The Fed, rates and money politics: The week in markets

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Markets were reasonably stable at this week’s end. Pushing up on rates has been the hard bottom set two weeks ago after two months of decline, and this week’s hawkish Fed-meeting results. Pushing down: Everyone in markets keeps an eye on PRK missiles and nukes, and their leader and ours. In such circumstances interest rates tend to improve on Fridays because of risk-off bond-buying to cover potential bad surprises over the weekend, the trades unwinding on Monday mornings. S&P’s downgrade of China (AA- to A+) helped, too. Net of pushing: mortgages still just under 4.00 percent. The flow of news -- all news -- is unsettling. The Russian government planted fake-news ads on Facebook, and where else? The Equifax adventure... how much do we know, how much do they know, and how much risk to consumers from a breach of a company for decades shouting "RISK!" to get us to buy credit data protection from them? An NYT business columnist asserted that the rich do not pay the...