We all know Barack Obama was the candidate of hope and despite the Presdential honeymoon he is enjoying with the American public (as well as the trucking industry if not all industries), he has been criticized of late-- even by members of his own party-- for not dishing up much in the way of optimistic statements on the economy.
The President may endeavor to inject a message of hope into his speech tonight before a joint session of Congress. But, lo and behold, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke apparently decided to raise his own banner of hope today.
As reported by ABCnews.com, Bernanke said today in testimony prepared for the Senate Banking Committee that the economy is likely to keep shrinking in the first six months of this year, but he is hopeful the recession will end this year.
Fed Chief Bernanke contends there is reason to be hopeful.
According to the news report, Bernanke admitted there were "significant risks to that forecast and any economic turnaround would hinge on the success of the Fed and the Obama administration in getting credit and financial markets to operate more normally again." Bernnake said, "Only if that is the case, in my view there is a reasonable prospect that the current recession will end in 2009 and that 2010 will be a year of recovery."
Now, let's be honest. Even a transformational politician like President Obama is still a politician and it may just be that the persons who still control the levers of our financial system (how much longer they will have that control remains to be seen) will react more positively to what the Fed Chief has to say.
And as capitalism is as much about perception and emotion as it is dollars and cents, we can only hope they will.