The big story this week is….oh, wait, there are two big stories this week. One is a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve. The scheduling of the meeting itself is nothing new and not typically, by itself, a big deal. But this one is because the right words could start a rally in stocks. Or, just as easily, could justify the slump.
The other big story is the Friday deadline for lawmakers to get their act together to avoid a government shutdown. After watching last week’s casual Oval Office sit-down-gone-tantrum among President Trump and rival Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (House) and Charles Schumer (Senate), I don’t see a shutdown being avoided. If an agreement can’t be made on spending bills, the government will shut down. At the center of the debate is that President Trump wants $5 billion to fund a border wall one the US-Mexico border. At the time of that raucous meeting Democrats were willing to allot $1 billion (specifically for new fencing and levee walls, but no solid concrete walls), but Mr. Trump appears very comfortable, even proud, to be able to shut down the government in the name of border security.