There is little to indicate any festive character to the end-year edition of the OMFIF Bulletin, for the season of uncertainty tending towards chaos appears to be upon us. We bring an array of contributions that delve into the economic and monetary issues overhanging the Christmas period. Songzuo Xiang at least puts forward some constructive thoughts in outlining his five-point plan to resolve the Sino-American monetary impasse. Helmut Schmidt – as well as telling us that the quality of leadership was better in his day (which is arguably true) – offers a set of perspectives for Europe that can hardly be termed optimistic but are none the less thoroughly realistic. ‘Muddling through’ – a precept applied to the UK which Schmidt always regarded as second-best – now appears, he says, to be the watchword.