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Jury is in: Recovery depends on real estate

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

The top story is still Europe, but a bore except for the entertaining incompetence on parade. Dr. Johnson maintained that nothing so concentrates the mind as the prospect of one's hanging in the morning, but that concept has eluded Europe.All bond markets there fell apart this week, saved from collapse only by the purchases of the European Central Bank, which said it is forbidden by treaty to do so, won't do, can't do, but is doing. All other paths to euro status quo salvation are dead.Club Med will sooner or later default on a couple of trillion in euro-IOUs. The ECB can buy time, but the hopes that an enormous credit loss can be handed to the ECB -- like telling the Maitre d'hôtel to remove an unfortunate plate of fish -- would only magnify ultimate danger. And, contrary to hopeful policy-mongers, such an attempted burial of credit loss at the ECB has no parallel to our Fed's QE.Here at home the stream of economic data is OK. However, the general run of commentary is now just as exc...