Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Holiday Letter from Leaky Canoe Inc.


Zebulan Noh
Leaky Canoe Inc.
Wall Street
New York, NY

Dear Friends, Family, and Investors:

My favorite holiday is nigh upon us. Each year, as the smell of fresh
cut balsam wreaths fill the city and the sound of little children’s
tantrums drown out the Salvation Army Bell ringers, I begin to count
down the days until December 26^th —Boxing Day.

Now friends before you accuse me of being extravagant during a time of
national belt tightening, understand that I am like you. I may sleep on
Wall Street, but my apartment on Main Street (Park Avenue) has felt the
pinch. Just yesterday I was forced to file a false complaint against our
doorman of twenty-three years and see him fired because I couldn’t stand
for him to see the chagrin in my face when I told him that I couldn’t
afford to tip him anything this Christmas. It was almost as hard as
watching his back recede as he went home to his family. But this is a
season of cheer and I am filled with warmth knowing that his five
children will have him home for the 25^th and, of course, for the
following Boxing Day.

Ah yes, back to Boxing Day. If we celebrated Boxing Day in this country,
I would not have felt forced to ruin the reputation and retirement plans
of a fine upstanding man like my doorman. Rather, the traditional Boxing
Day approach as dating back from the 17^th century would have placed a
small clay box in the lobby into which everybody could drop their spare
change into throughout the year. The donations would have been anonymous
and Stanly would never have known who stiffed him on his bonus when he
opened the box on the day after Christmas.

It’s quaint the way our thoughts run to times of yore during moments of
hardships. While our economy goes up in flames quicker than a ’73 Ford
Pinto, I—as I’m sure many of us can—take joy in knowing that much of my
former wealth was in the form of shares in the company that made that
analogy possible; shares which I leveraged many times over to purchase
bundled sub-prime loans. It’s only money after all, so says my
accountant who has recently taken up Zen Buddhism and suggests that I
too should learn how to become one with nothing.

In other holiday news, our family investment company co-founded by Titus
Morales, my great-grandfather, and his special friend Zachariah Noh,
will be changing its name as we enter a new chapter of our company
history. On Wall Street, we call this chapter eleven it’s a bit
different from how we use the term on Main Street (Park Avenue), however
the term still gives rise to strong emotions. But this is the holiday
season and I want you to know that everything will be okay.

As many of you know, called, emailed, and screamed from your cars about,
our great firm experienced some difficulty in weathering this financial
perfect storm. Our position was further compromised when our top
investment strategist found herself detained by the police on the first
of the month. I know what appeared in the newspapers. It’s shameful the
way our gotcha-media throws around charged words like “Ponzi scheme” at
the slightest hint of systematic accounting irregularities.

In an effort to leave behind the taint of scandal as well as to create a
vehicle by which we may enjoy our fair portion of TARP money, we have
transformed ourselves from a investment bank into a holdings bank. On
paper the two companies are separate entities with the holding bank
purchasing the investment bank for a steal. Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.
From now on, rather than having your wealth managed by Noh Morales
Investment Inc., Leaky Canoe Inc. will see to all your fiscal needs as
well as ensuring that the government bail out of Wall Street helps your
street as well.

I’ll leave you now on this positive note and wish you all a happy,
happy, holiday season. For those of you who are traveling, I invite you
to come and join me in Cambodia. Accommodations are rustic but there are
no pesky extradition treaties or diplomatic relationships to ruin the
festivities. For those of you staying in the states, I wish you well
again and please remember the little people this year on Boxing Day. You
never know when they might be able to take a fall for you.

Zebulan Noh


Leaky Canoe Inc. née Noh Morales Investment Inc.

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