- I want the truth!
Helicopter Ben vs. Don Texote. Sounds like a damn monster movie.
Today’s news highlight, the Movie of the Week, if you will, is the testimony of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who’s speaking in front of the House Budget Committee. These little hearings with sitting Fed chairmen are always entertaining, if for no other reason than you get to watch a lot of dim-bulb politicians trying to score political points because they know the cameras are on. But there are some issues that are, ah, inflating, shall we say, that might make this one more interesting than usual.
Now, the Fed chairman himself is going to stick to the script as much as possible. Here’s a little preview we put out on the Wire this morning, written by Stephen Bernard:
1332 GMT [Dow Jones] Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is not likely to stray from his long-held position that the economy is still weak enough for the Fed to continue its $600 billion bond-buying program, Brown Brothers Harriman wrote in a research note. “We expect Bernanke’s remarks to resemble the speech he gave last week, highlighting that despite gradual improvement in the economy, the Fed remains uncomfortable with low inflation and high unemployment,” the note said. The euro is at $1.3653 in morning trading in New York ahead of the speech, from $1.3625 late Tuesday, according to EBS via CQG.
But today’s could especially interesting. For one thing, the committee’s composition has changed since the midterm elections, so you could see some new dim-bulb politicians looking to score new political points. Second, well, did you see the front page of the Wall Street Journal? “Inflation Worries Spread,” top of page one.
Remember last week I was fantasizing about what one question you would ask the Fed chairman if you could? Well, I’ve got another one, a better one. It’s this, and I have to admit I didn’t come up with it. Randall Forsyth at Barron’s and Joan McCullough at East Shore Partners both made the same point:
How can the Fed take credit for boosting stock prices, but not be responsible for rising commodities prices?
You’d probably have continue with a whole slew of slyly phrased follow-up questions to get a real answer, you know, like Lt. Kaffee in “A Few Good Men.” Can’t you just see it? Whatdya you want? I want the truth!
If we could ever get Ron Paul to play the part of Lt. Kaffee, and Bernanke to play Col. Jessep, we could really have something.