There is so much to say about the United States government not defaulting.
I'd like to start with a thank you.
It isn't easy, but I'll try.
Thank you, Congress, for showing the world there's nothing wrong with the full faith and credit of the United States... and for showing the world that having full faith and credit in the United States government is a total bust.
An extension? Really? So, we go through this again in a matter of weeks?
But let's move on. Let's talk about Janet Yellen. She's far more relevant.
She's about to become the most powerful person in the United States - in the entire world, for that matter.Here's the first thing Yellen could do with all that power - if she wants to save America...
The Next Fed Chief Will Be the Most Powerful of All Time
The U.S. Congress established three core objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913: maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
But in addition to acting as steward of the economy, the Fed's role has expanded over the years.
The Great Recession, a need for corporate bailouts, and concerns over the Fed's secrecy brought about recent changes to its institutional identity.
Certainly we've had a renewed focus on the Fed's responsibility as a regulator.
People wanted to see - needed to see - a Fed that operates no longer as a creature of the banks, but as a watchdog instead.
Emblematically, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act were signed into law in July 2010.
With it, Dodd-Frank brought the most substantial changes to financial regulation since the aftermath of the Great Depression. Particularly, a greater breadth of regulatory power was given to the Fed.
Top 5 Choices for the Next Fed Chief Leave Much to Be Desired
After President Barack Obama all but fired U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in a recent television interview, everyone's been trying to figure out who the president will name as the next Fed chief next year.
Of course, Money Morning has long been critical of the Bernanke-led Fed, and in particular its easy money policies of recent years -- namely its zero interest rates and waves of quantitative easing (QE) that have added trillions to the Fed's balance sheet.
That debt, the asset bubbles it has created and the Fed's too-cozy relationship with the Big Banks, has prompted the experts at Money Morning to question whether the Federal Reserve should exist at all.
"I believe the Fed is outmoded and should be disbanded," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald, who recently wrote about whether the Fed is necessary. "It's a financial body that has outlived its usefulness and is merely causing us to lurch from crisis to crisis. Barring any change in the notion of what it's there to do, get rid of it."
Still, for the time being, we're stuck with the Federal Reserve. And the next Fed chief - whoever President Obama appoints in January -- will be setting monetary policy for at least the next four years.
One thing's for sure: Anyone who dislikes how Bernanke has run the central bank probably won't be happy with the next Fed chairman either.
As confounding as it seems now, it was not the liberal Democrat President Obama, but Republican President George W. Bush who first appointed Bernanke to head the Federal Reserve in 2006.
That Obama re-appointed Bernanke in 2010 made sense, as they share a similar Keynesian economic philosophy. That is, they both think the best way to help a weak economy is through massive government spending no matter how much debt piles up.
So while Bernanke may be on his way out the door, you can bet that whoever President Obama chooses as the next Fed chief will be just as much of a Keynesian as Bernanke has been - and maybe more so.
Heaven help us.