Rush To Judgment: The GOP punditry seem convinced that the 2014 election will hinge on the voters' disllike for Obamacare. This depends on the ACA remaining a headline disaster for nearly another year, which seems unlikely. The economy is far more likely to be the deciding factor, and there the Republicans have a far better chance of voter disgust carrying the day.
Forward Gluidance: The dollar will either continue its slide against the euro through 2014, reaching $1.40 per euro for the first time since 2011 (Goldman) or it will strengthen to end 2014 at $1.28 per euro (everybody else). Plan your vacation accordingly.
Fire Sale: November's retail sales were up a whopping 0.7% m/m.
TKO: The main thing you need to know about today's budget agreement is that it's very modest. It addresses about 2.5% of the total federal budget. It repeals a little bit of the sequester cuts, and pays for it with a few small cuts in entitlements and some even smaller increases in user fees. Overall, the numbers are tiny enough that it's hard to see how anyone can get either too excited or too outraged over it. Except the far right, of course. Why they are not happy is a mystery - the budgets arrived at are lower than the pipe-dream Ryan 2011 budget. Republicans have massively changed the spending conversation since 2010, and austerity has won.
Quoted: “The evidence suggests that capitalism has become wholly predatory and has given up any pretext of being a socially responsible socioeconomic system...”
The DNAvinci Code: Geneticists have discovered a second biologic code hidden within the DNA double helix. DNA's function has thought to be limited to a set of instructions for constructing protein chains. The new code appears to be instructions that help stabilize beneficial features of certain proteins. The discovery could open new doors to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Mumble Jumble: The US Producer Price Index fell for a third straight month as US disinflation continues. In the 12 months through November, producer prices increased 0.7%,which suggests the Fed's attempts to push inflation upward have been less than wildly successful and giving it room for ever more quantitative easing. Or other experiments.
All Over But The Suffering: Ireland has “exited” from its IMF/EU/ECB bailout, whatever that means. What it doesn't mean is that everything is hunky-dory in the land unemployed elves and shamrock pickers. It doesn't mean they've paid back any of the $117 billion they had to borrow. And it doesn't mean that the grinding austerity programs will end any time soon. Government spending will be further slashed this year and next. Ah, the Luck of the Irish.
Porn O'Graph: The Tomato that didn't eat Washington.
The Parting Shot: