Bernanke Receives Standing-Eight Count
It is becoming increasingly obvious to everyone that in the world of central bankers there is only one credibility champ.
Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke warned about the price pressures caused by a weak dollar and emphasized inflation concerns in a speech on Wednesday, sparking a dollar rally and many pats on the back.
No one in the mainstream media, to my knowledge, stopped to question why Bernanke, who in the past had deferred all comments about the dollar to the treasury department, was so eager to speak so openly about it now. I have come to expect nothing less from that bunch, but even the slightest of analysis might have led a few to the conclusion that with the markets still reeling from the credit crisis and rumors of continued difficulties in that area, that this was more a push of the panic button than anything else.
Then on Thursday, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet echoed similar inflation concerns, revealing the bank's members had weighed an immediate hike in rates and were seriously considering raising them next month.
The ECB statement was certainly a shocker, more so for US analysts, who have been calling for a lowering of euro zone rates to take pressure off the dollar. This of course is a ridiculous expectation at a time when inflationary forces are at play around the world, akin to the quicker of two friends being asked by the other to slow down and take a breather while the duo is chased down the street by a rabid dog.
To the contrary, ECB members, including Germany's Axel Weber and Greece's Nicholas Garganas, have stated that the ECB isn't facing a dilemma between inflation and growth, and that the euro zone economy is standing up very well to the global slowdown.
In fact, Garganas recently said: "To clearly spell it out: If we have to follow a tough monetary policy in order to achieve our goal, so be it - this is our duty," in an article published in the Financial Times Deutschland, adding that current high inflation is transitory but a "tough" monetary policy might be necessary to achieve price stability.
Within less than 24-hours, Ben Bernanke's words have been forgotten, as the dollar gave up all its Bernanke inspired gains and gold, oil and the Euro had huge up moves.
The Euro may have its issues. But hat's off to it and its gatekeepers this week!