With the Dow crossing 12000 and the S&P 500 poised at 1300, and commodities across the globe on a tear, we leave it to Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg to put things in perspective. We pick this up from Rosenberg’s daily commentary, right after he noted that some retailers are sounding a bit panicky.
We’ll tell you someone who isn’t panicky at all. His name is Ben Bernanke. He runs the nation’s printing press, and he is one cool customer. His nickname is Helicopter Ben. We’ll call him HB for short.
We just saw in the King Report that HB gave an interview on CNBC last Thursday when he was queried about the success of QE2, especially since bond yields and mortgage rates have gone up substantially in recent months. Here was his response:
“Policies have contributed to a stronger stock market just as they did in March 2009, when we did the last iteration of this. The S&P 500 is up 20%-plus and the Russell 2000, which is about small cap stocks, is up 30%-plus.”
Well, there you have it. When you have a central bank chief talking about the virtues of small-cap stocks, you know you really have a pro looking after the country’s monetary affairs. One has to wonder whether Cramer will end up on the short list for HB’s replacement when the time comes. So what we have is a Fed that is now targeting the stock market and engaging in some form of manipulation to invite the same speculative risky behaviour that has ended so badly in the past. But make no mistake, HB is spiking the Kool-Aid in a significant way and it is working for now. So the Bernanke put is really an extension of the old Greenspan put, but with just a different strike price.
Jim Cramer for Fed chair. That’s the quote of the day, right there. Boo-yah!