Wednesday's prepared testimony by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress seemed to start out as a bravura effort designed to silence recent chatter about the Fed's so-called 'exit strategy' i.e. the 'tapering' off of its quantitative easing program.
Besides the fact that the deficit for fiscal 2013 will still be about $500 billion higher than it was before the Great Recession began at the end of 2007, markets have two other reasons to fear the cessation of quantitative easing.
No matter how hard the Fed pushes, the U.S. economy isn't going to respond to yet another round of quantitative easing. There is, however, at least one price that another round of quantitative easing is bound to send higher -- the cost of oil.