Slope of Hope Blog Posts
Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The following is the text of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech at Jackson Hole, as prepared for delivery:
“When we convened in Jackson Hole in August 2007, the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) target for the federal funds rate was 5-1/4 percent. Sixteen months later, with the financial crisis in full swing, the FOMC had lowered the target for the federal funds rate to nearly zero, thereby entering the unfamiliar territory of having to conduct monetary policy with the policy interest rate at its effective lower bound. The unusual severity of the recession and ongoing strains in financial markets made the challenges facing monetary policymakers all the greater.
Ben Bernanke is speaking at Jackson Hole at 10am ET today and it's hard to predict what he might say there. The Fed minutes from last week suggest that he might announce QE3, though there doesn't seem any good reason to do that here unless it is intended either as a competitive devaluation of USD, or an intervention in the presidential election in favor of Obama. Either way it might well backfire on the Fed and I'm doubtful about QE3 being announced today. What seems more likely is some sort of extension of Twist. We'll see.
Short term the bollinger bands on the daily SPX chart are now pinching together. This is when the distance between the upper and lower bands become unusually low and generally signals a significant move. The two previous pinches in 2012 were in March and April, and respectively signaled the moves into the April 1 and May 1 highs: