This has been a strange week, marked by extreme divergence in evaluation of incoming economic data and disconnect between Main Street reality vs. Washington proclamation. Mortgage and Treasury rates were stable — we no longer have markets, just the Fed (damned glad to have ’em, too).

The stock market began badly as solid, blue-collar bank analysts said the obvious: recession losses will soon overtake toxic dithering. Then wise assistance for life insurers gave support, and players turned on the stock-market horsefeathers machine.

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