Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Janet Yellen made her first appearance before congress today as the first woman ever to chair the Federal Reserve.  Not quite a triumph, but everyone heard exactly what they wanted to hear despite confirmation of the old adage that You Can Take the Girl Out of Brooklyn but You Can't take Brooklyn Out of the Girl.  It was wonderful to hear but Claire Bloom she's not.  I'm told her chicken soap is better, tho, and it was served in copious amounts.

If anything, the lady is as good if not better that her predecessor once removed, Alan Greenspan.  She speaks, says very little and you believe you are in good hands.  One would hope so.  The two things that everyone seems to have taken away from today's event was that

1.  The Fed will remain as accommodating as possible (or as needed), and
2.  The Fed will continue to scale back it's purchases of securities.

Of the first no surprise, but of the second I guess I was wrong again…except I didn't hear the real   conviction that everyone else did.  No matter, it's what's believed that counts.  I also heard positive sounds relating to the economy but these were distinctly muted--not to the extent of Mr. Bernanke's last chat but far from any cheerleader mode either. As expected, the equity boys deemed this to be salvation and the DOW powered ahead to an almost 200 point gain at the close.  Interestingly enough, the 10 year was all over the place all day finally settling at 2.72%,  Go find someone who understands that, I don't.

All of this, of course was in the face of far from strong numbers either on the economy of in corporate earnings, continued bad news in emerging markets and troubling events in Europe.  It is really quite amusing how the markets can turn on and off regarding emerging always having the same final idea that we in the U.S. are pretty much insulated from their effects…until we're not.  Except for China, and increasing concern is being expressed over the economic/credit situation in terms of "this is really important," whereas I don't have very much concern at all except in a macro sense as to the worldwide response to a slowdown in economic activity.  But credit?  Nah.  That's the wonderful thing about a totalitarian state.  Nobody dies unless the bosses say so.

But why should any of us care about any of these thing when we have The Greatest Show on Earth playing right now on the shores of the Potomac and the Rappahanock.  Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Barry and Frankie show, two Presidents with their approval ratings in the tank finding one another amid the complete lack of interest on the part of anybody else in the world!  It would be better of course if The Leader could pronounce Frankie's name properly and if he (or, perhaps, she) didn't have an idiot working for him/her that plans a state dinner in a tent in the middle of February in Washington (forecast: 14 F. and windy) but hey, we're friends again.  Lafayette,  nous Somme ici!  Dear God you can't make this up.

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