Will volatility in stocks and bonds subside or escalate?
''The congressional supercommittee isn't expected to agree to meaningful deficit reduction by this week's deadline. Prepare for an added element of volatility in stocks and bonds.
Brace your portfolio: The global debt crisis returns to the U.S. this week. Let's face it, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or supercommittee, is unlikely to come close to cutting the nation's red ink by the $3 trillion to $4 trillion fiscal experts say is necessary to head off a European style debt crisis. Given the climate of interparty intolerance, you could consider it a political miracle if the committee's six Democrats and six Republicans agree on a 10-year, $1.2 trillion debt reduction -- the bare minimum needed to avoid automatic cuts that size between 2013 and 2023, with half from defense spending.
The committee's deadline to produce legislation for an up or down vote by Congress is Nov. 23. If no agreement is reached, further downgrades of U.S. debt are expected.
Going into the weekend, the committee's four-month-long negotiations were deadlocked. Republican have insisted that the Bush tax cuts become permanent in exchange for the elimination of loopholes that could bring in an estimated $300 billion in revenue. Democrats have so far refused serious cost cuts on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
To be sure, a meaningful supercommittee deal is still possible, however unlikely.''