Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

What will we do to get the economy going?

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

This week brought lots of minor reports but nothing to change the outlook.A 12 percent spike in December housing starts got more attention than it deserved -- a dead-of-winter month is not a good indicator -- and pushed interest rates up a hair. But inflation remains completely under control, core CPI up only 1.7 percent in the whole of 2012.Three long-runners contribute to frozen markets: first, misinformation and scare-mongering about the Fed's "quantitative easing" (QE); second, the European gap between wishful public pronouncement and weakening data; and third, the prospect of Japan trying to print its way out of deflation -- not contained QE, but a true, inflation-inducing print job.The core hazard facing us all: how to get right the timing and magnitude of fiscal austerity before the Fed has to stop buying our debt. We may be making more accidental, near-term progress than we know.The newest estimates of deficits since the Fiscal Anthill deal suggest we may already be ...