Goldman Capitulates: Lowers GDP Forecast, Increases Unemployment And Inflation Outlook, Sees Imminent QE "Lite"

Tyler Durden's picture

It's official: the double dip is here. Goldman's Jan Hatzius just lowered his GDP forecast for 2011 from 2.5% to 1.9% (kiss goodbye all those 93 EPS estimates on the S&P), increased his unemployment forecast from 9.8% to 10.0%, boosted his inflation expectation from 0.4% to 1.0%, and said that QE lite is now on the table, as he expects that "the FOMC to announce that they will reinvest the paydown of mortgage-backed securities in the bond market at next Tuesday’s meeting." Look for all other sell-side "strategists" (here's looking at you Neil Dutta) to lower their economic outlook in kind, and the 2011 S&P consensus to decline accordingly.

From Goldman Sachs:

Over the past two to three months, the US economic recovery has lost a considerable amount of its momentum.   As a result, our forecast of a significant slowing in US growth in the second half of 2010—widely regarded as implausible just three months ago—is now increasingly accepted as the baseline.  As the data disappointments intensified in early July, we indicated that we would consider revisions to our economic outlook.  With the annual revisions to real GDP now behind us, we are making the following changes:

1.         Slower growth in 2011.  We continue to expect real GDP growth to average 1½% at an annual rate in the second half of 2010.  However, we have scaled back the anticipated reacceleration in US output in 2011, largely due to heightened congressional resistance to extending various measures of fiscal stimulus.  Thus, whereas we previously forecasted growth to rise from 2½% in the first quarter to 3½% by the second half, we now look for a more gradual pickup—from 1½% in the first quarter to 3% in the fourth quarter.  The 2¼% fourth-quarter-to-fourth-quarter average is about 0.9 percentage points below our previous forecast; on an annual average basis our forecast for growth in 2011 drops to 1.9% from 2.4%.  As a result of this downgrade, we now expect the jobless rate to rise to 10% by early 2011 and remain there for the rest of the year.

2.         Continued disinflation, but at a slower pace than before.  We now expect both the price index for personal consumption expenditures excluding food and energy (core PCE index) and the core CPI to slow to a year-to-year rate of ½% by year-end 2011; our previous forecasts were ¼% and zero, respectively.  Although the growth revision implies a larger output gap over the next 18 months, two other considerations dominate: (a) upward revisions to core PCE inflation announced in the latest annual GDP revisions, and (b) signs that disinflation in rents may have ended.

3.         A return to unconventional monetary easing by late 2010/early 2011.  We expect the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to respond to renewed upward pressure on the unemployment rate with another round of unconventional monetary easing.  These measures could involve more asset purchases—probably Treasury securities—and/or a more ironclad commitment to low short-term policy rates.  If the committee decides on more asset purchases, the amount would be at least $1 trillion (trn).

4.         A “baby step” to unconventional easing next week.  Although it is a fairly close call, we now expect the FOMC to announce that they will reinvest the paydown of mortgage-backed securities in the bond market at next Tuesday’s meeting.  This would be a “baby step” in the direction of renewed unconventional easing, although it would probably be packaged as a decision to prevent a gradual tightening of the overall stance.

The table below shows the key changes in our forecasts.  Further detail will be available in today’s US Economics Analyst.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
realtick's picture

The contrarian buy signals keep coming = new highs by November.

http://i38.tinypic.com/13z0qv5.jpg

 

 

 

Ivanovich's picture

Why not go back a little further and draw that chart?

realtick's picture

Cause this pattern wasn't happening when the market was declining before March 2009.

It showed up after the bottom, and it keeps showing up, sending prices to new trading highs.

At some point it will fail - no idea when, though.

jswede's picture

I think it's more telling that the last 'bottom' is lower than the previous 3...

jswede's picture

I see that was already discussed - nevermind

-1Delta's picture

pretty, but in all seriosness, that only works in a bull market...

 

to me you have one big as channel that was confirmed today

RockyRacoon's picture

I'd call them tortured bottoms.  Proof that anything can be squeezed from a chart.

AccreditedEYE's picture

Not this time sweetheart... They've reached the end of their rope.

realtick's picture

THEY have a lot more big government programs to ram through Congress, and THEY will keep the market levitating in order to stay in office.

AccreditedEYE's picture

We'll see about that.... Thx for the junk!

