All markets want from Ben Bernanke when he testifies before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday is reassurance that he is not getting cold feet about the Fed’s open-ended, $85bn-a-month, QE3 programme of asset purchases. That follows minutes which, while notably vague, showed “many” participants worrying about QE3′s costs and risks.
They are likely to get that reassurance — although maybe not in the most straightforward manner. It is important to note that, when Mr Bernanke testifies, he is speaking for the committee and not for himself. This is the statutory language: Read more
Someone, somewhere, has been counting. They have counted, for example, the number of times Ben Bernanke has said ‘inflation’ in the past few years in his testimony to Congress (it has been falling, and the word ‘deflation’ doesn’t show up at all*).
Discussion of institutions is rising fast, however. ‘Federal’ and ‘reserve’ are the biggest winners – ‘federal’ was said 46 times in the latest speech, almost 7 times the wordcount three years ago, and double the wordcount six months ago. ‘Congress’ and indeed ‘institutions’ are new entrants, as is ‘system’. ‘Facilities’, not shown on chart, made a strong entrance this year, with a count of 18. Read more