I’ve had my fair share of horrible memories in life (hey, that’s a cheerful way to kick off a post, isn’t it?) but one that stands out as one of the worst was September 1, 2010. I’ve mentioned this date before, because it was a searing, horrible experience for me.
At the time, I was very, very aggressively short the market, and I (very naively) thought that, with interest rates at 0, there was nothing left for the Fed to do. Ummm – – wrong! As we all know, the Fed really has no limits as to what it can conjure up, and Bernanke unveiled a massive quantitative easing program. Trillions of dollars later, we all can plainly see that it didn’t work (although the man still gets paid a quarter million bucks to make a single boring speech), but at the time, it was just the tonic the stock market needed. (more…)
I was just looking at some of the material from the latest Fed fumble, which was the leaked files of the Fed’s projections over the next five years. What a joke! Just take a good look at one of the charts. It’s breathtaking how freakin’ stable things suddenly get in the future, isn’t it? These are supposed to be our best and brightest economists, everybody.
In case you thought you were smart enough to know why the Fed wants to do what it supposedly wants to do  MarketWatch sets you straight with the real scoop. We’ll use this as a talking point and see what comes of it…
Policy makers want to give themselves some room to maneuver
That is the commonly held belief and who am I to dispute it? A big part of the problem is and has been their refusal to begin a journey toward normalization 2 years ago, when the economy began to visibly (we noted the seeds of that improvement in January of that year) improve. They had no confidence and I was left to wonder (aloud here, frequently and I am sure, sometimes obnoxiously) why Grandma  (and her 0% savings account payout) had to continue to bear the brunt of this non-action despite a recovering economy.
I’m going to go dark for a while (which should give me a plausible chance of heading up the NAACP – heh) to do battle with earth’s most evil she-male. The fact that we have to go through this eight times a year sickens me, but it must be done. Godspeed to you, and I’ll see you on the other side.
I have always liked Ben Bernanke, in that I think he is a soft-spoken, nice guy who took the hand off from Alan Greenspan in stride, heroically making chicken soup out of the chicken excrement he was left with. He kept his dignity and calm demeanor during the days when inflationist gold bugs codified the term “Helicopter Ben” and turned it into just another accepted way of saying “Ben Bernanke”.
While we’re on the subject of Mr. Bullard, the opening segment from this week’s NFTRH (#335) had a little fun with the Fed. Serious multi-market and economic analysis came later, but sometimes you just need to shake your head in awe and wonder.
The Fed is important because millions of market participants believe it is important and a critical mass of people are under the illusion that its policies have put the “Great Recession” in the past and laid a path for a sustainably good economy going forward. In short, confidence in the Fed has never been more pervasive as it reaps the reward (the respect and confidence of the majority) for a job well done.