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Will the Fed throw the gun today?

Will the Fed throw the gun today?

More powerful than a market intervention

Perhaps you’re a fan of the old “Superman” program from the days of black and white television. Terry Belton, head of fixed income strategy at JPMorganChase, apparently is, and last night on the “PBS Newshour” he likened the current economic malady to a classic moment you could count on seeing in many an episode.

That’s when George Reeves lands in front of the bad guys, who promptly whip out their six-shooters and blaze away. The Man of Steel just stands there, arms akimbo and looking a tad smug, as the bullets bounce harmlessly off his leotards—Pwing! Pwang! When the bad guys run out of bullets, they throw their guns at Superman, who thereupon makes short work of the miscreants.

Belton was talking about Monday’s stock market dive with economists Paul Krugman at Princeton and Ken Rogoff at Harvard when the talk turned to what ought to be done about the economy. “We're almost out of bullets. It's like, you know, those Superman episodes. The only thing left is to throw the gun,” Belton says.

He went on to add that it’s the Fed that is likely to do the gun-throwing today. Watch the segment or read the transcript here; Belton’s remark is about seven minutes in.

(Judy Woodruff, the host, didn’t seem to get the throw-the-gun reference. Why wasn’t she spending her childhood watching TV like the rest of us?)

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