oracle—

What, Ellison? Historical!

Bob Iger helped make Disney shine

By snapping up the Marvel line

And also made his stock price spark

Announcing that new Shanghai park,

While Microsoft made big noise revvin'

Up to market Windows 7.

Signs of life were found, they say,

By analysts of M&A,

And Jeffrey Bewkes at last was able

To unwind Time Warner's cable.

Wal-Mart bravely soldiered on

In price wars vs. Amazon,

But happiest of all, perhaps,

Was anyone who markets apps,

From recipes for turkey scraps

To farts to Chinese take-out maps.

Such downloads, though they may be pap, 'll

Surely warm the hearts at Apple.

Season's greetings, too, to those

Whose bottom lines hit thudding lows,

Or who are never coming back:

An R.I.P. for Pontiac,

And even Saturn fell to earth

(I liked the Vue, for what it's worth),

Though GM, in a bid to cope, 'll

Sell, keep, sell, keep, sell, keep Opel.

Massive debt at AMR,

Six Flags and Saks are under par,

And for the umpty-umth year, Boeing

Can't get its Dreamliner going.

NBC is finding ten o'

Clock is not prime time for Leno.

(Will its programs be more trendy

Once it's cut off from Vivendi?)

Intel's having not much fun

In being sued by everyone,

While Rupert Murdoch feels the sting

Of Google (his solution: Bing).

The woe extends to Donald Trump,

Who's suffering from a gambling slump,

And layoffs even ruled the day

(And this is rare) at J&J.

Some not-too-prudent marketing

Meant sales were down at Burger King,

And though their image is aglitter,

Are they in the black at Twitter?

Little changed at CIT:

It's barely out of bankruptcy,

While profits were a constant lack

At Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Oh, one more thing that made us freak:

When Bloomberg purchased BusinessWeek.

So for next year, here's what I'm thinking:

Let the trade gap go on shrinking,

Let each market force allow

A solidly five-digit Dow.

In fact, let every market fly—

The DAX, the Nikkei, heck, Dubai.

Let the feds still run GM,

But once it's healthy, fire them.

More electric cars, and please,

More cost-efficient batteries.

Let the media brass divine

A way to make a buck online,

And let that buck not plunge so low

The U.S. ends up with no dough.

Let a sluggish SEC

Resolve its Madoff misery,

And let the BLS report

Statistics of a happier sort,

With millions of well-paid new jobs,

For everyone, not just Lou Dobbs.

Let the housing market soar

Right back to where it was before,

And let consumer spending rise,

But don't let debt metastasize.

Peace on earth, good will toward men,

And see you in 2010.


Toyota's Hydrogen Man
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