Today’s absurdity was this rumor circulating that the Fed was arranging a secret meeting.

Than the rumor came that they were going to cut next week.

But my favorite rumor du jour was passed along by the WSJ:  You see, according to some of the more cleverer Horse Central bank  Whisperers out there, the FED HAS ALREADY CUT RATES.

"The Fed’s primary weapon is its influence over the
federal-funds interest rate, at which banks with excess reserves lend
to banks that are short reserves. When demand soared last week and the
market interest rate rose above the target, the Fed pumped in extra
cash. But in times of turmoil, it can be difficult for the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York to fine-tune its interventions. In recent
days, the rate has traded well below the Fed’s target at some points of
the day — even coming close to zero at times. That has prompted some
in the markets to deem this "a stealth Fed easing."

That was the reason given for the comeback today. Not that we had sold down 1,500 Dow points in less than a month, but (shhhhh!) whisper after me: "Fed cut."

Stealth cut, or absurd rumor?

What say ye?

>

Update: August 17, 2007 9:38am

Whoopsadaisy! 

FOMC statement

Federal Reserve Board
discount rate action

>

Source:
Has the Fed Secretly Cut U.S. Interest Rates?
Markets Wonder As Federal-Funds Rate Lingers Below Target
DAVID WESSEL in Washington, LAURENCE NORMAN in New York, ENDA CURRAN in Sydney and MICHAEL S. ARNOLD in Tokyo
WSJ, August 16, 2007 2:25 p.m.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118726976751399608.html

Category: Credit, Derivatives, Federal Reserve, Hedge Funds, Psychology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

66 Responses to “Open Thread: A Stealth Fed Rate Cut?”

  1. Pool Shark says:

    Interesting, Roubini too claims the Fed has already effectively lowered the Fed Funds rate by 50 BP’s:

    http://www.rgemonitor.com/blog/roubini/

    He believes the Fed will need to ‘formalize’ this cut or else the turmoil will “sharply worsen.”

  2. Eclectic says:

    I say keep your metaphorical teeth numbered so you’ll know where they all go back.

  3. UrbanDigs says:

    Roubini is reffering to the effective fed funds rate which was trading below 5% for the week and around 5% on Thursday.

    Barry this is what I was emailing you about this AM to elaborate on. By pumping liquidity injections into the banking system they have in essence lowered the effective fed funds rate via a synthetic ease without lowering actual fed funds rate.

    Fact is, this is a liquidity crisis and the fed’s injections assisted the big banks, NOT the consumer! The consumer is still being hit as the last man standing in this liquidity squeeze and the only way to help that is by cutting fed funds rate, which will hit at a lag anyway.

    I still think 5 1/4 fed funds rate is NOT restrictive and that the fed should continue with liquidity injections instead of rate cuts unless things get real hairy, and that means DOW 11,500 or so in a relatively short period of time.

    The guys that made loot and are now suffering with their bad bets should not be bailed out. Let the free markets work this out.

  4. jim says:

    What I don’t get is that the fed has been injecting money every day for a long time now. The info is publicly available. At least to the tune of $5 billion a day. Why are they making a big deal of this now?

  5. dblwyo says:

    OMG, for sure Batman. This has nothing to do with normal market operations-which have been using this same mechanism literally for decades. This is the Fed’s job. When the say “cut/raise” rates it’s thru open-market operations. AND they inject/withdraw funds to hold to the target. Taking few minutes to savor the exquisite schadenfreude of the same folks screaming at the Feds for leaving rates too low for too long screaming louder for emergency cuts we now point out they use such operations to manage the actuals to the policy rate.
    Given the speed, force & rapidity with which this rumor speed thru the slave quarters you’d think the Messiah was nigh; or Kaiser Szolzay. Even if it turns out to be true this is wish fulfillment of the highest order.

