Ready for Liftoff?

Another first Friday of the month, another jobs report. By the time you read this the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly Employment Situation Summary for October may have been released diligently at 8:30AM Eastern Time on the appointed date. The stock market may be reacting and everyone will turn their attention to the Federal Reserve.

It’s a strange ritual which keeps financial writers busy. But does it mean anything?

If all goes as it should this one should really move the markets. Exactly which direction is hard to tell for a variety of reasons – but that is what will matter more than anything else if this report comes in as “good” (in quotes) as it should be.

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What will it take to end the shutdown?  There isn’t much that can be compromised in this situation, given that we have two issues at stake – the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) on one side and the continuing resolution plus the debt ceiling on the other.  There’s just not a lot of give when you have this kind of asymmetry.  So it’s almost certainly going to be one side that caves.

As said before, it’s hard to imagine the President and his supporters in the US Senate giving in, so let’s just call that a low probability event.  It’s probably going to be a Republican give of some kind.  And one is brewing in the form of a general revolt of “pragmatic Republicans” who understand how dangerous this game is.

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