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Alternative Market Briefing

Fiscal Cliff talks stall out with only hours before the deadline, Asian markets drop

Monday, December 31, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: Members of Congress were still unable to come to a deal as of the end of their working day on Sunday. Meetings continued within both caucuses into the evening hours, and Congress is expected to officially resume at 11am Eastern. In a statement Sunday night, Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid said he hoped to have some announcement ready by the time Congress resumes, although most observers think that any substantive announcement is unlikely. For financial markets participants, January 1 may not make for a happy start to the new year as sequestration, Basel III, and higher taxes will all be at hand.

The US now has approximately 48 hours to come to some agreement, either to extend the deadline or pass a short term deal. Failure to do either will trigger sequestration. While some have argued that going over the fiscal cliff won't actually be that bad, it will likely add to the fiscal drag already slowing the recovery. Even with a deal, the US may still face a second credit downgrade. Taken together these factors are raising questions about the abil......................

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