Simply put, the Fed pulled off a magic trick that would leave Houdini gasping. Janet Yellen and the Fed took the made-up money and bought Wall Street assets that would have otherwise crashed and gave money to Wall Street banks that would have otherwise gone bankrupt...with no strings attached.
Surging liquidity, more risk on the balance sheets of banks and insurers, sky-high valuations in individual asset classes -- these are some of the already visible consequences of the ECB's policy, and the trend is set to continue.
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.
Cuts will not produce growth. Cuts will more likely tip us into a double-dip recession, which the Republicans will blame on the Obama Administration's failure to cut more! It is surely better to stand firm and to call the Republicans' bluff.