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!)