Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is testifying in front of Congress again this Wednesday in a “Day-Two” of what was formerly known as the Humphrey-Hawkins Testimony. Bernanke’s prepared remarks today are, as they usually are, an echo of yesterday’s prepared remarks.
What will be different today is that we expect a tougher line of questioning over the Q&A session yesterday. Bernanke will likely be asked to further opine on his “that is your job, not mine” comments about getting ready to deal with (bargain or fight) the coming fiscal cliff. It was just yesterday that Bernanke warned of a recession in 2013 if Congress does not reach some bargain and end up driving off the fiscal cliff where massive spending cuts go into place and where tax hikes go into effect.
Bernanke’s full prepared remarks are available to be read here.
Generally speaking, the second day of testimony is not as closely watched as the first day of testimony. We have also not had any total game-changing numbers issued from government economic reports in the last 24 hours which would drive Bernanke into a different stance from his first day comments made on Tuesday.
The markets are looking for further comments on the hope of quantitative easing, or QE3. Key issues to watch: gold, oil, mortgages, and more.
JON C. OGG