Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

2012 is make or break

Credit house of cards just gets bigger

A new year begins next week, and it is time for my annual dodge. Peter Drucker, one of the world's few worthwhile business theorists: "Nobody can predict the future. The idea is to have a good grasp of the present."This year, no flinching. Why such foolish courage? In more than one econo-political arena we have dithered and fiddled so long that something is going to happen, and all I have to do is guess what. In order from easiest to hardest ...Interest rates: Nothing big. Maybe nothing at all. The bond market is behaving as though the Fed intends a 2 percent cap on 10-year T-notes. Why argue?U.S. economy: As is. The fantastic stimulus in the economy should keep it afloat, but the housing drag will keep it low in the water. Primary risk: if the foreclosure resale engine is finally allowed to run and undercuts prices (again). All other risks to us are from overseas. Upside surprises will be limited to regions first-in to the housing bust, first to recover, my home state Color...