With the Fed decision on Tuesday it is a shame the CPI data will not appear until Wednesday. Still, the latest retail sales and industrial output/capacity utilization numbers will be here tomorrow.

But will the picture for these change much from what is already known?

Exhibit 1: Retail and Capacity Utilization trends

It does look like CPI will soften on this trend. Yet going forward commodity prices are a wild card - seen the level of the Baltic Dry Index recently (ie record high)?

The view that infrastructural bottlenecks are behind much of the BDI price increases in ship borne goods is valid; as is the idea that centrally-controlled China is boosting demand in a way the free market would not. But inflationary pressure is inflationary pressure, whatever the reasons.

On the other hand, try telling that to Mr SPX currently riding the crest of hopes for a 50 basis point cut in Fed funds next Tuesday.

Greasing the system's liquidity is one thing but how will the uncomfortably leveraged take such respite? As a dodge-the-bullet breathing space to deleverage? Or as a signal that moral hazard is no more? What the ECB is doing, for example, injecting record billions to reduce the rate differentials on short term interbank and longer term 'official' lending rates surely only punishes the prudent whilst encouraging the foolhardy. The Fed has also been at this - does it really want to continue?

Secretly the scribe wishes the Fed would use its other monetary tools instead of bailing the imprudent with the FF rate under cover of maintaining market order. But the best he should hope for is a mere 25 bps drop - and maybe, on a close look at Mr Bernanke's record and pronouncements, that is not as outrageous as the futures markets imply.

Even so, that may still only delay a worse day of reckoning when central banks will bail no more and commercial finance houses suddenly find absorbing asset losses is simply beyond some of them. That is not the case today; and they should take, or be made to take, their medicine whilst able to.

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