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Surviving Fed Madness

I don't know what exactly it will take to genuinely fire up this economy -- real growth, not a fed-inspired sugar high that wears off quickly -- but I suspect it has a great deal to do with confidence. Businesses that are afraid of what Uncle Sam might do next, that are holding onto the burgeoning amounts of cash on their balance sheets due to the uncertainty, aren't going to do a lot of hiring.

Consumers, whose budgets are already stretched, and who might be unemployed or underemployed, aren't going to be buying homes, or cars.

Commodity prices are once again coming back to life and that should not be a surprise either. While I don't view gold or silver as investments per se, they remain great hedges against uncertainty, against a weakening dollar.

I believe the bull market in each of these metals is resuming and I would not be shocked to see gold breach $2,000 an ounce, and silver back above $40 within the next year, perhaps sooner. If you own either, or both, you can thank Ben Bernanke.

Until Thursday, it appeared as though the Fed had already thrown everything it had toward "fixing" the economy but the proverbial kitchen sink. Today, Bernanke is shopping for a new sink. Maybe he can just print one?

At the time of publication, the author was long gold, silver.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.

Jon is also the founder of the Cheap Stocks Web site, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.

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