Markets waited all week for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s keynote speech today at the central bankers’ conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Fishin’ up there is good, and would have been a better use of time.
Rates are now rising sharply from their lows after Bernanke’s murky address accurately reflected a divided and uncertain Fed, in a reactive state several miles from anticipation and pre-emption.
There will be no new quantitative easing (or "QE," the Fed’s direct injection of invented cash) or any other substantive action until the economy declares itself, double-dip or modest recovery. The job market will be definitive, but this Fed will need to see two or more months of dipping data before moving.