The inscrutable Ben Bernanke

In his speech to central bankers in Jackson Hole today, Ben Bernanke did a bang-up job of flummoxing the financial media.

The New York Times"Fed Chief Gives No Hint of Imminent Rate Cut"

Mr. Bernanke offered no explicit hint that the central bank will reduce the benchmark federal funds rate at the next policy meeting on Sept. 18, and his remarks suggested that the Fed was unlikely to take any action before that date unless economic conditions deteriorate unexpectedly.

But he said nothing to dissuade investors from expecting a rate cut at that meeting…

Which is how the BBC can run this story:  "Federal Reserve in Rate Cut Hint"

The head of the Federal Reserve has hinted that rates may be cut to stem the US financial crisis caused by a slump in the housing market.

Ben Bernanke said that the Fed would "promote general financial stability".

The AP sensibly played it down the middle:  "Bernanke Says Fed Will Do What's Needed"

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pledged Friday that the central bank will "act as needed" to keep the credit crisis that has unhinged Wall Street from hurting the national economy.

In anxiously awaited remarks, Bernanke didn't specify what the Fed's next move will be but made clear policymakers are keeping close tabs on the problem, which has roiled investors in the United States and around the globe.

As of this writing, traders seem to be going with the BBC interpretation:  The Dow is up 129.  The flower petal of the day seems to be saying, "He loves me."

The Daily Reckoning