Ten-year Treasury yields are bouncing close to 5 percent, holding mortgages in familiar terrain just above 6.5 percent. Stocks worldwide have had a horrible month, all commodities except oil have cracked (gold the leader, today $614 vs. last month's $728 high), and odds are improving that interest rates have topped. Watching the immediate impact of news on markets told a very different story this week than the media did. The week opened with a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, who at last discovered the Fed Phrasebook. Three pages of price stability, price stability, price stability as the absolute priority and prerequisite for successful economic management wrapped around a predecessor-style key paragraph: "Core inflation has reached a level that, if sustained, would be at or ...
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