1 - Financial markets spent last week in a bit of a holding pattern as investors awaited the outcome of the European Union summit in Brussels. While most leaders of the 27 EU members reached a tepid accord (Great Britain demurred), they really did not appear to accomplish the big splash that investors had been hoping for.
2 - Economists are now talking openly about (1) the likelihood that Europe is already in a new recession, and (2) the possibility that the eurozone -- the 17 EU members who all use the common currency -- could come apart. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that member nations are tuning up their printing presses -- just in case they need to start churning out currencies of their own.
3 - We're gearing up for the end of the year: making sure all clients with annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) have taken them by the end of this month, clearing up lingering cost basis issues, and making sure client portfolios are properly positioned to ring in 2012. It is a busy time, but you know us: we're having fun doing what we do.
Have a wonderful week -- and please do your Christmas shopping locally!
In case you missed it, On December 1 we hosted a holiday event for clients and their guests. We enjoyed a sumptuous dinner by Pat Strother, delectable cheesecake bars by Juliet, and Frank Capra's timeless film It's a Wonderful Life. Michele did a great job planning and setting up. For the privacy of our clients, our videographer Erik Olsen took care not to show faces (other than us worker bees). Enjoy this one-minute video recap.