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Those Idiotic ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Countdown Clocks? All Wrong

I’ve made my views about what I think of hype about sequestration (aka incessant fiscal cliff nonsense)  pretty clear. (See thisthisthis and this if you somehow missed it). It won’t surprise you to learn that as a general principle, I find the collection of fiscal cliff clock countdowns to be idiotic on principle alone.

It turns out there is another reason to dislike these down-to-the-second reminders of what we all know has been coming for 18 months: They are counting down to a date — December 31st — that is, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant.

As Dow Jones’ Vincent Cignarella pointed out, according to the rules in the House of Representatives, the very last day any bill can be introduced to Congress before adjourning is December 18th. Not the 31st, but the 18th. And, Congress is expected to adjourn for the year on December 21st.

But that date may matter less than another date: December 17th. That’s when President Obama and his family leave the hellscape that is DC for their annual family vacation in Hawaii.

All of those countdown clocks you see on CNBC and Marketwatch and everywhere else counting down to December 31st?

Like so much else in the financial press, they are meaningless noise . . .

This piece is cross-posted from The Big Picture with permission.

2 Responses to “Those Idiotic ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Countdown Clocks? All Wrong”

McWattDecember 6th, 2012 at 9:47 am

The talk of the Fiscal Cliff that began even before Obama won his second term has also
killed retail sales for the small businessman. Beginning November 6th retail sales have fallen off the Fiscal Cliff and it looks to be killing Christmas.

"Catch-22 says they can do anything we can't stop them from doing."

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Emre Deliveli is a freelance consultant, part-time lecturer in economics and columnist. Previously, Emre worked as economist for Citi Istanbul, covering Turkey and the Balkans. He was previously Director of Economic Studies at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey in Ankara and has has also worked at the World Bank, OECD, McKinsey and the Central Bank of Turkey. Emre holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University and undertook his PhD studies at Harvard University, in Economics.

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