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Eight Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Budget-Conscious

December 23, 2010

Still looking for a holiday gift, and short on time and cash?  Not willing to venture out into the hordes of holiday shoppers?   If you have a license to Knowledge Mosaic, a printer, and reams of paper, then we’ve got you covered!

Eight gifts to print, wrap, and subtly deposit under the tree:

1)  Congressional Budget Office special report: “Federal Debt and Interest Costs,” published 12/14/2010.   This 52-page report may be just the thing for that special deficit hawk in your family.   And the news isn’t even all bad: we learn, for example, that the public debt to GDP ratio was much higher in 1950 than it was today (p. 4), and that the U.S. ranks only fifth among countries in that ratio today, behind Japan, Italy, Greece, and Belgium (p. 15) .

2)  FERC Chairman Wellinghoff’s presentation at the ACEEE Policy Conference, published 12/8/2010.  Make sure you have a good supply of colored ink in your printer for this impressive collection of power point slides.  The rainbow on the cover is nice, sure — but the most striking photo is on page 5 (and also below).

Image by Jon Wellinghof. Some rights reserved.

3)  The complete works of Bart Chilton.   For the pop culture buff.   See our blog post from last week for an explanation.   For extra effect, strongly imply (without actually claiming — since it isn’t true) that Bart Chilton is the lesser known brother of influential rock musician Alex Chilton. (To access this gift, just search for “Bart Chilton” on our Agency Materials page under CFTC Speeches, Last 3 yrs.)

4)  SEC Litigation Release No. 21787:  SEC Charges Hedge Fund Managers and Trustees with Operating Multi-Million Dollar Offering Fraud, published 12/21/2010.  At a single page, this is a good present if you’re low on scotch tape and wrapping paper: just fold it and tuck it in with your Christmas card.  These dirty details, exposing individuals who operated an offering fraud that raised $34 million and must now pay over a million dollars in disgorgement, will be perfect for the Grinch in your family.  Suitable for framing.

5)  The Full Text of Public Law 111-203: the Dodd-Frank Act, published 7/21/2010.  For that detail-oriented someone with a little extra time on their hands.  At 849 pages, it will impress your loved ones by outweighing almost every other gift under your tree.

6)  Congressional Budget Office special report: Selected CBO Publications Related to Health Care Legislation, 2009–2010,” published 12/22/2010.   All you need to know about the changes sweeping the health care industry during the Obama presidency.  Although there are no fancy images in the report itself, a glossy full-color photo does make a good first impression by adorning the cover.   At 364 pages, this gift will also double as a doorstop.

7)  US Code Title 5, Section 6103. “Holidays.” For anyone required to work tomorrow, December 24, this bit of lawmaking will ensure that the coming year is a litigious one.  As an added bonus, astute and socially conscious recipients will instantly recognize in the document’s plainness (courier font, black on white, no graphics) a social statement, suggesting a critique of hegemonic holiday materialism and its ostentatious trappings.  Fun fact: Executive Order No. 11582: Observance of Holidays was signed into effect by President Richard Nixon!

8)  A subscription to Knowledge Mosaic. The gift that keeps on giving.   No printer ink required!

Happy Holidays.

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