It’s the end of the third quarter of 2012, which is a decent time to look back and see where we are. Economic news has been incredibly mixed lately, which following our mantra that good news is bad news means that we really don’t know what to think. So let’s not try to think too hard and look ahead as we look backward at a strange quarter all around.
Between the political conventions, the people running for the second most powerful office in the land have to stand down for a moment and let the Big Guy speak. That would be Ben Bernanke, who delivered his annual address at the Jackson Hole conference today. You want real power? If being able to print $1.6T ain’t it, I don’t know what is.
The speech was highly anticipated because in the past the occasion was used to announce rounds of Quantitative Easing. There was hope there would be a third round of it, which is to say more greenbacks flowing out into the economy hot off the Fed presses. It didn’t happen. Bernanke spoke instead about what’s gone wrong and what they’ve done to try to get things to start back up.