SteveNYC's picture

"They" are currently in the process of being ass-raped by the commodities market. Stay tuned, if they fuck the dollar, it's all over bar the shouting for the person that needs to eat and buy gas.....oh, that's all of us.

RockyRacoon's picture

It's an open threat.  Blackmail if you will.

...largely due to heightened congressional resistance to extending various measures of fiscal stimulus. 

That means Bush tax cuts not being extended.  Pure extortion.

Proof that Goldman is a bunch of thugs, or sociopaths.

Biggvs's picture

Doesn't concern you that your most recent breakout/bottom was lower than the previous one rather than higher?

realtick's picture

Absolutely. The economic data concerns me even more.

That's why I try to focus on the technicals and patterns that have a good recent track record.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I try to trade on technicals in this market and find it impossible. I am starting to believe everything in the market is driven by liquidity these days.

realtick's picture

Liquidity, yes, but TA still works. Patterns do fail, but this one has been working like a charm so I'm not gonna second-guess it.

And if I was Helicopter Ben, I'd be adding said liquidity at exactly when the technicals suggested to do so, like now for instance.

Or early next week.

Lapri's picture

That pattern actually existed around March 2009 bottom, too.

It existed right after the market top in October 2007, in November and December 2007.

The pattern is repeating for sure, I'm not sure which one - bottoming like March 2009 or topping like 2007.

knukles's picture

The magic of so many differing forecasts is that one can always say, correctly; "Told ya' so."
Another facet of the Credibility Maintenance and Confusion Just Print the Ticket Program.

Yikes's picture

Monetary easing won't work.  Banks and business have the cash, they just won't loan it or spend it.  It's fiscal policy that matters and Obama has it so screwed up right now that they don't know which end is up. 

Assetman's picture

Not only that QE-Lite won't even move the needle on the deflation picture.

If you're going to mess things up, I guess doing on a grand scale will get everyone's attention, eh?

SWRichmond's picture

Anyone who believes that a sufficient amount of new money creation won't affect asset prices is in for a real shock.  The prices won't completely reflect the built-in loss of purchasing power, but raw prices?  Hell yes they'll be affected.

Assetman's picture

QE-Lite, as its currently proposed, won't be sufficient.

Well... unless you classify a week's worth of equity ramping "asset inflation".

Trillions $ in QE will certaintly move the needle.  But a trilion $ this time around will have less effect than the last time around if QE if it's applied the same way.

Sancho Ponzi's picture

I agree it won't be sufficient, but money has to flow somewhere where it earns some semblance of a return. Commodities could see a nice bump.

SteveNYC's picture

You are right. Trillions $ more in QE will explode commodities and gas/food will no longer be affordable. It will be game over, Ben will by lynched, Obama will have to flee on Airforce 1 etc etc.

kaiten's picture

Ben has his helicopter, so he wont be lynched either ;)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Didn't I read somewhere that there are some left over shoulder launched anti aircraft missiles bouncing around in the USA? Seriously. I seem to remember a WSJ article from a few years ago claiming that a truck load were stolen from some army depot.

Maybe it was a cover story. Maybe not.

MachoMan's picture

How much is sufficient?

Which assets?  Not houses I hope...

The FED is keenly aware of all these issues...  before the edict to print is given, our administration/congress has weighed all the factors.

I predict we have a series of progressively smaller QEs, our international creditors let us get away with it, and it allows the 1% to keep up the heist just that much longer.  Once we stop the robbery, then comes their shopping spree.

The other issue is whether we are even certain the increase in input costs, food prices, gas prices, etc., is a temporary effect or will be dragged down through the greater deleveraging process... 

Also, what happens when the loss of purchasing power is sufficient to prohibit the passing on of rising input costs and this phenomenon persists long enough to exhaust the reserves of the operating companies?  When the prices for these goods can no longer rise and find a buyer?  This seems like it will be a very widespread problem in very short order.  How is this situation remedied?

SWRichmond's picture

Your prediction might come true, for awhile.  The entire power structure of the West rests on the maintenance of the status quo.  Everything is invested init, so it won't be let go lightly.  Sonoer or later (IMO this has already begun) it will be interpreted openly as the end of U.S. foreign policy domination / the end of the U.S. reserve currency dollar.  New alliances will form.  "Core" CPI will continue to be touted, while the unimportant food and fuel component of CPI will be ignored, except by anyone who moves or eats.

