That's how many trading sessions remain before massive (and automatic) tax increases and expenditure cuts take effect.
And in the roll up to this non event(more in a moment), oil prices and energy shares have been hit hard. But as you'll see, it won't be for much longer.
To put some sanity into this overwrought conversation here are three key points up front.
First, the cliff will never take place. Pundits are treating this like some definitive confirmation of a Mayan prophecy.
CNN has what amounts to a daily "cliff dive," giving us the next eagerly awaited pearl of wisdom on yet another calamity to befall if the mess hits. And CNBC is handing out "Rise Above" buttons with great fanfare to oblige politicos to move away from partisan rancor.
Great! The three-piece suits inside the Beltway would never have figured out what needed to be done without a button. They all know they will kick something (a can, an accounting device, a legislative reprieve) further along before the deadline hits.
This is a grand nonevent; it will never take place, especially after the election we just experienced.
With an impending budgetary crisis looming, the Senate Republican leadership put defeating Obama as their number one goal (a "let's show everybody that the real issues are less important than politics" approach if there ever was one).
On the other side of the aisle, the Democratic leadership cast the situation as a "saving of the American dream," after failing to curb an unemployment trend or reassure small business about prospects.
So here we are back where we started before the costliest campaign season Americans have ever witnessed.
Except, this time, something big has changed. And it's all because of the electorate.