Blowing a lot of smoke at Jackson Hole
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a much-anticipated speech yesterday to a conference of business and industry leaders in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
That's really where the coverage of this story should end.
For all of the attention paid to this speech, in the final wind-up- Bernanke said nothing. Squat. Jack shit. Announcing no new measures to stimulate the economy, but saying the Fed has tools at its disposal, if necessary, Bernanke instead put the onus on Congress to do more to stimulate hiring and growth.
In other words, the Federal Reserve could do something, but it's perfectly willing to continue passing the buck to our do-less-than-nothing Congress, so Bernanke doesn't have to take much more heat for being a spectacular failure at his job. We all know Congress listens, right, especially since they haven't heard one thing the American public has been screaming about getting them off their collective asses to do something...anything.
For whatever reason, investors took a bright view of Bernanke's latest empty-headed yapping, and the markets finished up for the day and up for the overall week. Yeah, I don't get it either...
Then again, gas prices shot right back up on Thursday, rising gradually across the country, even as Bernanke was touting oil and other commodity prices dropping.
Yes, much ado about nothing. For all the cheap talk government-as-usual gives us, maybe we should start investing heavily in wind energy. If Congress is not going to do a damn thing for the economy, they could at least put that hot air towards lowering some energy costs. That is, unless that's another Bernanke tool he's not gonna use...
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