Wall Street's Bet on the Fiscal Cliff

The smart money says a deal has to get done. But Washington isn't good at smart

Illustration by Harry Campbell for TIME

There is much that divides New York City and Washington: The cleanliness of the streets. Sartorial daring. And the view on whether or not we'll fall off the fiscal cliff by year's end. Wall Street, which bets on the future for a living, seems sure that Washington will come up with a solution. Markets rose as cliff negotiations between President Obama and congressional leaders commenced. While investors are worried about last-minute brinkmanship, the consensus has been that the stock plunge that would surely result is "hardly the holiday gift legislators will want to deliver to their constituents," as one major bank...

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