• With: Dan Henninger, Mary Anastasia O'Grady, James Freeman, Dorothy Rabinowitz

    FREEMAN: This is a miss to outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for continuing this year to buy another trillion dollars in mortgage-backed securities, essentially creating money, forcing it out into the economy. The financial crisis was five years ago. It's been years since the recession ended. And now we have this real distortion of prices. And I think eventually there will be reckoning.

    GIGOT: Do you put any more confidence in Janet Yellen, the new Fed chairman --

    (CROSSTALK)

    FREEMAN: No, no more confidence.

    GIGOT: Really? You think there's going to be something easy as far as the eye can see here?

    FREEMAN: Well, this baby step of just cutting back by $10 billion a month, when the markets really were ready for more. They were ready more last summer when Ben Bernanke did his head fake. And I think it's time for government to step back and let markets run.

    GIGOT: Short summary. Freeman is long for going into 2014.

    (LAUGHTER)

    FREEMAN: Always.

    (LAUGHTER)

    GIGOT: All right.

    My miss goes to the Republicans who engineered the government shutdown in the name of a goal they couldn't achieve, defunding ObamaCare. They hurt their party image and they reduced whatever leverage they had in the budget negotiations. And tow they decided their party when they need to be unified going to 2014. We called them kamikazes before the showdown. That may have been unfair to the ca kamikazes, who at least were fighting the enemy.

    (LAUGHTER)

    The shutdown leaders took down their own ships.

    (CROSSTALK)

    (LAUGHTER)

    HENNINGER: So neither party looks to be in fabulous shape in 2014, so which one is going to show some upside next year, is my question.

    GIGOT: Well, if the Republicans can avoid another calamity on the debt ceiling, I think you've got to give them the momentum. Because you've got ObamaCare here, and if they focus on ObamaCare, rather than criticizing it, offering constructive reform, not doing something that is unachievable. We all support the defunding of ObamaCare. Everybody at this table certainly does. And we have in the newspaper since -- well, going back 25 years, we've opposed this.

    HENNINGER: Hillary-care.

    GIGOT: Hillary-care. But it's a question of what is achievable and what will the American people listen to. And I think a critique that offers real solutions for the individual insurance needs of Americans is going to succeed.

    FREEMAN: I think a number of Republican pick ups in the Senate is also achievable next year.

    GIGOT: All right.

    If you have your own hit or miss from the year, be sure to tweet us at JERonFNC.

    That's it for this week's show. Thanks to my panel, especially to all of you for watching. I'm Paul Gigot. Happy New Year. And we hope to see you right here next year.

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