Picks for a More-of-the-Same World

This week, I have found it increasingly difficult to have a conversation that doesn't involve Federal Reserve policy and the larger macroeconomic picture. I've been amused, at best, by the attention surrounding this week's Fed minutes and the ensuing stock-market rally. Although Chairman Ben Bernanke took care to change his tune in the press conference following the release, he did not say anything that he hasn't intoned on previous occasions. That is, if the economy improves, the Fed will stop or slow the quantitative-easing bond-buying -- and if the economy turns south, it will be inclined to bump up QE activities.

Under no circumstances will the Fed be raising short-term interest rates anytime soon. In his previous conference, Bernanke had floated the idea of stimulus tapering, and the market quickly shot that down. U.S. Treasury bonds fell, the dollar rose, stocks became more volatile and precious-metal prices collapsed. None of this fits in to the Fed's long-term picture, so tapering talk from official sources is bound to die off for a while....678 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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