Markets & Economy

The Fed will keep tapering, but stage is set for Europe to ease

If European Central Bank embarks on QE, expect US interest rates and stocks to skyrocket

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

On the first Friday every month: payroll roulette. No data is more important to the Fed and interest rates because jobs and incomes are so central to inflation prospects. But no report is so wildly, comically inaccurate. Today's factoid: January's payroll gain was only about half the upside guesses, 113,000. The miserable December figure, 74,000 jobs, which most expected would be revised up, was indeed -- by 1,000. Everyone wonders at the impact of weather, and the dead of winter is not known for big economic movement in any direction. The agencies collecting and reporting data do their best to adjust for seasons, but how do we adjust for possibly anomalous seasons, in the thinnest activity of each year? One painful stat has been the number of Americans working "involuntary part time" -- those who would take a full-time job if they could find one. If you include that group -- plus discouraged and "marginally attached" workers who aren't looking for a job at the moment -- there...