The thing that will force them to keep on doing QE, though, is the fact that the debt still exists and is still unpayable, and the armies still are in the field at massive cost, and unemployment continues to un-recover, and the banks are still insolvent by any real accounting standards, and....

MachoMan's picture

QE will continue, but it will be done from the budget surplus...  (a pseudo return to keynesian economics?) 

See post below regarding our attempt at austerity...  in a nutshell, it's the thing that will keep the status quo going the longest...   

Yikes's picture

How do you see this unfolding? What form will the QE2 take?  Who will get the money and how will it be spent?   

Yikes's picture

My point being is we have a debt and leverage problem.  If the money goes to the banks, they're not loaning.  If it goes to the consumer, the won't spend it but pay down their debt because the value of their houses are going down and the economy is not improving. 

SWRichmond's picture

I don't know how old you are and how long you've been paying attention to politics and economics.  Did you ever in your life imagine that the conditions that exist now could ever exist?  That banks would be openly blessed to ignore accounting standards? 

That the adjusted monetary base would look like this: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?s[1][id]=AMBNS

That the federal deficit would look like this: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/FYFSD

While the S&P would look like this: http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=^GSPC

That the Treasury Secretary wold come to Congress threatening Armageddon if he didn't get a $700 Billion slush fund right away?  And actually get it?  In the face of 100:1 objections by the voters?

Don't you understand?  There are no more rules.  The government is playing by its own rule: survive and stay in charge.  Period.  You don't matter.  I don't matter.  The troops in Iraq don't matter.  Their wives and kids don't matter.  See?  There are two political parties in the U.S.: the dems and repubs with rich masters, and everyone else.  Don't try to be rational about it; it stopped being rational a long time ago.  Let history be your guide.  They're going to blow up the currency.  Currencies always blow up, sooner or later, and under circumstances just like these.

 

MachoMan's picture

This is inconsistent.  If the government wants to survive (a pre-requisite to being in charge), then how can it do so by blowing up the currency?  The avenue that gives all the present players the most chance at longevity is a controlled demolition, which is what we're doing...  (if you can't generate inflation, you got only two choices with regards to deflation, fast or slow).

The fact is, the "government" is not in charge.  The 1% are in charge (hence the wealth gap).  Our handlers benefit the most from a controlled demolition, as their spoils get to be converted into greater riches and their relative position permanently secured.  A hyperinflationary collapse is the nuclear option and no one has any idea what happens on the backside.

I'm not saying that our eventual default/repudiation won't lead to a hyperinflationary currency collapse, but we're not poised to do so...  rather, all arrows presently point to austerity.  If we decide to go iceland on our creditors, then so be it...  but it will be a choice of the populace...  a choice we will NOT be asked to make...  we'll have to demand it. 

SWRichmond's picture

I didn't say they were going to blow it up on purpose.  I said they were going to blow it up.

New_Meat's picture

and don't waste a good crisis - Ned

eodinert's picture

Disinflation, bitches!

DarkMath's picture

Yes, for the moment Deflation is on the horizon until Wall Street pundits realize there is no way the US can EVER even dream of paying down the Debt if we slip into deflation (because how can you pay off a mountain of debt with a shrinking money supply, the math just doesn't work but why bother with mathematics). Deflation guarantees we'd have to default on the Debt which we can't do because we're White Anglo Saxon Protestants who would never think of doing what those over spiced, hip swinging latinos from South America would do. We would rather not make such a scene so we have a "Polite Default". Sooooo, that leads to only one conclusion, ready, wait for it: bam Inflation.

That just happened....I just said inflation in your face!

 

 

MachoMan's picture

First, we're already balls deep in the deleveraging process and, through such process, we have had deflation.  This process will continue in earnest until we peel back a few decades at least...  and we have a ways to go.

Second, either the FED does not desire to or cannot generate meaningful inflation.  This, I suspect, is largely a function of the inability to reflate the credit bubble due to a sincere disregard by consumers to acquire new debt.  In other words, inflation, at this juncture, is not possible in the aggregate...  the question is deflate slowly or quickly.  We have opted for the former, which has been ongoing for a couple years now.

Third, before we decide to flip the bird to our international creditors, we will have widespread and thorough domestic default.  This, in a nutshell, is called austerity.  Domestic persons may feel the pain, but our international creditors LOVE us for it.

