Over the holidays, long-term interest rates rose almost a half-percent, the 10-year Treasury note moving into the 3.8 percent range — the highest since the "double top" last summer. Mortgages have held remarkably well, with the lowest-fee stuff up to about 5.25 percent.

A renewed, two-group consensus drove the jump: The economy is in a solid recovery, or even if it isn’t, immense Treasury borrowing will force rates higher. Both groups agree that the Fed should stop its assistance, either because the economy no longer needs it, or because even if the economy does need help, to continue assistance would produce inflation.

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