07/25/2012 07:57 am ET

Fed Almost Certainly Giving Serious Thought To Economy, Now: Seven And A Half Things To Know

Thing One: Fed Prepares To Think About Action: Like a besieged Gotham without a Batman, our troubled economy looks to a hero for salvation: Ben Bernanke, a/k/a The Beard That Can't Be Sheared. Will he swoop down and save us all?

Wall Street Journal scribe Jon Hilsenrath, the official mouthpiece of the Federal Reserve, in Wall Street's fevered imagination, says that perhaps Bernanke's Monetary Policy and Bridge Club will indeed come to our rescue. Maybe! Perhaps in August, or maybe September. If it feels like it needs to. This story was so unwavering in its assertion that the Fed is almost certainly going to start thinking about helping the economy that it had a noticeable effect on the five robots who run our stock market. The robots immediately started buying stocks on the "news," at least until Apple found an adorable pooch and began screwing it vigorously (see below), which made everybody feel kind of sick and not like buying stocks any more.

Reinforcing the frenzy of Fed speculation, The New York Times had its own story that said, "Yeah, what the WSJ said: The Fed is seriously thinking about it, you guys!" And Reuters had a story about how the Fed still has a few tricks up its seemingly empty sleeve.

But, eh, who cares, really? This whole thing about waiting for the Fed to make interest rates negative bazillion-point-zero is kind of a pointless exercise, when Congress now has the bulk of the power to jolt the economy back to shambling life, but it stubbornly refuses to because Obama is a Socialist, while Obama refuses to press Congress on it because he is Herbert Hoover with a better singing voice. Only there's no FDR waiting in the wings, just Mitt Romney, with the zombie economics team of George W. Bush, waiting to finally finish off the economy they only managed to half-destroy.

Thing Two: Timmy Comes Alive: Poor Timmy Geithner gets no respect! Here he is, in charge of the very important Financial Stability Oversight Council, the clown college of regulators that watches over our banking system, such an important position of serious importance that he has to testify about it not once but twice this week in Congress, starting today. He's going to talk very seriously about the important threats he sees to our economy and financial system. And yet all that the mean congresspeople are probably going to ask him about is his failure to keep an eye on rampant Libor manipulation when he was in charge of the New York Fed before and during the crisis. Poor Timmy.

Thing Three: Apple Sours: Apple last night reported quarterly revenue that was up 23 percent from a year earlier and profit that was up 21 percent. But both missed Wall Street's drug-fueled expectations, and the stock dropped 5 percent in after-hours trade. Apple blamed the disappointment on the lousy European economy and on people delaying iPhone purchases while they wait for what everybody assumes (maybe wrongly) will be an iPhone 5 coming in October. For some reason Wall Street didn't see either of those two things coming. Efficient markets in action!

Thing Four: Mr. Magoo Missed The London Whale, Too: Timmy Geithner's not the only "regulator" constantly getting hassled for snoozing through Libor manipulation -- the Bank of England is catching the same flak. And now the BofE also stands accused of looking the other way while JPMorgan Chase's London Whale built up the big, dumb trade in credit derivatives that led to a $5.8 billion loss for the bank, the Wall Street Journal's David Enrich writes.

Thing Five: Ice-Cold Britannia: Speaking of the United Kingdom, it's in a bloody recession! Still! GDP shrank in the second quarter for the third straight quarter, the government reported this morning, a far worse report than economists expected. And just in time for the massively expensive white elephant of an Olympics.

Thing Six: Pain Remains In Spain: Meanwhile, Spanish bond yields are still soaring, with the government this morning having to pay more than 7 percent to borrow for just two years -- a very, very bad sign. The bond market apparently expects the government to need a bailout in short order, which will be massively expensive for the rest of Europe. Meanwhile, policy makers are trying to convince Germany to let the European Central Bank directly bail out Spain's banks, which could help ease some of the pressure on Spain's borrowing costs. Good luck with that.

Thing Seven: The News Corp Today, Oh Boy: Yesterday's arrests of Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson and six other people involved in the News Corp hacking scandal threatens to forever alter the "anything goes" culture of News Corp's British tabloids, The New York Times' John Burns writes. So, bad news, then?

Thing Seven And One Half: RIP Sherman Hemsley: The man who played the cocky George Jefferson in "The Jeffersons" died yesterday at 74. People forget just how groundbreaking the show, which debuted in 1975, really was, Uproxx's Cajun Boy writes: "Back during a time when the country electing a black president seemed so far-fetched that it bordered on being laughable, The Jeffersons centered around an upwardly mobile black businessman and his wife... chasing an American dream that still seemed out of reach to a lot of people of color at the time."

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Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

10:00 a.m. ET: New Home Sales for June

Corporate Earnings:

Before Market Open:




Nasdaq OMX


After Market Close:


Whole Foods

Heard On The Tweets:

@chucktodd: Apparently actual economists from both sides of the political spectrum can agree more than politicians.

@ReformedBroker: State of $AAPL Address at 5 pm ET. Michael Dell standing by to deliver the rebuttal.

@GlennF: “An angry Apple, incensed at a drop in profits against imaginary analyst predictions, will release mountain lions to populace tomorrow."

@zerohedge: In December 2012, 50 million American on food stamps can't wait to buy an iPhone 5

@iainmarlow: Apple disappoints with $8.8-billion in profit. What a world.

-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.

And you can follow us on Twitter, too: @markgongloff and @byKhadeeja