Why the Fed Should Adopt Apple’s Nomenclature

Dear Chairman Bernanke,

I was listening to your announcement of the latest round of action designed to stimulate the economy — quantitative easing as far as the eye can see, or QE . Fascinating stuff.

I also noted you took away the 2015 endline, and already folks like PIMCO think that means 2017 (although you explicitly targeted a 6.5% unemployment, so long as inflation stays relatively contained).

This was widely expected, and your actions have led us, over the past few weeks, to a somewhat more aggressive investment posture.

In the meantime, we respectfully ask this question of you: Have you considered adopting a more informative nomenclature for each subsequent intervention?

We would like to respectfully suggest that the FOMC adopt Apple’s numbering system. Their nomenclature for phones is easily followed, and communicates a great deal about what is happening. For example, this current easing is QE4, in the Spring, we could see QE4S. Next Fall, we will all get excited about QE5, followed by QE5S the following spring.

We would have named Operation Twist “The Mini.”

This will help those gadget heads who may be struggling  to keep up with the various Open Market Operations, but have some familiarity with the idea of infinite iterations of any given product.

If this new QE naming system catches on, we have one last suggestion for you relative to Apple. Your street address of “20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.” (in Washington, D.C. 20551) is not particularly informative about your mandate. Sure, the mailman can find the building to deliver your mail, but what does it really tell us?

May I suggest also following Apple’s lead in this regard? Their mailing address is 1 Infinite Loop (Cupertino, California).

For the Fed, 1 Infinite Loop is so much more appropriate than just some plain old street address.

Keep up the good work!




Barry Ritholtz

This piece is cross-posted from The Big Picture with permission.