It's the third day of the federal government shutdown and Wall Street just doesn't seem to care that much. There has been no market crash, no gnashing of teeth, no massive liquidation of positions. It's been cold analysis mixed with a pinch of déjà vu, that at some point the two warring sides in Washington will reach an agreement.
In fact, the care factor is so low that President Obama went on CNBC on Wednesday afternoon and told investors that they "should be concerned", only to be outdone by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew this morning who issued an ominous press release warning of ''unprecedented default" and a recession that would be worse than the financial crisis of 2008.
Together, the duel salvos are being seen by many as an obvious attempt to have the markets serve as henchmen to hammer home the Obama administration's side of the argument.
"I don't know that the President knows more (than Wall Street), I think he just doesn't have a clue," my co-host Jeff Macke says in the attached video. "Wall Street doesn't do D.C.'s bidding, Wall Street does Wall Street's bidding."
Further convoluting the President's position is the fact that he essentially spent time yesterday consulting with bank CEOs in the White House, while regulators spent the afternoon flogging them at the Justice Department and elsewhere.
If half the government stays closed long enough it will have an impact on the economy, with estimates pegging the 4th quarter GDP headwind at about 0.25% per week. Also, if a compromise to raise the debt ceiling by mid-month cannot be reached, the ramifications and fallout from our federal dysfunction will be even greater. After all, the S&P 500 fell 17% in 2011 while lawmakers went through a similar spat.
In the meantime, the stock market continues to play it cool, with many investors simply waiting for the drama to play out before moving back into stocks.
Or as Macke puts it, "Walmart just got a great excuse to miss (earning estimates) for the fourth quarter."
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