I find it fascinating that the Microsoft dividend could be large enough to jar the entire economy. And it is more fascinating that that shock and the tax rebates of 2001, 2008, & 2009 appear to have had no lasting effect -- they all appear to be one-offs. Perhaps Washington D.C. isn't as terribly impactful as they would like to think they are. Maybe there is hope yet. Maybe the economy is too massive (and directed from too many centers) for the politicians to screw it up even when they try.