The Confidence Board has released its Consumer Confidence Number, which in March went in freefall from the revised previous print of 72, highest in 3 years, to a below consensus 63.4 (expectations of 65). But while this number is largely irrelevant, the Inflation Rate index surged from 5.5 to 6.7, the highest since October 2008.
The chart below of inflationary expectations shows why Bernanke is in a bind: QE3 means this line will go parabolic; no QE3 means the market will go inversely parabolic. Pick your poison.
And longer-term. There has been a market crash after every historic surge.