Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

What used to be ‘tax and spend’ is now just ‘spend’

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

Markets barely moved this week, and there was no new data of note except the monthly survey by the National Federation of Independent Business tracking small-business-owner confidence. NFIB economist Bill Dunkelberg called the current Small Business Optimism Index value of 88 "a recession-level reading." The index has had some better days recently, but is in the same basic place it has been since early 2008. The NFIB work is so sound, so long-running (same format since 1973) that those claiming a stronger national recovery under way have some explaining to do. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the Dodd-Frank spasm released its long-awaited Thou Shalt Not to the mortgage industry. After more than a year of probing, at who knows what taxpayer cost, the CFPB report and new rules found not one single mortgage practice under way today that should be stopped. A witch hunt worthy of Massachusetts in 1692 could not find a solitary agent of Satan. Then, ...