Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke’s Jackson Hole Visit Propels Markets
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke graced his presence once again upon the glorious skyline of the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the annual Economic Policy Symposium organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The event has been made famous for Bernanke’s famous 2010 QE2 (quantitative easing) speech and he once again did his best to confuse people this year with his cryptic and masterful “Fed Speak” techniques. While reporters from around the globe covered the event, we at Investing Caffeine were fortunate enough to access MTV’s Jersey Shore cast member’s, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, exclusive interpretation of Bernanke’s speech. Here’s how “The Situation” translated Bernanke’s talk:
Mr Bernanke: “The financial crisis and the subsequent slow recovery have caused some to question whether the United States, notwithstanding its long-term record of vigorous economic growth, might not now be facing a prolonged period of stagnation.”
The Situation’s Take: “Looks like this economy is f’d up big time. This is gonna be some sick dry-spell.”
Mr. Bernanke: “The pace of recovery in the United States has, for the most part, proved disappointing thus far… it is clear that the recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we had hoped.”
The Situation’s Take: “These economist chumps would have more luck chucking darts at Snooki’s booty than they would hitting their predictions. Let’s call Joey, my booky, and I’ll show you how the Situation works his magic.”
Mr. Bernanke: “Manufacturing production in the United States has risen nearly 15 percent since its trough, driven substantially by growth in exports. Indeed, the U.S. trade deficit has been notably lower recently than it was before the crisis, reflecting in part the improved competitiveness of U.S. goods and services.”
The Situation’s Take: “Trashed girls at the clubs like me a lot more after some drinks, just like the trashed value of the dollar makes foreigners like our exports.”
Mr. Bernanke: “Temporary factors, including the effects of the run-up in commodity prices on consumer and business budgets and the effect of the Japanese disaster on global supply chains and production, were part of the reason for the weak performance of the economy in the first half of 2011; accordingly, growth in the second half looks likely to improve as their influence recedes.”
The Situation’s Take: “When I’m chasing tail, hangovers temporarily slow me down sometimes too. What Big Ben and the U.S. financial situation needs is some 5-Hour Energy drink, a tanning session, and a quick pump of the biceps at the gym.”
Mr. Bernanke: “We indicated that economic conditions–including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013.”
The Situation’s Take: “I feel you Benjamin. Keeping rates low is like having a permanent 2-for-1 happy hour at the club for the next two years. Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!”
Mr. Bernanke: “The Federal Reserve has a range of tools that could be used to provide additional monetary stimulus. The Committee will continue to assess the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ its tools as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery.”
The Situation’s Take: “I hear ya Ben. Sometimes you gotta pull out the secret weapon, just like I have to flash my secret weapon…boom – these monster abs! Keep those secret tools coming Benny. I don’t care if it’s QE3, QE4, QE-infinity – just don’t listen to the haters.”
Mr. Bernanke: “I have confidence that our European colleagues fully appreciate what is at stake in the difficult issues they are now confronting and that, over time, they will take all necessary and appropriate steps to address those issues effectively and comprehensively.”
The Situation’s Take: “Everybody needs to put faith in their wingman sometimes.”
Mr. Bernanke: “Our K-12 educational system, despite considerable strengths, poorly serves a substantial portion of our population.”
The Situation’s Take: “Don’t mess with me Benny. C’mon, just take a look at me. I’m living proof of how our schools are the bomb! After all, the Situation learned his best moves with the ladies during high school.”
Mr. Bernanke: “Most of the economic policies that support robust economic growth in the long run are outside the province of the central bank…As I have emphasized on previous occasions, without significant policy changes, the finances of the federal government will inevitably spiral out of control.”
Situation’s Take: “Don’t let them politician punks make you do all the heavy lifting and flush the economy down the toilet. Looking this good ain’t easy and fixing the U.S. of A. ain’t either.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke covered a lot of ground in his Jackson Hole speech. Given the mounds of complex data and dismal state of our economic situation, who better to translate and provide cutting edge analysis than Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. Investing Caffeine appreciates the exclusive access given to us, but now I’m off to more important tasks at hand – before I do my fist pumping at the club tonight, I need to go work my abs and apply a nice spray tan.
Wade W. Slome is a CFA and CFP® at Sidoxia Capital Management.
Disclosure: Sidoxia Capital Management (SCM) and some of its clients own certain exchange traded funds.
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