Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Final Take On The Ben Bernanke Press Conference

Our Fed Chairman held court on Wednesday, on the heels of the “move along folks, nothing to see here” policy announcement. While I give the Federal Reserve credit for the attempt at transparency, I've attempted to translate some of his more salient points.

Below, please find my interpretation of his press conference:

Said: Bernanke expects a 'relatively weak' first quarter.
Meant: We''ve spent trillions of dollars and folks are finally waking up to the fact that a rally doesn't equal a recovery.

Said: He says most of the 1st quarter slowdown was 'transitory.'
Meant: Blame it on Japan.

Said: Bernanke says a strong dollar is in the US and the global interest.
Meant: Focus on what I say, not what we've done.

Said: The dollar fluctuates.
Meant: Yeah, fluctuates down!

Said: Bernanke is unsure of when tightening will begin.
Meant: Your guess is as good as mine.

Said: Higher gas prices is 'creating hardship,' it's a 'bad development', and 'bad for the recovery.'
Meant: Take your pick: you can have higher stocks or higher prices at the pump.

Said: Bernanke reiterates that underlying inflation remains subdued.
Meant: (Sorry, I can't type, I'm laughing too hard with commodities, as measured by the CRB, 85% higher in the last two years.)

Said: Bernanke says Fed maintains a highly accomodative policy.
Meant: We'll keep printing until China makes us stop.

Said: FOMC is 'confident' it has tools for tightening.
Meant: I'll ask for your confidence... again.

Said: Bernanke believes base price inflation will ease.
Meant: ...If we take their oil wells.

Said: Bernanke says the labor market improving gradually.
Meant: You're fired!

Said: Bernanke is concerned about "medium-term inflatinon."
Meant: I'm sorry... what?

Said: Bernanke says "we are digging ourselves out of a deep hole on jobs.
Meant: And digging a deeper hole on both the deficit and credibility front.

Said: Bernanke is watching Europe very carefully.
Meant: The sovereign sequel is very real.

Said: Bernanke says Fed Monetary Policy is not out of the ordinary.
Meant: (Rubbing my eyes and ears!)

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