You may already know this, but because Santa Claus only works for one night a year, he occupies the rest of his time with detailed statistical analysis. That’s why he keeps detailed lists of all the “naughty” and “nice” children. It is, however, little known that Santa Claus also keeps various sub-lists for his statistical analyses. One of these lists is his Economic Naughty and Nice List. To get on Santa’s Economic Nice List, the subject must be achieving positive results for the economy. Santa’s Economic Naughty List contains those who, through action or inaction, do their economies harm. I happen to have seen a leaked portion of the list (Wikileaks again!) and wanted to share here.
Economic Nice List
- Christine Lagarde – Even though Christine supposedly maintains a list of her own, as head of the IMF, she has been a staunch supporter of European unity and an advocate for sensible change in the EU.
- Antonis Samaras – This Greek prime minister has spent much of the year pushing forward on unpopular, but much-needed, economic reforms.
- “Super Mario Brothers” – Mario Draghi (head of the ECB) and Mario Monti (technocrat prime minister of Italy), Mario D has done much over the year to help stabilize the Eurozone economy, while Mario M has done equally much to pass reform in Italy.
- Angela Merkel – This German chancellor has walked a tightrope between remaining a friend to Europe, while keeping her citizens behind austerity measures. Seemingly succeeding at both.
- Ireland – The “Emerald Isle” has done more than just about anyone in Europe to chew through austerity and come up with credible policy reform.
- “Big” Ben Bernanke – In a realm where most of his tools are exhausted, the head of the Federal Reserve has continued to come up with creative, if controversial, monetary tools.
Economic Naughty List
- Silvio Berlusconi – This former Italian prime minister was convicted on charges of tax fraud AND was forced out of his leadership role after failing to implement serious reforms or plausible spending cuts. Now, he’s said he’ll run for his old job again with the People of Freedom Party, which has thrown more confusion on Italy’s economic standing.
- Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – Argentina’s president has been antagonizing just about everyone. To the extent that Argentina may be forced out of the IMF and the G20 because it’s not providing accurate economic statistics. Earlier in the year, Christina drew EU ire when she nationalized Spanish-owned YPF oil assets. AND her government has imposed stringent import restrictions in a bid to eliminate Argentina’s trade deficit.
I noted that in the margin of this list were the names Barack Obama and John Boehner, along with the words, “To be determined – we’ll see what happens on this fiscal cliff thing.”
While not a complete list, I’m heartened by the fact that there were more “nice” than “naughty” constituents. Hopefully Santa’s list reflects the positive attitudes that could bring the global economy back up to speed in 2013. That’s Santa’s list, who would make your list?