Negatives in Europe Rule the Day

 | Sep 09, 2011 | 6:54 AM EDT
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Good news: The most important CPI number in the world, the Chinese CPI, went down, which makes it possible that the most important swing factor in world economics might be going from bearish to neutral.

Bad news: It doesn't matter, because it comes on a "world is ending" day in Europe, and the "world is ending" crowd has all the cards when it wants to play them.

We are not in an uncertain backdrop, despite what you hear. We are in a certain backdrop, as in "The euro will not hold and some if not many European banks are going to fail." It's odd to think about it, but the European chaos gets the better of us at all times, and it's a learning lesson that the important Chinese CPI number doesn't come near the importance of bad Greek data, because bad Greek data portend "the end of the world."

End of the world is the rock to the Chinese scissors.

Of course, the United States could be paper one day, if the Democrats and Republicans were to go forth boldly to get the heck out of the picture and let business do business, but that's not possible. The pastiche that the president set forward last night doesn't even move the needle against Europe. I actually think the CPI in China is more important than what we heard. All of this tinkering with the tax code implies that business revolves around marginal payments and consumer spending revolves around marginal dollars available after your paycheck. Oh, lordy, if it were only that simple.

So we end up with one positive -- China; one neutral -- the United States; and one "end of the world" -- Europe.

In that situation the end of the world will always triumph.

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