Ancient Greece is known as the cradle of western civilization. But today, the bough on which it rests threatens baby, cradle and all. How does a country barely 3% of the Euro economy, ($318B compared to $425B for NC) with a population roughly the size of North Carolina's (10 million) threaten an entire global economy?

TheUSeconomy will have to gut it out from here without additional help from the Fed or the government. Today’s inflation report shows that the Federal Reserve had little flexibility to lower beyond the quarter of a percent they announced on Wednesday fearing inflation and a falling dollar. As to government actions; early signs are that credit bailout efforts will fall short of easing tight credit. InWashington, political wrestling has already stalled and likely killed relief from the alternative minimum tax. There appears scant hope that a Democratically controlled House and Senate will continue Bush’s tax cuts. So the combined prospects of higher taxes, tighter credit, already high gasoline, falling house prices, slowing consumer demand, and higher prices on everything else if inflation takes hold, almost surely will be enough to stall theUSeconomy.

Equal Parts Capital, Free Trade, Information, Oil, and a Dose of Cooperation to Hold It All Together What is the greatest threat to the world economy? Is it a slowing US economy, inflation, protectionism ,China’s explosive and unchecked growth, a financial or liquidity crisis, global warming, terrorism, or energy? While any one of these and certainly any combination could cripple the unprecedented economic advances we enjoy today, the great barometers, the stock and bond markets remain relatively unfazed. 

If you had been given a glance into the future by reading a few of this week’s headlines, would you not guess that stocks would be fall rather than chase new highs? North Korea claims that it detonated a nuclear device, Fed governors threaten further rate hikes, housing continues its retreat, a plane crashes into a Manhattan high-rise, and option scandals at major corporations abound. And aren’t we in the midst of the historically weakest time of the year for stocks – September and October? We have to marvel at the new highs being made.