Bernanke's Parting Words; Manufacturing Data: Best of Kass

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners is known for his accurate stock market calls and keen insights into the economy, which he shares with RealMoney Pro readers in his daily trading diary.

Among the posts this past week were entries about Ben Bernanke's last major speech and the ISM index for December.

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Bernanke's Parting Words

Originally published on Friday, Jan. 3 at 2:59 p.m. EDT.

Ben Bernanke's last major speech as Fed chief before he exits stage left provided no new information on future policy under Janet Yellen but was more of a pat on the back for what he has done since the financial crisis began.

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Bernanke is optimistic on growth in coming quarters (which if it comes true, Yellen will likely continue tapering) and talked about the "considerable progress" the economy has made over the past four-and-a-half years. And he defended quantitative easing by saying that academic research supports the argument that it "helped promote the recovery." 

This defense of QE, however, is only valid if the recovery continues when QE no longer is active, which wasn't the case after QE 1 and QE 2 ended.

 Let's hope this time is different.

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On the beginning of the end of this round of QE, he said it "did not indicate diminution of its commitment to maintain a highly accommodative monetary policy for as long as needed; rather, it reflected the progress we have made toward our goal of substantial improvement in the labor market outlook." 

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