When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke makes his way to Capitol Hill for two days of testimony on Wednesday and Thursday, he better be ready to appease both sides of the aisle --those who believe in a sustainable economic recovery and those who still fear the possibility of recession. The man behind our uber-timid monetary policy, the acronym "QE" (quantitative easing), and the visionary who predicted key interest rates will stay near zero through 2014, has a growing dossier of improving economic data to contend with that contradicts his nervous policy stance.
The Fed chief typically faces his fair share of grilling at these semi-annual Congressional events, but this week Wall Street will be on high alert for any signs that Bernanke is changing his mind.
"They need to get out of that crisis mindset," says Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, who thinks an about-face on the policy front is overdue. "I mean, do you really think we'd be worrying about Greece in this country if we had a legitimate crisis to worry about? I don't think you can any longer argue that the U.S. economy needs crisis policy."
Paulsen highlights no less than 10 different indicators he thinks make the Fed's zero interest rate policy look outdated. They include employment, low inflation, housing, auto sales, bank loans, and even surging oil prices which are up on Middle East tensions but also due to improved global demand.Read More »from Bernanke Must Get Out of Crisis Mode: Paulsen