I’m purposely ignoring Bernanke’s address this afternoon but thanks to the Faculty Lounge, this particular gem made its way through to me in which the Fed Chairman finds himself confused about why people aren’t reacting to monetary stimulus:
“Even taking into account the many financial pressures they face, households seem exceptionally cautious.” – Ben Bernanke, 9/8/2011
Allow me to explain, Ben:
1. 10% unemployment
2. 20% underemployment
3. Depreciating home values
4. High credit card/student loan debt
5. Stagnating retirement portfolios
6. Tight lending atmosphere
7. High energy, raw material and food costs
8. Nothing worth buying once you have an iPhone
9. Free everything thanks to cheap broadband
10. Lack of confidence in President, Fed Reserve, Financial System, Congress, State & Local municipal governments, PTA
How many of these items did the $600 billion you just spent on QE2 alleviate? How many did QE2 actually exacerbate?
Go to Princeton this weekend and scratch your beard puzzling over that, let us know what you come up with.