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Approach 2010 with curiosity, not dread

Commentary: Will new year bring action or political herding?

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Prognostications for the New Year are governed here by Peter Drucker's law: "Nobody can predict the future. The idea is to keep a firm grasp of the present." Deal. Attitude first, then the particulars. Last year opened with panic, and all year long we looked over our shoulders for its return. Instead, we should go into 2010 with curiosity, not foreboding. Next year may not turn out terribly well, but that panic of '08-'09 -- the fire sales and the systemic runs -- that was a once-in-multi-generations affair. The tricky part: curiosity about what?! Dismissing the irrelevant and finding the heart of the matter -- that is everything. Each in descending order of importance, first the trivial, then the central: Gold. Pay no attention. Given the immense global economic expansion under way and the shortage of the commodity, its price ought to go up. Then again, given cost of production at $600 an ounce and doubled price, nobody knows at what point balance will appear....