  6. pjfny says:

    The reason the fed would rather do a stealth (trial and error) easing rather than an overt cut, is if they overtly cut the fed funds rate and it does not help, they will have a cerdibility problem and the mkt will have much bigger confidence problem.

  7. mhm says:

    The Fed sort of lowered rates when every other Central Bank raised theirs.

    Technically they should have removed money from the market today when the real rate went down. They didn’t. That helped everybody a little, except for the ultra-greedy bears.

    Rate cut this year? Only if the real economy tanks. Just my opinion…

  8. Salomon says:

    Urban Digs – “The consumer is still being hit as the last man standing in this liquidity squeeze and the only way to help that is by cutting fed funds rate.”

    Unfortunately a cut in the fed rate may not help the consumer or businesses either. If we believe that lenders have re-priced risk, and the spreads on all kinds of asset classes seem to suggest that they have, a rate cut may not make any difference to the real economy. So whereas before a 25 basis point cut in rates would have more or less resulted in a 25 basis point reduction in mortgage rates, corporate bond rates, etc., now a 25 basis point reduction in mortgage rates still has consumers and businesses screwed relative to where they were several weeks ago.

    All this fed lubrication (and an eventual rate cut) may do is shift the effect from a bank-led credit crisis to a consumer-led consumption recession. Probably what the fed wants anyway since bank-led credit crunches can immediately drag an economy down, consumer-led recessions take time to play out.

  9. km4 says:

    crony capitalism in the U.S. market is fine and well and clearly looking like a bigger version of Mexico moreso every day.

  10. Stuart says:

    “The reason the fed would rather do a stealth (trial and error) easing rather than an overt cut, is if they overtly cut the fed funds rate and it does not help, they will have a cerdibility problem and the mkt will have much bigger confidence problem.”

    Good Lord! They ALREADY have a huge credibility problem given their prognostications to date. Now when clear communication is required they go into stealth mode?????????? If this turns out to be true, i.e. stealth, history will use this example of how to screw up matters even more.

  11. UrbanDigs says:

    agreed Salomon!

  12. Globalized says:

    Hasn’t that rumour been there pretty much every day lately? I think it was more a case of the “10 percenters” showing up and the shorts who were afraid that they might.

    Heard another interesting idea during CNBC chatter (sorry; no idea who said it). If you’re a hedge fund facing redemptions next month, and you’ve been lucky enough to be short the financials for awhile, how do you raise cash? You cover, right?

  13. RobT says:

    Just for clerification:

    the Fed sets an interest rate target for the Fed funds (overnight bank reserves) market. When the actual Fed funds rate is higher than the target, the desk will usually increase the money supply via a repo (effectively lending). When the actual Fed funds rate is less than the target, the desk will usually decrease the money supply via a reverse repo (effectively borrowing).

    “Fed funds trade up at 5.25 percent, matching target
    Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:51PM EDT
    NEW YORK, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Federal funds traded in the market up at 5.25 percent in New York on Thursday, matching the 5.25 percent target rate for overnight money the Federal Reserve sets.

    That was a move up from the 5.0 percent level fed funds had traded at earlier in the New York afternoon. Earlier on Thursday, the Fed injected a combined $17 billion total of reserves into the banking system via repurchase operations.”

    So as they lend repo they are influencing rates up.

  14. UrbanDigs says:

    agreed Salomon!

  15. Salomon says:

    Sorry, mis-print on previous post. I meant, “now a 25 basis point reduction in FED FUND rates still has consumers and businesses screwed relative to where they were several weeks ago.”

  16. David Merkel says:

    Until there is a permanent injection of liquidity, there is no stealth cut. The last permanent injection was 5/3/07. Temporary injections of liquidity are not capable of generating more than fleeting bits of confidence.

  17. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Wouldn’t that scenario have them trying to help unfreeze the credit market while leaving all the major underlying problems still in place for the smart money to figure out? Plus at this point it’s like whizzing on a 5 alarm fire.

