The Importance Of Being Ben

Submitted by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

"As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"
 
                    -The Emperor, Star Wars
 
Today the financial world will focus on one singular person. He is not elected but appointed. He kind of, sort of, reports to Congress but there is a football field of slippage in that observation. With the wave of a hand or the choice of a word he can send markets to the moon or leave them bleeding in the streets. It is a fascinating position that Mr. Bernanke occupies as he can take money or create money as easily as he can order his morning coffee.
 
I suppose one could say he is an Emperor of sorts. He is highly linked with his brethren in Britain, Japan and China and yet, even on this stage, he is the number one personage of royalty. People at various money managers are paid large amounts of money to interpret each word, each sentence, that rolls out of his mouth. The Fedspeak translators may be some of the highest paid positions on the planet. 
 
I suspect Napoleon and various Kings would be jealous of Ben's power. It is true, he cannot send people off to war or pardon the sinners but just breathing funny can set the world on its tethers. Of course in the Press you get some amusing theories. If he is wearing his blue tie then…or if he has on the red tie then…and there are people this morning probably trying to determine what he is going to eat for breakfast in one more round of the quite popular media game, "Out Guess the Fed."
 
His public Press Release did not indicate much. The fun begins when the question and answer session begins. Then it is rather like a video game. Traders all across the world sitting with their fingers on the keyboard just waiting to press the button if the wisp of some word blows left or right, up or down. It is the adult version of "Call of Duty, Modern Warfare." There are no Shakespearean lines studied so closely as the words that he will utter today. Certainly none that have the impact on the world in such a short span of time.
 
In my mind I have a vision of friends of mine, clients of mine, names you know, sitting at their video terminals. As Ben speaks each finger is on the trigger. "Fire, fire, fire…pull out the stun grenades and toss them…use the howitzer you idiot…use the big gun." I take delight in my vision and I am not so far off the mark as you may suspect.
 
By today's end some will win and some will lose. Bets will be placed upon the table. The Fedspeak translators will be hard at work. The Great Game continues.
 
"Now, you will pay the price for your lack of vision!"
 
                        -The Emperor, Star Wars