Economics and Investing:

Bernanke: Fed May Launch New Round of Stimulus. It seems that Helicopter Ben is addicted to “quantitative easing”–the Fed’s euphemism for monetizing Federal debt. If they can repeatedly get away with creating dollars out of thin air, then the end result is inevitable: the wholesale destruction of the U.S. Dollar as a currency unit.

Reader John T. liked this piece by Jim Willie: The Silver Platter Opportunity

Yohay over at FOREX Crunch posted this provocative article: Captain Ben Can Handle the Debt Ceiling

D.S. sent this: Derivatives Rules to Help Swaps Market Grow $40.7 Trillion, Citigroup Says. The market for interest-rate and credit-default swaps will grow more than 10 percent to $435 trillion by 2013. Here is a quote: “Combined interest-rate and credit-default swap notional values totaled $394.3 trillion as of December, according to Bank for International Settlements data. The $601 trillion private derivatives market also includes foreign exchange, equity and commodity derivatives.”

Items from The Economatrix:

Markets May Turn Turbulent Waiting For Debt Deal

Fed Divided Over More Stimulus as Economy Weakens

Motorists Driving Less, But Gas Prices Keep Rising

Economy Faces a Jolt as Benefit Checks Run Out

Obama “Cannot Guarantee” Social Security Benefit Checks Will Be Paid If Debt Deal Isn’t Reached