  18. Salomon says:

    You got it Spectre. A fed rate cut will not make the sub-prime problem go away. It will not make all those joe sixpacks who need to re-nut on their mortgages when their ARM’s expire any better off. The only thing it will do is prevent an immediate mark-to-market for all the mortgage-backed paper that all these hedgies, banks, and institutions are holding. So rather than forcing everyone to sell at once and forcing the price down to zero as a result of mass margin calls, there might be a more orderly wind down of those assets.

    Don’t worry though, it’s all contained – LOL!

  19. stealth cut, they’ve done it before. 9/11 being the biggest example

  20. Winston Munn says:

    The Federal Funds Rate is set by the markets. When the rates spiked to 6%, the Fed had two options: 1) buy treasuries to infuse permanent reserves or 2) fund repos to inject temporary reserves.

    By chosing to inject temporary reserves at below the discount rate, the issue may have simply been to show the commercial banks that the Board of Governors had altered their bias and were prepared to ratify a future cut if necessary.

  21. Stuart says:

    “Stealthiness”, the lack of transparency got us into this bloody mess.

  22. Asia is getting hammered again tonight. Maybe todays rebound was just caused by massive squaring of short positions?

    If so, there are better bargains straight ahead. I do not yet see widespread panic. The pretty people on CNBC are still recommending bargain hunting at these levels.

  23. speedlet says:

    Back in the day (pre-Greenspan) the Fed never announced its rate decisions. They simply adjusted rates on their own, and people would have to figure out what happened after the fact. When Greenspan showed up, they started announcing rate cuts in the interest of “transparency”.

    So it would not be at all unprecedented for the Post-Greenspan Fed to revert to Pre-Greenspan operating procedure. In fact, you could even spin their decision not to report M3 as just such a move.

    The question is — why would they do that right now? It wouldn’t have the psychological value of putting a floor under the markets, even short-term, which would ostensibly be the purpose of such a move, since the “real-economy” effects of a cut aren’t what’s needed right now, in their view. So I kinda doubt it.

    What I wonder is whether Frank Poole may be setting things up for what we’ll call the 1998 Bob Rubin Special. If you’ll remember, Rubin came out in the thick of the 1998 currency crisis and said “there’s no way we’re cutting rates”. The shorts piled into every kind of currency trade, having been given the green light by Rubin. Then, the next day — a 100-basis-point cut! The shorts were blown to shreds and forced to cover, putting a floor under the market. Bob Rubin, Secretary of the Treasury, flat-out *lied* to the markets, but it was brilliant — the rate cut had even greater effect with a ferocious short squeeze behind it.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think any such hijinks will bail us out this time. The economy is leveraged to the hilt, and the workout will take time. But to put in a short-term bottom, the Fed may well pull a page from Bob Rubin’s playbook….

  24. zell says:

    Speaking of hedgies….anyone care to address the unwinding of the yen carry trade tonight……And what won’t that complicate things for the Fed a bit?????

  25. speedlet says:

    By the way, I don’t know why everybody on CNBC isn’t recounting the above… it’s yet another “the Fed’s gonna save us” scenario.

  26. Sheeple Investment Co. says:

    So you mean…there wasn’t capitulation that culminated with the DOW landing right on the 200 dma?? For a minute it all made sense.

  27. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Good news is that the market rallied, signifying that all of our underlying monitary, credit, and econimic problems are over. It’s all blue skies, cheap housing, free money, rich food, good wine, and lap dances from here on out. The illegal aliens will agree to either go home, or pay off our national debt. The Iraqi’s will all shake hands and make up – and, on their own initiative, provide us with gas, at cost (and wash our windshields while we wait). The lawyers will return to school to study medicine, in an altruistic gesture to make sure all Americans are healthy. George Bush will clear the last of the brush from his ranch, and start clearing the understory in the Paraguayan rainforest. Karl Rove will become the first male nun.

    That is, barring an honest market correction tomorrow.

