Budget: Private sector likely to applaud
The market reaction to the Budget seems fairly rational: a rise in the price of government debt; a fall in sterling; a drop in bank share prices; a modest fall in some retail shares.
Well, lenders to the government were bound to like Mr Osborne's plan to accelerate plans to reduce the deficit and start reducing the national debt as a share of GDP from 2015/16.
Even this year, the volume of gilt issuance will be £20bn lower than the March forecast at £165bn.
Sterling's weakness reflects the likelihood that the Bank of England will keep interest rates lower for longer, in response to the public-sector squeeze.
And what a squeeze! The numbers on pages 40 to 41 of the Budget book - which has reverted to the traditional simple red crepe binding - are remarkable: a cumulative aggregated retrenchment of £120bn over five years.
The state is being shrunk significantly: the share of the private sector in the economy is put on to a serious rising trend, absent some kind of shock that tips us back into recession.
As for the banks: well, some may say they got off lightly, with a levy to raise a maximum of £2.5bn by 2013-14.
It will be a tax on the total size of their balance sheets, minus their insured retail deposits and their capital, and with a lower rate applicable to longer-term wholesale funding.
On that basis, I would expect Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland - the semi-nationalised banks - to make the biggest proportionate contributions, with Lloyds most exposed relative to its size.
Barclays should also pay a good chunk.
As for HSBC, given that almost all its UK lending is financed by customer deposits, it would pay proportionately less. Which is perhaps a reward for its prudence in never becoming dangerously reliant on undependable wholesale finance.
One big immediate question is whether the tax will deter Lloyds - an important bank - from lending as much as the economy needs.
The deferred rise in VAT to raise £12.1bn and rising a year from 2011/12 is a significant anxiety for retailers and other consumer-facing businesses. That said, many would argue that the UK became too dependent on retail spending in the boom years running up to 2007.
Manufacturers will probably breathe a sigh of relief that the reduction in capital allowances is more modest than expected - raising £3.1bn by 2013-14.
By then, reductions in the headline rates of corporation tax should give £3.4bn back to business, rising to £4.1bn in the following year.
What of the planned tax rise that sparked the greatest controversy in the weeks preceding this historic Budget, capital gains tax?
In the end, those on basic-rate tax won't see any CGT tax increase - and the rate for those on higher income-tax rates will rise to just 28%, far less than the 50% top rate of income tax.
The net take from that CGT change will be less than £1bn. Which few would argue, probably, would drown the enterprise baby.
Update 1655: I said that the response of markets to the Budget was rational.
But I note that by the close, there had been a modest 1% or more rise in the share prices of the likes of Next, M&S and Home Retail (the owner of Argos).
Which seems odd, in view of the looming VAT rise, which surely ought to put something of a chill into consumer spending.
But maybe investors reckon that what matters more to the fortunes of shops is the likelihood that interest rates will stay lower for longer.
As for the banks, the bounce in Lloyds' shares and the absence of any significant move in RBS's share price may simply tell us that investors were expecting a rather more swingeing levy.
In the round, this Budget won't be seen as anti-business, even if there are (predictable) howls of pain from some quarters (private equity says that the CGT increase will hurt the supply of risk capital to entrepreneurial wealth creators).
And that matters to the chancellor - and probably to the rest of us. Because the growth forecasts that underpin the Budget (prepared for him by the newly-created Office for Budget Responsibility) depend on a sharp recovery in business confidence and a significant bounce in business investment.
Without that investment bounce, next year's fairly tepid economic growth would be more than a third lower.