Fourth, the feedback loop that ensues from the deleveraging process is anyone's guess...  I can't tell you for sure that we will or will not be able to default if we completely got our shit together immediately...  I suspect we will repudiate, as hungry people are not generally in agreement to give food to foreigners, especially when our representatives, in all likelihood, increased our pain without our consent.  But this is a long time down the road.

Last, the present political atmosphere is not such that remotely hints towards expansion of the FED's ability to print.  The FED is not a magical island unto itself.  It must be TOLD to print and conduct monetary policy by the Treasury.  The two are connected at the hip; there is no difference.  As such, it has a leash that will be utilized soon to completely draw it in and crate it.

PS, the people that are inflating are not people that want to be repaid in monopoly money.

DarkMath's picture

"inflation, at this juncture, is not possible in the aggregate..."

Inflation is the fall in the price of money. As we all know from Freshman Economics that price can be arrived at from either the supply or demand side. You can't imagine the SUPPLY of money growing but you're ignoring the fact that the DEMAND for money can fall while the supply remains contstant (which is what is happening now as the Dollar index falls even though M3 falls along with it, ever ask yourself how that could be).

So Supply of dollars is irrelevant, it's the fall in DEMAND for dollars that will spike our hyperinflation. All that has to happen is people perceive we can't pay back our debt. Say you're right and our economy deflates then Mathematically WE CAN'T PAY OUR DEBT BACK. It's like saying  1 + 1 = 11. The result is bond holders will reduce their demand to be in Dollar denominates Assets (Stocks, Bonds anything) because they fear either a deflationary default or inflation (flip a coin - it doesn't matter). This is ALREADY HAPPENING. The demand for our Treasury Debt is not high enough to "buy" all the debt at auction, but the subsequent rise in rates has been forstalled by hidden buying by the "Household Sector". The Fed will never allow a failed Treasury Auction:

http://www.kitco.com/ind/willie/jul222010.html

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - didn't you get the memo?

MachoMan's picture

I would agree if the 10 year was not at 2.82 and headed for 0.  Has the FED just ramped up its purchases?  Who are these new masochists buying treasuries?

Point being, at this juncture, we are perfectly capable of causing a flight to quality into dollar denominated assets.  On a long enough timeline, yes, the dollar will have its lengthy stay in the graveyard...  but that will not be for a while.  In fact, you're going to see something miraculous happen...  a reduction of state and local budgets as well as...  wait for it...  wait for it...  the federal deficit!  Maybe we get 1 more year of large deficits, but won't happen after that...  we get back to basics and balance...  and, as a result, we get more time.

The other issue is that you have to present a viable alternative reserve currency.  What currency will kill the dollar?  Who out there in the world presently has the capacity to do such a thing?  Who has the most relative gold holdings?  Who has the world's largest/best military and an itchy trigger finger?  What happens in the vacuum created by our demise?

I could see some of the countries that die before we do rising back to life in a position to threaten our hegemony after shedding themselves of dead weight (germany maybe?)...  but,this process is going to take a while.

If we're the last domino, which we are, what would the effect of a demise in the dollar actually be, with the rest of the world having previously capitulated?  Too many variables obviously.  What happens to the ashes of the former rest of the world?  Does it provide fertilizer for new opponents?  Or merely a barrier to entry for our even larger control? 

I don't know, but I do know that the 1% does not want to be repaid in monopoly money and the longer the dollar stays alive, the longer they get to loot before attempting austerity...  what you have proposed eventually happens to all currencies...  but, fortunately (unfortunately?) ours is still alive and kicking...  and will probably be so for quite a while in an attempt to undo decades of inflation...  I'm not sure whether it is a task that has any remote chance of success, but that is what we're going to try.

DarkMath's picture

"Who are these new masochists buying treasuries?"

You didn't read the link. The Fed is that masochist. Read the link it's eye opening. As for low yields driven by the demand for investors looking for a safe haven. Sure, Real Estate looked like a great investment in 2001, the Internet looked great in 1995, Oil looked like a sure thing in 1980...do I need to go on? My point is the Fed picking up the slack is lulling these investors in. If the Fed wasn't stepping in auctions would start failing. And nothing would scare of those safe haven investors than a failed auction. There will be no failed auction, there will never, ever be a failed US Treasury Auction.

"you're going to see something miraculous happen..."

You mean the Politicians are going to vote to cut spending? Sure, I could also win the lottery tonight, anything is possible.

