Everyone needs a helping hand at some point in life. Such was the case with me when, at four or five years old, I managed to topple a freestanding, double-sided chalkboard on myself while playing in an empty classroom at my local school. I do not know how long I lay under the chalkboard before my excellent aunt lifted that weight off of me, but I recall having just enough lung capacity and strength to belt out the loud, long screams it took to summon her to my aid.
Readers know where this is headed. The Federal Reserve's decision to roll back its federal funds target rate by 50 basis points on Sept. 18 was very similar to that chalkboard episode. It was a helping hand extended to a small segment of the financial markets that took on more risk than it understood or could effectively manage. What a shame, because the capital markets passed by another major opportunity to correct itself. Instead, the sector probably shored up its public image as a mysterious and unsafe segment of the financial markets.