Ben Bernanke bails out Time Magazine

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WASHINGTON – After naming Ben Bernanke Person of the Year for saving us from the crisis that he helped create, Time magazine sales have “dropped off a cliff,” according to one Time magazine employee, speaking on condition of anonymity.

As a result of the drop-off in demand, Time magazine is now going through a liquidity crisis. Because of this situation, Ben Bernanke has decided to provide Time magazine with the necessary liquidity to stave off bankruptcy. The Fed has added millions of editions of Time to its balance sheet.

“From what we can tell, these Time magazines – especially the edition with Greenspan on the cover – have more intrinsic value than do Treasuries. There is actually stuff to read in them. So our balance sheet isn’t impaired in any way by paying cover-price for these issues,” said Fed Chairman Bernanke. “We also felt it would be best for the economy to take these editions out of circulation, and we are asking the American people to sell their Greenspan editions to the FOMC.”

The preliminary numbers are showing that the Fed, through Open Market Operations, has monetized at least 500,000 copies of the edition with Greenspan on the cover – the last time a Fed Chairman appeared on the cover of the prestigious magazine.

“If necessary, the Fed has the tools it needs to remove any excess liquidity from the markets,” said Bernanke. “We could start by selling off the Jim Bunning baseball cards that we have on our balance sheet.”

Federal Reserve Raises Discount Rate

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The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced that in light of continued improvement in financial market conditions it had unanimously approved several modifications to the terms of its discount window lending programs.

Like the closure of a number of extraordinary credit programs earlier this month, these changes are intended as a further normalization of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities. The modifications are not expected to lead to tighter financial conditions for households and businesses and do not signal any change in the outlook for the economy or for monetary policy, which remains about as it was at the January meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). At that meeting, the Committee left its target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and said it anticipates that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. (more…)

Goldman Capitulates: Lowers GDP Forecast, Increases Unemployment And Inflation Outlook, Sees Imminent QE "Lite"

It’s official: the double dip is here. Goldman’s Jan Hatzius just lowered his GDP forecast for 2011 from 2.5% to 1.9% (kiss goodbye all those 93 EPS estimates on the S&P), increased his unemployment forecast from 9.8% to 10.0%, boosted his inflation expectation from 0.4% to 1.0%, and said that QE lite is now on the table, as he expects that “the FOMC to announce that they will reinvest the paydown of mortgage-backed securities in the bond market at next Tuesday’s meeting.” Look for all other sell-side “strategists” (here’s looking at you Neil Dutta) to lower their economic outlook in kind, and the 2011 S&P consensus to decline accordingly.

From Goldman Sachs:

 
 

Over the past two to three months, the US economic recovery has lost a considerable amount of its momentum.   As a result, our forecast of a significant slowing in US growth in the second half of 2010—widely regarded as implausible just three months ago—is now increasingly accepted as the baseline.  As the data disappointments intensified in early July, we indicated that we would consider revisions to our economic outlook.  With the annual revisions to real GDP now behind us, we are making the following changes: (more…)

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