"viable alternative reserve currency. "

Gold would make a nice alternative. It's easy to store and hard to conterfeit. More than likely people/governments will vote with their feet. In other words there will be no G20 edict on SDRs or other such nonsense. The markets will choose. When? As soon as the sheeple wake up and realize we're fucked no matter what the Fed does. Have you ever seen this video:

http://www.gata.org/goldrush21

"ours is still alive and kicking... "

Revolutions don't plod along for years and years. They happen remarkably quickly when things get started. Look at Gorbechev, he was elected with the full confidence of maintaining the Status Quo. The Politburo didn't say let's select Gorbechev, he's the most likely to give us a velvet revolution. No that's not what happened, they chose him and events got ahead of them.

MachoMan's picture

That was correct at one period in time.  There were a few auctions with hit rates incredibly high...  However, since then, QE has ended in earnest (officially anyway) and we now have teddy ruxpin treasuries.  So, what happened in 2008 before QE began in earnest?  What caused the rush to the dollar?  What is happening again, despite our best counter measures?  I'll posit this about the current divergence between treasuries and the dollar, the euro is going to get curb stomped soon enough and the dollar explode to the upside...  the present situation is merely the temporary derivative of swap lines and other currency interventions... 

Further, check out this chart and explain to me what would happen with the longevity of the dollar if a fractional gold reserve backing was implemented?  http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/tric... 2 out of the top 3 aint bad huh?  Ever ask yourself why another reserve currency never sprang up despite all the talk?

Let's presume that the FED is behind the bull bond market as of late...  what portion does it play?  This is an important question because its exit would cause a shift in the market...  if it does not play an incredibly large factor in the recent treasury purchases, then what will happen to the market if the FED influence is removed?  Obviously the other question is, why the fuck would the FED do this to treasuries?  Why do you need to spend the money to bid up the price?  Why not just buy enough to keep our head afloat and at a comfortable level?  (like it used to be doing, inching towards a target rate)...  You don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to be able to outrun your buddies.  What happens when we're just pumping turnover (which is large)?

And yes, the politicians are going to cut spending...  if they don't, our demise will be quick...  they know it, we know it, the rest of the world knows it.  This entire charade is all about longevity, ensuring the 1% get to the life rafts soon enough, and have free run of the main land once they get back to shore.  The way this will be accomplished is through austerity and fiscal tightening.  The theft (wealth gap) is already complete or thereabouts.

Also, I do not propose that we will have immediate, full and total austerity...  obviously that would kill us all (even some of the banks, although they're all trying their best to bolster cash position)...  what we will have is ever smaller QEs...  and better aimed...  (rather than the gigantic "we don't fucking know where it went" first round).  But, these QEs will be within a reasonable budget...  controlled demolition.

These issues will all come to light very soon...  if within say 12-18 months we have not begun the austerity program, then we will spiral out of control very shortly thereafter.  So, this is certainly a falsifiable hypothesis and in short order...  we'll see.

DarkMath's picture

Your link to the WGC chart image didn't come through, can you send it again but test it to make sure it works. I think your point is that there isn't enough Gold to support a world reserve currency? If so, then the answer is simple, just increase the price until the amount of Gold matches. What would the price be then? About $52,000/oz:

http://www.gata.org/files/AdrianDouglasProofOfGoldPriceSuppression-07-20...

"if within say 12-18 months we have not begun the austerity program, then we will spiral out of control very shortly thereafter. "

precisely...no doubt the Tea Party will win seats but all that will do is create grid-lock in Congress since the last time I checked Obama was a Democrat.

MachoMan's picture

My point on the gold backing is this, between us and the IMF there is nary a country, nor handful of plausible countries, that have any chance at competing in that regard...  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_gold_reserves  this was from Dec. 09, but the other from ZH was June 10...  this is a significant reason why an alternative reserve currency has not popped up...  we're hedged. 

I'm sure some gridlock will ensue on social issues, but for fiscal, there will not be much gridlock...  the gauntlet has been thrown down...  if obama chooses to get in the way, then he'll just lose more seats for democrats next time....  as well as the presidency...  his/their choice.  In an effort to mitigate damages, they WILL capitulate on spending.  I just wish we could have done it sooner...

