Thursday’s Economic Roundtable

Fiscal Cliff Resolution Remains Elusive
With only days before the year-end deadline, Congress has returned to work on solving the stalemate over the fiscal cliff. However, lawmakers on both sides have little confidence that an agreement will be reached before the December 31 deadline. And the stock market is no more certain a resolution can be achieved.

CBS News offers a primer on what will happen if the US goes over the fiscal cliff.


President Obama called the House back to Washington in a renewed effort to move legislation averting the fiscal cliff before the December 31 deadline.

For Retailers The Season Is Not So Joyous
It may be the season of joy, but it was not so joyous for retailers who saw consumer confidence fall in December to a five-month low. This, in part, resulted in the worst retail season since 2008, according to Reuters News.

Where Does Japan Fit In US Pivot To Asia?
In his second term, President Obama signaled that his foreign policy would shift toward Asia, particularly with a new government in Japan. Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe recently completed the formation of his Cabinet. In a move seen as a recognition of chillier relations with China, Japan is seeking to engage in deeper discussions on the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership.

While Japan likely will play a larger rolein the refocused US foreign policy other Asian nations view the “pivot” with more skepticism.

Economic Conditions Vary Among States

It is easy to look at the national unemployment rate as a barometer of the economic health in the states, but, as the Atlantic observes, some states are growing at faster rates than others.

Those states which are growing in population are also growing in


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