Felix Salmon analyzes Bernanke’s speech today:
The overall tone here … is defensive: Bernanke’s on the back foot, trying to justify past and future actions against critics on all sides. And when an institution is in a defensive crouch, it’s not going to do anything bold. The Fed was bold in 2008-9, at the height of the financial crisis; those days are over now. And so, whether we like it or not, any real boost for the economy going forwards is not going to come from the Fed, and is going to end up having to come from Congress instead. I’m not holding my breath.
Bill McBride differs:
Bernanke's comments suggest QE3 will be launched very soon, perhaps on September 13th following the next FOMC meeting. I thought the odds of QE3 in August were high – and the minutes of the meeting indicated they were very very close. It is possible that the FOMC in September will announce an extension of the extended period until 2015 (from late 2014), and wait again for QE3, but that would seem at odds with Bernanke's comments today.