Markets & Economy

Fed’s quantitative easing is fully justified to get the world growing faster than its debt

Stable cost of energy is a huge help while buying time

The shutdown preoccupied markets, and everyone else. As the world reboots, there's a lot of eye-rubbing and "Whazzat?!" Economic data. What a novelty. The September payroll gain of 148,000 (undistorted by shutdown), with wages up 0.1 percent for the month and 2.1 percent for the year, is embarrassing to the Fed's forecast for acceleration. Excluding transportation, orders for durable goods had no gain at all in September. There is no justification in these numbers for tapering quantitative easing (QE). Markets now suppose that the soonest we'll see that is in March, when Janet Yellen takes the gavel. New data from now into December, including October payrolls due Nov. 8, will be distorted -- either by economic drag that may have been inflicted by the shutdown, or by nobody-home faults in collecting the data. In the vacuum, "technical" aspects tend to dominate. A powerful 10-year Treasury chart formation has the eye of every bond trader on the globe. If the 10-year yield ...