Economic Recovery Takes a Break

The poor recovery. It seemed to be doing so well. And now look at it. Fallen on hard times. Down on its luck. Worn out.

“Unusually uncertain,” is how Ben Bernanke explains the situation.

What he means by that is that he doesn’t have any more idea of what is going on than he did three years ago or two years ago…or one year ago.

You remember, Mr. Bernanke was the one who warned Congress that “we may not have an economy by Monday,” if Congress didn’t pass a bill providing bailouts and boondoggles.

And now, after he’d doubled the US monetary base at the Fed…and encouraged the government to put about $10 trillion at risk in various bailouts, guarantees and spending projects…he’s dumbfounded. Where’s the recovery?

New jobless claims jump from two-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) – New jobless claims jumped last week by the most since February, reversing a sharp fall two weeks ago. The rise is partly a result of seasonal factors but also reflects the job market’s weakness.

The Labor Department says new claims for unemployment insurance jumped by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 464,000. Analysts expected a smaller rise, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Week after week, in comes more evidence. The recovery isn’t recovering. Instead, it’s going into a funk of its own.

But don’t worry, dear reader. Bernanke told Congress that he is prepared to do whatever it takes to rescue the recovery and get the economy rolling again. Bloomberg:

Bernanke Says Fed Is Prepared to Act as Needed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said central bankers “remain prepared” to act as needed to aid growth even as they get ready to eventually raise interest rates from almost zero and shrink a record balance sheet.

What can he do? Well, he can print money. Even the ‘credible threat’ of printing money should be enough to give the market ‘inflation expectations,’ Bernanke has said in the past.

But this week’s announcement led to a $3 rise in gold. Not much. Apparently the threat is not credible.

Stocks did better, however. The Dow rose 201 points.

More on Monday…

Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning