Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Leadership sidelines economy, elects to punt

Commentary: Fed chairman's speech a 'Thud!'

Markets are stumbling to a standstill at week's end, exhausted by the last month's worries, and today big money in New York is distracted by Hurricane Irene. Better send the help to batten the house in the Hamptons, and see if those eager one-off friends up the Hudson would mind short-notice company. The 10-year T-note, after its dramatic dive from 3 percent to 2 percent, has settled near 2.2 percent, no better indicator of deep concern still in place. It is football season, and one sound from games fills the air: "Thump!" Punting. The entire financial world had waited two weeks for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo. At 8 a.m. Mountain Standard Time today ... "Thud!" As punts go, a dribbler. This whiff -- no new policy, no wisdom -- reflects a divided Fed, with country rascals at regional Feds in open rebellion. The ball landed at the Fed's Sept. 20 meeting, the chairman addi...