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Wednesday: CPI, Industrial Production, Homebuilder Confidence, Beige Book


Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson was on CNBC today. Here was the Q&A on the debt ceiling:

Maria Bartiromo: “Do you believe the GOP should be using the debt ceiling as leverage point to get the President to agree to the cuts?”

Alan Simpson: “I think that would be a grave mistake. I don’t think that would solve anything. I know they are going to try it, and how far you go with a game of chicken, I have no idea. But I can tell you … you can’t, you really can’t … This is stuff we’ve already indebted ourselves. If you’re a real conservative – a really honest conservative, without hypocrisy – you’d want to pay your debt. And that’s what this is, they are not running up anything new.”

I disagree with Simpson on many issues, but I agree with this point. No honest conservative would vote against paying the bills.   So lets have a vote tomorrow.  Wednesday would be a good day to authorize paying the bills (aka raising the “debt ceiling”) and put this nonsense behind us.

The real budget issues are the “sequester” and the “continuing resolution”. See my earlier post: After the Debt Ceiling is increased …  Make sure to check the graph of the deficit as a percent of GDP; it might surprise some people.

Wednesday economic releases:
• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• At 8:30 AM, Consumer Price Index for December. The consensus is for no change in CPI in December and for core CPI to increase 0.1%.

• At 9:15 AM, the Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for December. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in Industrial Production in December, and for Capacity Utilization to increase to 78.5%.

• At 10:00 AM, The January NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of 48, up from 47 in December. Although this index has been increasing sharply, any number below 50 still indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.

• At 2:00 PM, the Federal Reserve Beige Book will be released. This is an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.
Calculated Risk

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