Third, who would have thought it? The Europeans might actually be at a point at which there's nothing more to do. The big flash point had been failed government auctions to pay for bills that couldn't be paid. Now governments can issue all the bonds they want. The banks that own them can sell all they want. That's in part because fleeing Japanese have bought everything that moves that isn't yen. That's in part because there's no inflation to speak of, and in part because the economy actually may be hitting some sort of rock bottom that will work in Europe the way it's worked here.
The bulls seem to sense that. The stock markets over there are all flat now. They should, of course, be lower. But do you hear much about skyrocketing Italian rates? Cyprus made bond-buying even heavier, because bonds are safer than bank deposits.
As for the sequester, it turned out to be a brilliant nothing -- "brilliant" because it revealed that there is no hope for President Obama to get anything done, maybe ever, if the Republicans take the House. "Nothing" because it turned out to be small vs. the wealth effect, which the bears still refuse to take seriously. They do so at their own peril.
Think about what happened. Obama has twice tried to scare everyone that things were going to fall apart if he didn't get his way. It didn't happen. He's just an annoyance now. The press does his ceaseless bidding. He says that higher rates are still on their way, and that there will be a cap on tax deductions. Dream on. As we said on the trading desk, "take a nothing done." Plus, we will probably see a very big decline in the budget deficit because of all the tax-receipt increases. The Fear Monger-in-Chief is now the Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf-in-Chief.As for point No. 5? Looks like first-quarter earnings are going to come in and they, too, will be nothing to write home about. But they may actually be OK because of the wealth effect and because China might have to stimulate and because Europe may have hit bottom.