By this time, anyone with a heartbeat knows that there is some sort of unique financial rock formation posing a threat to the U.S. economy at year-end; that if President Barack Obama and Congress don’t find a way around it -- something at which Washington excels -- bad things will happen to all of us.
Suffering from a debt hangover for the past four years, Americans will resort to a time-honored cure -- hair of the dog that bit them. A pickup in borrowing will give the world’s biggest economy a much-needed boost next year as federal government austerity pinches growth.
The reaction to last week's employment report, both in the stock and bond markets and the ex-post analysis, was so extreme that I decided to do a little digging. Was one sub-par jobs report, with its payroll gain of 120,000, the game changer it was made out to be? Or was it just another piece of data, subject to revision?
Rising sales at companies from Boeing Co. to chipmaker Intel Corp. and railroad CSX Corp. show U.S. businesses are growing even before a boost investors predict from the next round of Federal Reserve monetary easing.