Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

European endgame is at hand

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The one bright spot in the world is the resilience of the U.S. economy, not re-entering the recession so widely forecast last fall, and so far impervious to events in Europe.However, the failure of leadership in Europe, and here -- hell, everywhere -- seems to be coming together in another chaotic moment. There is no dominant thread to events, instead a tangle rather like the first time the kids helped to take down the Christmas lights. Find the end of one string, then another ...Here in the U.S., a surge in consumer credit (10 percent annual growth rate in November) may or may not indicate consumer and banking revival, or survive revision, but it beats contraction. Consumer confidence numbers are in a sustained rise, sometimes correlating with a better job market. Tempering that enthusiasm, the ballyhooed holiday retail sales did not take place: Fibbers on the stock-market channels oversold a mere 0.1 percent gain in December sales. Small-biz surveyor NFIB found a fourth-straight mont...