Long-term interest rates rose this week, 10-year Treasurys to 3.69 percent and mortgages toward 5.125 percent. The drivers: economic data not as weak as could have been, $74 billion in fresh Treasury borrowing next week, and the ever-closer conclusion to Fed purchases of mortgage-backed securities. The Northeast-centered media assume that their weather determines the course of national economic activity, and the loss of another 36,000 jobs in February was just a snow distortion. Nevermind that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counts you with a job if you were on a payroll, whether you got to work or not. Legitimate good news: preliminary retail sales figures were up, and weather really does suppress shopping. As observed here before, we still have no national consensus about the cause of the financial wreck, or how to escape its consequences, or how to prevent a recurrence. The result is not a policy vacuum, but an overfilled political sausage split to pieces. Almost ...
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