For bonds and mortgages, this has been a classic bad-news-is-good-news week. All of those certain that nobody, no matter how frightened, would put money into U.S. IOUs just got trampled by the in-rush.
The 10-year Treasury note has traded under 3.4 percent resistance, and mortgages are sliding toward 4.75 percent, both tied with four-month lows.
What’s moving things: Middle East heebie-jeebies, of course, even though oil is flowing nicely; China is probably slowing, maybe a lot; and Japan’s earthquake and tsunamis.
Europe is in magnificent, oblivious denial as the euro experiment comes apart. Ireland paid 8.1 percent for two-year money this week, and Greece paid 16.4 percent, versus Germany’s 1.7 percent.
Leaders say the euro will be fine because it must be, harkening back to British infantry in 1917 Flanders, singing to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne": "We’re here because we’re here, because we’re here because we’re here; we’re here …"