The people have spoken, but are the parties listening?

Commentary: 'It's quiet out there ... too quiet'

In this last week of summer, the financial-political world is still in the suspended animation in which it began summer.

Recovery aborted by June, the U.S. economy is flying just above stall speed. Options for China trade, and European sovereign debt and currency, are narrowing but not yet closed. We’ll have an election in six weeks but are short of leaders.

August retail sales rose a thin 0.4 percent, and industrial production 0.3 percent, but July was revised down by 0.4 percent. Capacity in use was supposed to crawl up to 75 percent from 74.8 percent (80 percent is the border of health) but fell to 74.6 percent.