With regards to the Fed, I’ve been highly critical of them over many
years, believing that it was their unstable and easy money monetary
policy that sowed the seeds for the massive credit bubble that has now
popped. The FOMC’s policy response, led by Bernanke who was a key player
in the Greenspan 1% fed funds policy, to deal with the aftermath is to
revert to another period of easy money. Ben and Greenspan were the mad
scientists whose experiment went wrong after the recession in ’01-’02
and the world looks to a ‘new’ Bernanke now as Chairman, to clean it up
with another grand experiment. While the story of Jekyll and Hyde refers
to the personality conflict of good and evil, it could also be in
reference to changes in personality to different situations. I discuss
all this for the sole reason that Ben is giving a speech tonight at
Jekyll Island, Georgia on the bank stress tests as his functions have
pushed the limits of his responsibilities.
COF, BBT and USB have joined WFC and MS in raising private capital and
the sense of clarity that the stress test has provided based on the
specific sets of scenarios laid out by the Treasury have made investors
comfortable and private capital entering the financial industry is a
great accomplishment considering all the tumult. After March German IP
was better than expected on Friday, French and Italian IP came in weaker
than forecasted and its helping to weigh on European markets.
Commodities are taking a breather also in response.