If they don't, as previously said, then we get the wolves knocking on our door soon thereafter...  we got maybe, maybe 1 more year of ridiculous budgets and then after that, it's lights out if we keep it up...  we didn't earn our reputation for doing what needs to be done, after exhausting all other possibilities, for nothing... 

DarkMath's picture

"this is a significant reason why an alternative reserve currency has not popped up"

maybe, I would say a bigger reason is the critical mass of the dollar as the reserve currency. if you take gold out of the equation, it doesn't matter. the world realizes that the dollar is going down. imagine if you are a saudi, or brazilian, a venezualan,iranian or russian, you get paid in dollars. as the dollar sinks more and more Oil is basically being stolen from you. it's no more complicated than that. how long will you tolerarate someone stealing money from you. it basically a racket, we're like the crooked cop or mafia boss charging protection from the neighborhood businesses. they're praying for some real justice and will jump at any chance. they see a new world reserve currency as coming sooner rather than later...and the sooner the better.

MachoMan's picture

This is the entire reason we're going to be forced into austerity...  that's the point...  you have boundaries to your theft...  you steal until they can no longer tolerate it and then you go straight.  It just so happens that in this case, our handlers, the 1%, benefit the most from austerity...  at this juncture, a strong dollar is going to happen...  no other way around it...  now, I do think we're at the end of the road/diminishing returns on the flight from the dollar/flight to quality...  we try and seesaw (swap lines), but, we'll be seesawing upwards.  We've had many, many decades of depreciation...  now we go the other way.  (think 2008).

The question is whether or not we have the will to keep up the attempt at austerity.  Once the saddle gets placed on our backs, I don't see us going a different route for quite a while...  as a result, we'll be baby stepped into it because they can't risk the potential we tell them to go fuck themselves.  State and local governments will contract...  the federal government will contract...  slowly...  and the 1% will slowly overtly take the power vacuum created thereby.  It's all predicated on their ability to control the demolition... 

Whether or not the measures will be enough to permanently stave off our creditors is a big question mark...  I doubt it, but this is largely a function of our willingness to submit to austerity.  Boiling frogs don't jump.  Just think of a reversal of all the dollar depreciation over the last few decades.  It happened slowly...  one day we woke up and the shit was worthless...  then in 2008 somebody told us differently...  they'll tell us again...  because it's all that's left...  but, like ride up, the ride down will happen slowly...  or at least that's the plan.

The path up was planned...  and so was the path down (it is the "payoff" from the way up)...

DarkMath's picture

Austerity would cause deflation. But deflation can't happen. So it's your as yet to be voted in Austerians who will have little power to do anything except cause gridlock VS the guy with the printing press who says deflation isn't going to happen. I say we take Bernanke at his word:

"The second bulwark against deflation in the United States, and the one that will be the focus of my remarks today, is the Federal Reserve System itself. The Congress has given the Fed the responsibility of preserving price stability (among other objectives), which most definitely implies avoiding deflation as well as inflation. I am confident that the Fed would take whatever means necessary to prevent significant deflation in the United States and, moreover, that the U.S. central bank, in cooperation with other parts of the government as needed, has sufficient policy instruments to ensure that any deflation that might occur would be both mild and brief."

http://www.federalreserve.gov/BOARDDOCS/SPEECHES/2002/20021121/default.htm

 

MachoMan's picture

"The second bulwark against deflation in the United States, and the one that will be the focus of my remarks today, is the Federal Reserve System itself. The Congress has given the Fed the responsibility of preserving price stability (among other objectives), which most definitely implies avoiding deflation as well as inflation. I am confident that the Fed would take whatever means necessary to prevent significant deflation in the United States and, moreover, that the U.S. central bank, in cooperation with other parts of the government as needed, has sufficient policy instruments to ensure that any deflation that might occur would be both mild and brief."

I read this a different way...  "I admit that deflation may be an inevitability and the FED will cooperate to ensure the deflation that occurs will be slow and that we provide a trampoline for wiley coyote"

You say deflation can't happen, but you conveniently leave out the "as well as inflation" in the above quote...  aside from the fact that we're presently in a deflationary depression...  despite the fed's bazooka.

Bernake allows this process to continue by being vague and ensuring there are enough ambiguities to keep us guessing...  as soon as we all pile to one side of the island, it tips over.  Don't watch the helper's gigantic tits, watch the magician's hands.

New_Meat's picture

Hey, Dark and Macho--Great back and forth.  Thank you both for your discussion. - Ned