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As recovery falters, here come the regulators

Commentary: Ethical code with teeth would beat more rules

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Domestic data vied with the European circus for control of financial markets, for once pushing in the same direction. Down. Both stocks and rates.

Greece seems certain to default in some form this summer, and European efforts have switched to containing contagion in the aftermath.

When Bear Stearns went down in March 2008, with some Fed safety net in place, no dominoes followed; six months later, when Lehman and AIG tanked, not even an all-out Fed and TARP could stop a collapse that we're still living in. Hell of a thing: no way to find out if there's water in the pool except by taking a triple gainer off the high board.

The U.S. data were as important. The N.Y. and Philly Feds released their indices for June: both were expected to hold positive ground, instead both went negative to the same degree and for the first time in nine months. The 10-year T-note quickly reversed a run at 3.1 percent, back in the 2.90s. May retail sales were OK, ex-cars and ...