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Bernanke takes Stock Market on wild ride
8/28/2011 3:00 PM Floyd Harden
Who says Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t know how to have a little fun? Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee this morning on the state of the U.S. economy, Bernanke took the opportunity to send the Stock Market on a roller-coaster ride as investors hung on the Chairman’s every word, gesture and facial twitch.
The fun began when Bernanke took his seat and mumbled just loud enough for the microphone to pick up, “I hope they don’t ask me about the double-dip ice cream I had for dessert last night.” Investors mistook Bernanke’s statement to mean that a double-dip recession is coming and immediately went into a selling frenzy, causing the DOW to plunge 452 points in thirty seconds.
Next, in response to a question from Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Bernanke said, “The U.S. economy is expected to grow at an unprecedented rate in the second half of 2011.” No sooner were these words out of Bernanke’s mouth than the DOW skyrocketed, making up its earlier losses and reaching a record high 15,007. However, when Baucus followed up by asking Bernanke if he had his fingers crossed, Bernanke grinned and admitted, “You got me! I was just having a little fun with you. Seriously, this economy sucks!” While Baucus and Bernanke shared a laugh, the DOW shed a whopping 9,988 points as investors began looking for tall buildings to jump off.
But the fun didn’t stop there. When ranking Republican member Orrin Hatch asked Bernanke if there was anything the Fed could do to ease the mortgage crisis, Bernanke stood on his chair, hopped on one foot and began singing lyrics from the 2005 Coldplay song “Speed of Sound”. Investors took this as a positive sign for the housing market, backed away from ledges and drove the DOW back up to where it had started the day.
Bernanke ended his testimony by reminding the committee, “Despite the current downturn, the U.S. economy is still fundamentally sound and will inevitably recover.” Unfortunately, as the words were leaving his lips, the Chairman loudly passed gas, causing the Stock Market to sink on fears of a sudden rise in oil prices. - Return to Previous Page
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