Uncle Ben Is “Nimble” And “Flexible”
“Economic forecasting is always difficult, but the current stresses in financial markets make the uncertainty surrounding the outlook even greater than usual. We at the Federal Reserve will have to remain exceptionally alert and flexible as we continue to assess how best to promote sustainable economic growth and price stability in the United States.”
– Ben Bernanke, Chairman of The Federal Reserve, in a speech to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Thursday November 29
Well the talking Feds sure are talking up a storm this week. Kohn was out on Wednesday morning saying the Fed must be “nimble” and last night Bernanke echoed him using the term “flexible”.
As usual, markets have worked themselves into a frenzy over the prospect of a rate cut, surging massively Wednesday and at the open today (Friday) – though the gains have tailed off a bit.
In other news, October Personal Income and Spending came in a bit weak, while the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure Index (PCE), said to be the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, was up .2% in October and 1.9% over the last 12 months.