The premise, or at least one of the premises, of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which opened on the big screen in early May, is that rather than operate under predictable laws, the universe is absurd. This insight was not lost on those who pondered market developments in the first half of 2005.

Even the astute chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, had to admit the low bond market yields were a “conundrum.” This seemed especially true in the U.S., where benchmark bond yields were lower for most of the period than they were a year ago, despite overnight rates having tripled since then, GDP growth running slightly above its average of the 1991-2001 period, and job creation on par with 2004’s pace.

But as the first half winds down, the outlook for the remainder of the year seems clearer and the logic of events less obtuse.