Dear Chairman Bernanke,

I was listening to your announcement of the latest round of action designed to stimulate the economy — quantitative easing as far as the eye can see, or QE . Fascinating stuff.

I also noted you took away the 2015 endline, and already folks like PIMCO think that means 2017 (although you explicitly targeted a 6.5% unemployment, so long as inflation stays relatively contained).

This was widely expected, and your actions have led us, over the past few weeks, to a somewhat more aggressive investment posture.

In the meantime, we respectfully ask this question of you: Have you considered adopting a more informative nomenclature for each subsequent intervention?

We would like to respectfully suggest that the FOMC adopt Apple’s numbering system. Their nomenclature for phones is easily followed, and communicates a great deal about what is happening. For example, this current easing is QE4, in the Spring, we could see QE4S. Next Fall, we will all get excited about QE5, followed by QE5S the following spring.

We would have named Operation Twist “The Mini.”

This will help those gadget heads who may be struggling  to keep up with the various Open Market Operations, but have some familiarity with the idea of infinite iterations of any given product.

If this new QE naming system catches on, we have one last suggestion for you relative to Apple. Your street address of “20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.” (in Washington, D.C. 20551) is not particularly informative about your mandate. Sure, the mailman can find the building to deliver your mail, but what does it really tell us?

May I suggest also following Apple’s lead in this regard? Their mailing address is 1 Infinite Loop (Cupertino, California).

For the Fed, 1 Infinite Loop is so much more appropriate than just some plain old street address.

Keep up the good work!




Barry Ritholtz



Category: Federal Reserve, Technology

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.

11 Responses to “Why the Fed Should Adopt Apple’s Nomenclature”

  1. jaykimball says:

    Barry, I think the headline should be “Why the Fed Should ADOPT…”

    Adapt versus adopt – it’s a common confusion.

  2. Jo says:

    Respect has to be earned.

    Bernanke hasn’t earned it.

  3. hawks5999 says:

    I thought they had already done this and QE3 was their The New QE

  4. Rich in NJ says:

    Intellectual property issues/risks aside with using Apple’s “S,” nice post. ;)

  5. dougc says:

    It’s QE4ever. ZH had interesting data on how Apple stock and Samsung stock have performed since AAPL won a billion dollar lawsuit against Samsung. It appears it may not be a good idea to sue a critical and major supplier of components, or maybe it’s just coincidence.

  6. Christopher says:

    You can call it whatever you wish.

    A ponzi it remains.

  7. rktbrkr says:

    How does the Fed unwind their position if inflation and int rates start to spike? They’ve painted themselves into an impossibly tight corner. Run for the hills if Gentle Ben opts out

  8. RW says:

    Technology nomenclature is rooted in versions so QE I through III (or IV depending on how you count) would be appropriate.

    But this is a new model, a Mac instead of an Apple II (just to keep the name game going): it actually targets nothing but rather sets thresholds that must be passed for policy to change; i.e., it is a state-dependent policy that requires at least one of two conditions be met — unemployment falling below 6.5% or inflation above 2.5% — before asset purchasing policy will be reconsidered (not necessarily changed).

    That is a different technology than target-oriented QE (which has basically been demoted to a subroutine) and it will have a far more noticeable impact on expectations going forward IMO.

    NB and IMHO the conservatives on the FOMC did their best to support the cause but, unlike many of their confreres, accept the results of the election and have now decided it is time to do their jobs; the Fed will now obey its dual mandate.

  9. Concerned Neighbour says:

    I see I’m not the only cynical guy around these parts.

    As the gap between successive QE’s continues to shrink, I fully expect in six months central bankers will douse me in dollar bills each time I step out of the shower.

  10. PDS says:

    Slow afternoon BR? as an aside…I equate the Fed more with RIMM than Apple

  11. [...] Fed should adopt Apple speak. Why does anyone pay attention to the Fed? We know they are pursuing a screwed up policy that has [...]