1. The Fed's Fat Finger
There's no disputing that Ben Bernanke has the global economy in the palm of his hand. His massive bond-buying program has forced stock and bond bears alike to lay down their arms in deference to his power.
We just hope the
doesn't suffer another fat finger episode like it did this past week. Though its premature data dump may not have sparked a flash crash, it is a good reminder of the Fed's fallibility.
Somebody at the Fed fouled up and mistakenly sent the minutes from its March meeting ahead of schedule to a select group of congressional staffers and lobbyists on Tuesday afternoon. Once it recognized the problem, the Fed was forced to release the information to the greater public on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. instead of its usual 2 p.m.
"The reason is they were inadvertently sent early to a list of individuals who normally receive the minutes by email shortly after their usual release time," said a Fed spokesperson about the mishap. "The individuals on the distribution list -- primarily congressional employees and employees of trade organizations -- received the minutes shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday."
Hey, that's no big deal. Congressional staffers and lobbyists are great at keeping secrets! There's no need to worry at all if they mistakenly get inside information in the future. It's not like these Washington folks know anybody on Wall Street or anything like that.
Sure. And if you believe that then we have a mortgage bond to sell you.
Wait. Ben Bernanke would probably buy that bond, toxic or not.
So we'll sell you a bridge instead.
-- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York City.