Ben just said some stuff. Jim Cramer summed it up best. He said that Bernanke finally learned how to talk like Greenspan . . . from both sides of his mouth.
Obfuscation is a well-known strategy to confuse and thus subdue an opponent, which in this case is the market. Wide swings making things messy? Be dovish one minute and hawkish the next. No one will dare to do anything.
Don Luskin was on the Kudlow Report last night and said something that was refreshing to hear:
"I'm an advocate of a whole new economic philosophy. It's called the FIH: the Fed Irrelevancy Hypothesis. . . . What we find is when these [QE] programs begin, they don't make interest rates go down like they say they will, they make them go up. And when the programs end, then, weirdly, interest rates go down. . . . None of this [QE] matters."
Bingo. If the Fed didn't have an army of deluded economists and media pundits worshiping at its feet, its irrelevancy would be crystal clear. Perhaps Congress would then find the courage to strip it of its power. Remember, the Fed makes money for its shareholders by charging interest to the US government for "coining" money. The framers of the Constitution intended Congress to perform this role. Congress gave it to the group of bankers that created the Fed.
Fed or not, no matter what Ben says today, the market will probably go where it wants to. No one ever knows, but there are always clues. 1652.62 below and 1687.18 above remain the best ones for me. All else is irrelevant.