  28. Stuart says:

    “Unfortunately, I don’t think any such hijinks will bail us out this time. The economy is leveraged to the hilt, and the workout will take time. But to put in a short-term bottom, the Fed may well pull a page from Bob Rubin’s playbook….”

    Interesting. And then what’s the end game’s impact on the dollar?

  29. andrew755 says:

    There is no rate cut coming, until the fed IS FORCED to step in…. today wasn’t that day. Not until there is capitulation.

    Ive actually now got a lot of respect for the fed, they aren’t coming to the rescue. and the dollar will go higher.

  30. dukeb says:

    One thing is for sure; the repricing of the yen is going to make our trip to Japan a bit more expensive this year. (Glad I closed my DBV position just because of the percentage gain Quicken was showing…that was just 2 weeks ago.)

  31. Jeff says:

    Just got off the phone with Bernanke. Tells me there’s no rate cut- stealth or otherwise.

    “What about that whole thing today, you know, when rates were at, like, 5%?”

    Said he thought he was turning the volume down on his new Fed-issued iPhone when Poole IM’d that he’d just cut rates (he said his iPhone has all kinds of extra cool stuff).

    Anyhoooo, you know how it is when you get a new phone… cut the guy some slack!

    Besides, he’s new to this financial implosion stuff.

  32. zell says:

    Oh a Reuben grill…………………..hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    sounds interesting…………….
    Yen carry trade unwinding……liquidity heads for Japan…drives up the yen….kills their export markets…..Japanese equities tank….
    Makes for an interesting Friday here in the good ole USA.

  33. dave says:

    I have longer term puts on some homebuilders and credit companies. I have seen this before on the day before options expiration. IMHO the option MM (Market Makers who can see on their screen all the buy/sell orders and can buy/sell out of their own account) and large put sellers put in last minute stock purchase limit orders at much higher prices, moving the “last sale price” on the ticker up substantialy , maybe the shorts/put holders see this and scramble to cover out of fear of a rally, and add to the rally.

    (the MM and put sellers get out early in the rally for a small gain, and dont lose their put premium)

    Monday after options expiry doesnt move much, but Tuesday these individual stocks tank again–too late for the put holders. Their timing may have been right, but the Wall Street conspiracy manipulated them into a total loss and the MM into a max gain.

  34. Byno says:

    Granted, it was a Monday in ’87, but the market was way down in the morning, only to rally in the afternoon. Tuesday, we had a nice up day and it seemed liked the worst was over. Then, Wednesday, all hell broke loose, followed a few days later by black Monday.

    Then back in ’98, we had a similar situation where we were way down only to close close to the open. The markets churned for a few more weeks, but that brief respite in August looked like a joke compared to the carnage in September, and like a blip on the radar compared to Octoboer ’87.

    As I said in the Barry’s previous thread, bottoms don’t come via breathless pronunciations from CNBC anchors. I’ll be asleep when Japan closes, but the Nikkei is down 400 as I write this, and it could get worse as Europe opens. It’ll take a lot more damage than this for the Fed to take action, and a $17B infusion when the government is running the press 24/7 isn’t worth even printing in the financial press.

  35. speedlet says:

    The dollar is collateral damage, unfortunately.

    If the dollar tanks, we will have inflation — but the Fed knows it can deal with inflation. Solving inflation is simple: you just raise rates until it breaks. Paul Volcker demonstrated that.

    What the Fed fears is not inflation, but deflation. They have no weapon to deal with deflation — and deflation is what lurks under the bed whenever you’re talking about vast amounts of debt gone bad.

    Remember, the great Japanese bubble was not just in stocks — it was in real estate, too, and more than anything it was in debt. In 1999 we had a bubble in stocks, but not the other two. NOW we have the other two.

    Believe me, Bernanke has studied the Japanese bubble and knows it cold. He cannot allow even a whiff of deflation — because deflation would be death for a nation as massively indebted as the US. A debtor nation will always choose the road of inflation. A debtor nation will always try to devalue its way out of its debts.

