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But some dubious assertions have, through constant repetition in recent, often breathless, accounts about the two economies, become part of conventional wisdom.

This is an economic fact of fundamental significance, for the real long-term interest rate is a direct measure of the cost of borrowing to conduct business, launch new enterprises, or expand existing ones – and its levels now fly in the face of all the talk about the need to slash government deficits.

With divided government, many expect partisan gridlock on major legislation. But there is reason to be hopeful: the American economy, labor market, and stock market have historically fared a bit better in years of divided government.

In effect, the European Union and the ECB are now being forced to return with overly generous support to the weak countries – including buying up all their debt, if necessary.

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