Gentle Ben

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Ben Bernanke's Fed surprised the vast majority of investors yesterday when the FOMC decided not to begin tapering the stimulus being provided to the economy via the monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds and mortgage-backed securities....
Ben Bernanke's Fed surprised the vast majority of investors yesterday when the FOMC decided not to begin tapering the stimulus being provided to the economy via the monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The move came as a surprise because "Gentle Ben" has been "talking taper" since May. And since May, both the bond and stock markets have spent the vast majority of their days trying to come to grips with what "the taper" would mean. But at the end of the day Wednesday, all the consternation associated with "the taper" had gone for naught. Sure, Mr. Bernanke made it clear that his Fed (well, until January that is) could begin cutting back on the QE program at any time. However at this point in time, Bernanke said that the FOMC did not feel the economic data was in line with what the FOMC needed to
about 2 hours ago
A new all-time high for the S&P 500 as this is being written at 1,728, surpassing the August, 2013 high of 1,709 and a powerful Treasury rally are the result of the Fed and FOMC choosing to postpone taper, and leave current monetary poli...
A new all-time high for the S&P 500 as this is being written at 1,728, surpassing the August, 2013 high of 1,709 and a powerful Treasury rally are the result of the Fed and FOMC choosing to postpone taper, and leave current monetary policy and quantitative easing as is.Chairman Ben Bernanke's press conference is still ongoing and we are listening to it as we write, but I also wondered while listening to the Chairman's earlier testimony if he still isn't being guided by the 1930's Great Depression experience.Although the Chairman has a plethora of enemies and critics, I think hindsight will show in future years, he was the exact right Chairman, in the exact right place (Fed Chairman) at the exact right time (the Financial Crisis of 2008) that if events had transpired unchecked, the hit to the U.S. economy probably would have made the Great Depression of
about 18 hours ago
Don’t mention the war: The Young Boys manager Manager: Denney (Wales) Twitter name: @andenney Since: 2006 Last season: Did not enter Trohpy cabinet: Champions 2010/11, Canesten Combi Cup winners 2008/09 Sympathies: Spurs Darts musi...
Don’t mention the war: The Young Boys manager Manager: Denney (Wales) Twitter name: @andenney Since: 2006 Last season: Did not enter Trohpy cabinet: Champions 2010/11, Canesten Combi Cup winners 2008/09 Sympathies: Spurs Darts music: Gentle Ben theme Outlook (on 26 August 2013): Returning after a season-long layoff to focus on defending the club’s ambiguous name to the probings of Operation Yewtree , the Young Boys manager has lost a lot of the luck that made him one of the successful ever entrants in the Kenna. In a near-copycat predicament to the Spartak Mogadishu Luka Modric fiasco last summer, £25m signing Gareth Bale is all but set to move to sunnier climes, while dark clouds have gathered over £17m Nicolas Anelka, whose future even as a player hangs in the balance. There’s no more joy in the rest of team, where Vincent Kompany and Nathan Baker both face lengthy periods on the treatment table. Known as ‘Gentle Den’ at the club for his patented arm-round-the-shoulder approach to teasing the best out of his team of Young Boys, the manager will have get to work quickly on the remaining members if he wants to put together a credible challenge this season:  Jonathan Walters has already started his campaign with a trademark missed penalty. However, it’s common knowledge that behind the avuncular exterior lies a rigid disciplinarian, and come previous transfer windows those otherwise performing well have been culled for not meeting the manager’s unique demands, often to the detriment of the club’s title chances (this was sadly before the Kenna was so extensively chronicled on these pages). For legal reasons, former players have always declined to speak of their experiences breaching the club’s strict code of conduct. Scotland Yard may have cleared him for now, but the Young Boys manager has never been able to shake the stories of cold showers, plastic cable ties and a scoutmaster’s uniform. Cech, P CHE £16m Kompany, V MCY £21m Santon, D NEW £5m Evra, P MUN £11m Baker, N AVL £0.5m Bale, G TOT £25m Rosicky, T ARS £0.5m Ramirez, G SOT £1.5m Bo-Kyung, K CAR £0.5m Anelka, N WBA £17m Walters, J STO £1m £99m 51.511214 -0.119824
24 days ago
"With unemployment still high and declining only gradually, and with inflation running below the Committee's longer-run objective, a highly accommodative monetary policy will remain appropriate for the foreseeable future." That's Fed ...
"With unemployment still high and declining only gradually, and with inflation running below the Committee's longer-run objective, a highly accommodative monetary policy will remain appropriate for the foreseeable future." That's Fed chair Ben Bernanke today speaking to the House about Fed policy and the economy. His key points were: -- The economy is getting better, but the labor market is lagging well behind and still needs support. He, for one, will keep supporting it until it's clear that pulling back is warranted. -- Congress is one of the main reasons why the Fed must continue its accommodations. He mentioned "fiscal headwinds" numerous times. In fact, his first sentence after "hello" was this: "The economic recovery has continued at a moderate pace in recent quarters despite the strong headwinds created by federal fiscal policy" [my bold]. That's like if your neighbor invited you over for a drink and after saying "hi" you pointed out that their neglect of their yard was lowering the neighborhood's home values. -- Reducing monetary stimulus will be heavily data driven. Right now, as the quote above stresses, the two key measures of economic are both signaling that stimulus is still needed. -- In that regard, Bernanke's distinction between thresholds and triggers, with the former less binding, is important. I quote the following at length because it's so logical and well said. And remember, he's saying this stuff in the House of Representatives, where logic has been on an extended vacation. The Committee anticipates that its current exceptionally low target range for the federal funds rate will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent and inflation and inflation expectations remain well behaved in the sense described in the FOMC's statement. As I have observed on several occasions, the phrase "at least as long as" is a key component of the policy rate guidance. These words indicate that the specific numbers for unemployment and inflation in the guidance are thresholds, not triggers. Reaching one of the thresholds would not automatically result in an increase in the federal funds rate target; rather, it would lead the Committee to consider whether the outlook for the labor market, inflation, and the broader economy justified such an increase. For example, if a substantial part of the reductions in measured unemployment were judged to reflect cyclical declines in labor force participation rather than gains in employment, the Committee would be unlikely to view a decline in unemployment to 6-1/2 percent as a sufficient reason to raise its target for the federal funds rate. Likewise, the Committee would be unlikely to raise the funds rate if inflation remained persistently below our longer-run objective. Moreover, so long as the economy remains short of maximum employment, inflation remains near our longer-run objective, and inflation expectations remain well anchored, increases in the target for the federal funds rate, once they begin, are likely to be gradual. This post originally appeared at Jared Bernstein's On The Economy blog.
2 months ago
Good Morning. After eight consecutive up days and green finishes seen in twelve of the last fourteen sessions, even the most ardent bulls will likely admit that a pause might be in order right about now. So, with Ben Bernanke ready to la...
Good Morning. After eight consecutive up days and green finishes seen in twelve of the last fourteen sessions, even the most ardent bulls will likely admit that a pause might be in order right about now. So, with Ben Bernanke ready to launch into in his semi-annual chat with Congress today and Thursday (btw, the Fed Chairman's written testimony to the House Financial Services Committee will be released at 8:30 am this morning), it appears that traders decided that a break in the joyride to the upside was indeed in order yesterday. However, one down day (amounting to a measly 32 Dow points) does not a pullback make. So, with traders basically waiting to see if Gentle Ben is going to change his tune on Capitol Hill this week, I thought this would be a good time to finish up our look at the various valuation metrics. What we've seen
2 months ago