    Of course, devaluation and inflation only serve to buy more time. The real “end game” comes after that.

  36. Stuart says:

    Michigan sentiment figure is released tomorrow. Watch it soar to record highs. LOL! Clearly sarcastic, but I have to say it really wouldn’t surprise me if it did.

  37. me says:

    Good post on what’s happening right now in the bond markets and why the fed is acting this way….

    http://accruedint.blogspot.com/2007/08/fear-leads-to-suffering.html

  38. Bob A says:

    Why don’t they just call today’s action “Profit Taking”, like they do on a down day in a bull market?

  39. Is the Fed EasingRates?

    WSJs Marketbeat addresses a rumor on the street:

    The active conversation among the panicky revolves around whether the Federal Reserve should move to cut interest rates before its meeting about a month from now, but the slide-rule committee, t…

  40. David says:

    The real question for the financial markets is this a head fake or market bottom? I think the market is performing a classic head-fake.

  41. Winston Munn says:

    Bob A wrote: “Why don’t they just call today’s action “Profit Taking”, like they do on a down day in a bull market?”

    You almost brought tears to my eyes I was laughing so hard.

  42. Natering Nabob says:

    The recent actions of the NY Fed via a stealth rate cut in open market operations may have been part of the reason for selling. If they have to resort to this type of action then what do they know that you and I do not know? Freak out and sell. Ask questions later.

    By the way, where the heck is NY Fed President Timothy Geithner in all of this? The man has disappeared off the face of the earth throughout this credit ordeal. Has anyone seen or heard from him?

    And today’s EOD rally? Fat finger?

  43. Mumon says:

    I thought it went up for some nicely covered shorts… which can only mean tomorrow is another good day.

  44. ECONOMISTA NON GRATA says:

    There are going to be rumors galore, left and right…. We have had every bubble imaginable for the last five years bubble stacked on top of bubble to inflate the next bubble…. We are at the threshold of the last bubbble and that is, the “Insolvency Bubble”. There is nothing the Fed, or the ECB or my Mama can do to fix that F—ing mess. The sooner that we understand that the Fed is powerless in this scenario the sooner we can get on with the business of making money.

    I heard a lot of bull shit today as I did yesterday, the day before that and every day for the last 55 years of my life. “Bulls make money and bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered.”

    For Christ’s sake….! What do you expect, all these guys got caught with all this toxic, human waste in the middle of the pipeline. They had thought of everything, but they never thought that this would happen while they were holding all the worthless paper on their books. It’s was a huge accident of timing and you know what they say, “timing is everything”. The cat is out of the bag, the rating agencies are struggling to fly under the radar. This paper can not be moved without a couple of lynchings taking place. Equities are priced like Miami Condos, the only difference is that we can’t short Miami Condos therefore, no short covering rallies in Miami.

    All the excitement because the S&P “rallied”, four points and change today is pure human waste.

    Econolicious

  45. DavidB says:

    It looked like a rally into Max Pain to me. That was the case on two stocks I was watching at least

  46. Resonance says:

    Potpourri

    Tony Snow says he is going to quit his job as White House press secretary when his “money runs out.” Snow’s salary is $168,000. One would assume that he also gets comprehensive health insurance coverage, though that may be assuming…

  47. KirkH says:

    Bank Run at Countrywide? LA Times via
    http://bakersfieldbubble.blogspot.com/

    “Anxious customers jammed the phone lines and website of Countrywide Bank and crowded its branch offices to pull out their savings because of concerns about the financial problems of the mortgage lender that owns the bank.

    The rush to withdraw money — by depositors that included a former Los Angeles Kings star hockey player and an executive of a rival home-loan company — came a day after fears arose that Countrywide Financial could file for bankruptcy protection because of a worsening credit crunch stemming from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.”

