Yesterday morning as I rose from bed,
Congress was paid a visit by the Fed.
Bernanke came prepared with his report,
And Congress responded with its retort.
Ben started off the meeting with bad news,
Singing a song of economic blues:
Signs of relief were few and far removed,
Sparse evidence that business had improved.
By Q1 GDP was 2 percent,
But Q2 estimates will take a dent.
Unemployment, recently dropping fast,
Is stuck at 8.2 these six months past.
"Currently," Ben said, "things remain the same.
In part, seasonal weather is to blame."
With confidence low, households remain scared,
Bad debt and credit make spending impaired.
No matter how low the interest rate drops,
Cash-strapped consumers won't be at the shops.
As if the U.S. wasn't hurt enough,
Europe's economy is looking rough.
At Ben's neck, senators wanted to know:
Can we trust the decisions big banks make?
Big Ben stressed effective regulation,
Market ties for no manipulation.
Although Congress blamed all on the E.U.,
Its role in the recession's hardly through.
Fast-forward to December's fiscal cliff,
No room for pithy political tiffs.
To keep tax breaks and save a million jobs,
The Left and Right can't be partisan snobs.
Senate votes and a house majority,
Plus Barack's thumbs-up to start the party.
If not, the numbers will be crunched again,
Ben says the outlook would look pretty grim.
"No news is good news," my mother once said,
According to her, I should stay in bed.
Senators listened to Ben politely,
But his advice can't be taken lightly.
The Fed's mandate includes two lofty goals:
Unemployment and inflation controls.
Ben's handled inflation, his plan's done fine,
But unemployment is way out of line.
Congress needs to mirror the Fed's action,
Policy to create fiscal traction.
Congress should use its political force,
To steer our markets on a straighter course.
Bernanke kept mum about QE3,
Only time will tell, we'll just wait and see.
"For now," Ben says, "watch the cliff drawing near,
And hope that Congress acts in time to veer."
Also watch out for Europe's dire straits,
As they say, good news comes to him who waits.
With interest rates low and bonds worth a cent,
There are better ways for funds to be spent.
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Fool contributor Justin Loiseau owns none of these stocks and is too lazy to translate his disclaimer into rhyming iambic pentameter. You can follow him on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo.
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