In a masterful turn at the ever-evolving art of spin, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Tuesday there is "a reasonable prospect" the recession will end this year and 2010 "will be a year of recovery"
– if, that is, the Administration, Congress and Federal Reserve can get financial markets to do roughly what they're supposed to do, which to date, despite billions of bailout dollars, they've failed to do.
Exhibiting a relative if still modest level of candor, Bernanke conceded that “downside risks probably outweigh those on the upside”
and that the Fed's forecast is clouded by “considerable
uncertainty.” Damn straight. And they wonder why so many of us remain skeptical about their honesty and competence. Given all that's come before, in the words of Rich Hughes of Portfolio Management Consultants in L.A., "We haven't seen...(what) you'd want to see before you'd get thoroughly enthused."