    Scrounges around for ATM card (just kidding :)

  48. Jason R says:

    I think we will not see a rate cut in the next week. This is why: An official rate cut benefits all financials. I think it is fairly obvious via Fed members comments (which have been very transparent, maybe not right, but nonetheless…) indicate there are specific types of financial businesses they want extinct. Dead. Killed with extreme prejudice. Mortgage brokers. Hedgies. Any speculative leverage monger.

    By injecting massive liquidity into the system as they are, the sole beneficiaries are the BANKS. They have the grease to keep the wheels turning, the liquidity to perform their function. We are going back to a world with Banks and Brokerage firms. You will get your mortgage through a bank. The Fed will tighted the regulation of mortgages; maybe forcing banks to keep a higher percentage of originations on the books as an incentive to originate quality…

    The risk is that the Fed causes irreparable harm to a lot of other things in their efforts. But what most, if not all those that I read do not get is this: This is not Greenspans Fed anymore. His rulebook is shredded and in the circular… There IS a new Sheriff in town and the quicker people recognize his “rules”, the better off we all will be. The bond market has almost always led the way to a Fed cut. Well this time, the Fed’s not playing that way…

  49. Eclectic says:

    Well, Barringo…

    You just got your upper metaphoricals knocked out… Later you’ll get the lowers too.

    You gonna enjoy suckin’ dinner through a straw for the next couple of months?

  50. Bob Estes says:

    It looks like the Fed just cut rates. You are wrong again, Barry.

  51. SPECTRE of Deflation says:

    Just saw this on Interest Rate Roundup:

    Fed cuts discount rate …

    Breaking news: The Federal Reserve just cut the discount rate to 5.75% from 6.25%. It also left the federal funds rate unchanged, but released a statement about how downside risks to the economy have increased and how the Fed may act to support growth if necessary. Full text of Fed announcements below …

    ON THE ECONOMY:
    Financial market conditions have deteriorated, and tighter credit conditions and increased uncertainty have the potential to restrain economic growth going forward. In these circumstances, although recent data suggest that the economy has continued to expand at a moderate pace, the Federal Open Market Committee judges that the downside risks to growth have increased appreciably. The Committee is monitoring the situation and is prepared to act as needed to mitigate the adverse effects on the economy arising from the disruptions in financial markets.

    Voting in favor of the policy announcement were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Richard W. Fisher; Thomas M. Hoenig; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Frederic S. Mishkin; Michael H. Moskow; Eric Rosengren; and Kevin M. Warsh

    ON THE DISCOUNT RATE:
    To promote the restoration of orderly conditions in financial markets, the Federal Reserve Board approved temporary changes to its primary credit discount window facility. The Board approved a 50 basis point reduction in the primary credit rate to 5-3/4 percent, to narrow the spread between the primary credit rate and the Federal Open Market Committee’s target federal funds rate to 50 basis points. The Board is also announcing a change to the Reserve Banks’ usual practices to allow the provision of term financing for as long as 30 days, renewable by the borrower. These changes will remain in place until the Federal Reserve determines that market liquidity has improved materially. These changes are designed to provide depositories with greater assurance about the cost and availability of funding. The Federal Reserve will continue to accept a broad range of collateral for discount window loans, including home mortgages and related assets. Existing collateral margins will be maintained. In taking this action, the Board approved the requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and San Francisco.

    EARLY MARKET REACTION:
    Dollar Index: down 51 ticks to 81.22
    Long Bonds: down 27/32
    10-year yields: Up 2.5 basis points
    S&P futures: Up about 28 points

  52. W.Edwards says:

    Bill Poole is sticking to his guns! His name is dubiously absent from those that approved the discount rate reduction.

    Relax everybody! With all of the “good” news coming out, it’s Feel Good Friday!

  53. michael schumacher says:

    How is this supposed to help people (other than the effing banks and brokers that got us all into this mess)?

    and not lost on me is the fact that today is an options expiry day. All those long calls that were underwater, most likely the blind buying, will now (yet again) be bailed out.

