What Wall Street Wants From The Fed
Ben Bernanke called for greater transparency when he took the reins of the Federal Reserve. But as Wall Street awaits the Fed's Wednesday statement, two analysts still seeks clues to second-guess the chairman.
Art Hogan, managing director at Jefferies, reminded CNBC's Liz Claman that jobs growth has been "tremendous." He predicts that if the labor market remains tight, the Fed will "stay on the sidelines" for the "balance of this year."
Joining Hogan on "Morning Call" was David Chalupnik, head of equities at First American Funds. The latter declared that Wednesday will see "no change" in interest rates -- and he went one step further than Hogan, predicting that the U.S. economy will "moderate as the year goes on." Chalupnik believes that inflationary forces will "remain contained," and any rate cut will be pushed out to the second half.
Like the vaudeville joke goes, Hogan had some "good news" and some "bad news." On the one hand, he said, there will be no immediate rate hike; but unfortunately, there will also be "no relief, at least not in '07."
Along with increasing transparency, Bernanke (praised by Milton Friedman as "an able man who has the right view about monetary policy") has also sought to depersonalize the tasks of the Fed -- and perhaps limit them to inflation control. So when he spoke a fortnight ago about longer-term fiscal challenges -- the federal budget, a graying population and the dangers of growing entitlement spending -- it soothed would-be critics when he underscored the fact that he was speaking his mind -- and his alone.