The game changed on Tuesday. Midway through a Greenspan snoozer to Congress, describing the condition of the nation's banks, this line: "The banking sector is well-prepared for higher interest rates...." When Greenspan gives us one of these world-changers, in knowledge that he is inducing a bond-market wreck, his delivery is always the same: complete, blinking-through-Coke-bottles innocence. A wreck it was. Bond prices fell, and the 10-year T-note yield leaped almost to 4.5 percent for the first time since last fall. Mortgages rose to 6 percent, but our worst day was today, up to 6.125 percent. Is this rate rise an overreaction? Uh-uh. We knew three weeks ago that the job market had shifted gears, and then got revisions of 1st quarter 2004 inflation measures from sub-1 percent to almost 1.5 percent. This week brought more confirmation of a March sea-change: orders for durable goods doubled the forecast, rising 3.8 percent, and the Fed's "beige book" d...
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