The world is filled with mealy-mouthed, hedge-happy, carping, waffling economists, but praise the Lord, Ben Bernanke isn't one of them. I grew up in a world where, if you were the head of the Fed and you were asked whether you would like some peas with your mashed potatoes, you were to reply, "Perhaps. Time will tell." That's not our Ben's style, not one bit. This morning the internet is buzzing with his clear, concise statement that we're on our way to a nice, measured recovery. Speaking at a boondoggle of some kind in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (which was created for that purpose), the head Fed said that "economic activity appears to be leveling out, both in the United States and abroad." For a guy in his position, that is the equivalent of jumping up and down with a propeller beanie on your head, painting your face red and blue and screaming, "We're Number One!"
In completely, utterly and thoroughly related news, the stock market immediately swung to yearly highs. Pavlov was right! If you show a dog a piece of meat -- it WILL drool! And a good thing, too!