Fed bungle may prompt higher mortgage rates

Commentary: Bond market no longer feels safe
Published on Jun 21, 2013

The days are getting shorter now, football closer -- at least the Fed can't take that away from us. Given its fantastic bungling this week, it might try.First, let's get the fairy tales out of the way. No, President Obama has not asked Fed Chair Ben Bernanke to leave; Bernanke is exhausted (which may explain some of this week), and orderly competition to succeed him began in January. And no, the market wrecks this week do not invalidate the quantitative easing (QE) campaign. It was exactly the right thing to have done.Bernanke is an American hero, his inventiveness and courage without parallel in our peacetime history. However, the skills and instincts necessary to save us in the post-Lehman event are completely different from those required to manage a gradual tightening of policy.Bernanke on May 22 did an expert and appropriate job of mumbling. Markets needed to be warned that QE might taper in the next several months, and be reminded that someday QE would end altogether,...