    Free market My ass….

    total effing sham…..

    Ciao
    MS

  54. Bonghiteric says:

    F*** Me. We’ll never hear the end of this from Larry K

  55. Fred says:

    Rare hsitoric bottom, from many perspectives.

  56. KP says:

    Bernake just lifted his skirt. Meltdown to 10,500 here we come. Goodbye dollar, hello high gas prices.

  57. Fred says:

    A 90% up volume day will be a big deal.

    There is a beautiful disbelief in this rally.

  58. KP says:

    Fred your up volume day will be all short covering. This move by the Fed doesn’t fix the problem, only adds grease to a broken wheel. Only a fool sees this as bullish.

  59. Fred says:

    Short covering?….hmmmm, the put call has been rising all day.

  60. Eclectic says:

    You are correct KP.

    The Fed has two concerns right now and they are not necessarily related.

    1 – They are concerned about banks and thrifts (credit unions, etc.) being able to meet simple good federal funds demands, either by checking or cash withdrawals. Consequently they realize that it may be necessary for some institutions to meet those demands only by approaching the discount window, regardless of the relative costs of that borrowing… because they can’t get the funds any other way. They fear an extended episode in which depositors are lining up for the teller windows and they won’t take commercial paper as a substitute for the cash they need for an E-Ride in Econo-Americana.

    The notion that Bernanke would’ve dropped 50 basis points off the discount window just for the purpose of slappin’ shorts around is pure mythology, the type of mythology that’s born on CNBC almost daily. Bernanke doesn’t give two hoots in hell for longs or shorts. Now… let the market get hit down for a few thousands of points and I suspect he might be interested in preventing total asset price collapse, but for now embarrassing shorts is not his objective.

    2 – They are concerned also about the orderly execution of intermediation (of investment capital expenditures) in financial markets that ordinarily allows the economy to function… whether that functioning is temporarily able to produced at or above trend growth or not.

    The crisis right now (if there is a crisis) is item number 1, because if allowed to grow worse it would shake the economy to its foundations and injur public confidence in a way that is off the scale of all the measures we’ve had reported to us recently.

    By a great majority the average participant in the economy doesn’t pay any attention to markets. They don’t listen to “Fast Money” and John Mackey’s inferring (or others that do) that Bernanke is spanking the shorts on purpose is pure absurdity.

    This cut has been well received by equity markets, so far, but there’s a Trojan buried in it… and that Trojan is that it represents the fears of the Fed over a much more important issue than what the Dow does and what they say about it on CNBC.

  61. Fred says:

    The credit markets have been playing into the cycle of FEAR, and stocks just followed like lemmings — creating a viscous cycle of margin calls and liquidations. The collective wallet was put on the hip (bid vacume) not based on true values, but on the fear of a capital market lock up…and it got close. The Fed will get high marks, as they are getting CONFIDENCE back in the bond markets, while not spooking inflation fears.

    AIMHO

  62. Eclectic says:

    Fred, there’s an element of truth in what you say… and also an element of your own personal suppositions about the values of assets that you deem to merely represent fear, much as if you’d have a 2005 model Family Truckster sitting in your driveway with a sale price on it that’s $5,000 more than any Truckster has traded for within 500 miles… and yet you’re willfully determined that you’ll get it… and assume that bidders who won’t pay you the price are just fearful.

    They’re fearful of owning at your price what you can’t get your own price for… now.

  63. Fed finally reacts – the Global Credit Crunch Timeline

    This morning the Fed finally reacts to a most turbulent week of market activity and drops the discount rate 1/2 point. Here’s the domino effect that preceded the rate cut: April 2 – Subprime crisis takes down first major lender – New Century files for…

  64. ed says:

    maybe if the commentators at cnbc say “fed rate cut enough” it will actually happen. Your agenda is showing cnbc.