Don't Be Too Leery of the Washington Squabbles
Stocks have risen 1.5% since Jan. 2, when Congress passed the underwhelming American Taxpayer Relief Act to avoid the fiscal cliff. That climb came despite an impending trio of late-winter fiscal policy challenges that might prove even more threatening than the cliff. As discussed in ubiquitous news reports and my own "Groundhog Day" warnings, the new troubles have surfaced thanks to lawmakers' failure to cut spending, extend the debt ceiling, or delay the $100 billion fiscal 2013 budget sequester for more than two months.
I refer to the Washington minefield ahead as "DC2." After all, it could prompt scary feelings of déjà vu, given its potentially most lethal charge -- the need to extend the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling by late February. The issue has already invited comparisons to August 2011, when President Obama and Hill Republicans last skirmished over the federal borrowing limit. That coincided with a sharp drop in market confidence, as well as an unprecedented U.S. debt downgrade by Standard & Poor's....637 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.
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