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The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: June 28

Backtracking Bernanke

What Ben Bernanke taketh away, his buddies at the Fed giveth back.

Meanwhile, we just wish everybody would shutteth up.

Bond yields blew out last week after the Federal Reserve informed market-watchers that it is eyeing mid-2014 as an end for its bond-buying program. The Fed's forecast triggered a selloff of more than 45 basis points that brought 10-year yields as high as 2.667% on Monday, the highest level in two years.

Brief pit stop here, Dumbest fans. Because fixed income can be kind of tricky with the whole yield goes up, price goes down thing, we'd like to quickly break down what happened for bond market novices.

Put simply, CNBC showed Ben Bernanke chattering on TV, which caused everybody on Wall Street to freak out and sell their bonds.

Hope that clears things up for you.

In the same vein, Bernanke's friends at the Fed felt the need to clear a few things up in the wake of the bond market's bloodletting. As pointed out in a Tuesday research note from CRT Capital Group's David Ader, it took comments on Monday from regional Fed presidents William Dudley, Narayana Kocherlakota and Richard Fisher to soften the impact of Bernanke's statements and stabilize the market.

"What we are hearing is that the Fed is not happy with the violence or magnitude of the rate increase and ancillary action in other markets and is attempting to offer some caution and clarification to what the Federal Open Markets Committee's message should have been," wrote Ader, pointing out that 10-year Treasuries started rebounding (prices up, yields down) once Ben's backing band took turns at the microphone.

Of the three Fed-heads that attempted to walk back Bernanke's comments, we most enjoyed Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher telling the Financial Times, "I do believe that big money does organize itself somewhat like feral hogs. If they detect weakness or a bad scent, they'll go after it."

You ain't foolin', Fisher! And despite his best efforts, Bernanke let off a stink that sent bond traders screaming for the exits.

In fact, Ben's message was so nose-turning that Minnesota's Fed chief Kocherlakota said that the committee's communications "have provided insufficient detail about how its policy strategy will play out when the recovery is more advanced." He then vowed to provide "this missing clarity" in future public statements.

You know what, old buddy?

Save it.

We appreciate your effort to explain yourselves, as well as the Fed's overall move toward transparency, but right now all this Bernanke blather has us missing Greenspan's gobbledygook.

If you know what we mean.

4 of 5

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