While everyone is hypnotized by the melodramatic theater in D.C., it is worth reminding readers just what the one most important statement so far uttered by anyone on the topic of the Fiscal cliff is. That statement belongs to Chairman Bernanke, it was uttered during the December 12 Fed press conference when QE4EVA was announced, and is his response to Peter Cook from Bloomberg TV who asked “if the policy makers were not to agree to some sort of deficit deal by the end of this year and we were to go over the fiscal cliff, that the size of these asset purchases could indeed grow in response to that?‘ Bernanke’s response: “if the economy actually went off the fiscal cliff, our assessment, the CBO’s assessment, outside forecasters, all think that that would have very significant adverse effects on the economy and on the unemployment rate. And so, on the margin, we would try to do what we could. We would perhaps increase a bit.” And there you have it, and there goes any sense of urgency, at least until the real deadline in late March, when the Treasury will have tapped out the G-fund and can’t extend the debt ceiling any more.
“Get to work, Mr. Chairman.”