Two years after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced plans for a massive second round of monetary stimulus -- so called QE2 -- at a yearly Fed summit in Jackson Hole, Wyo., the world's most powerful central banker returns, with markets primed for him to deliver on even more stimulus.
The main event is a speech by Bernanke at 10:00 a.m. New York time which, in the absence of major developments elsewhere in the world of high finance, has been highly hyped over the past two weeks.
Most large bank analyst expect Bernanke to disappoint. Goldman Sachs, for example, believes the Chairman will not announce a new round of monetary easing, but that the speech will nonetheless "be consistent with a high probability that Fed officials will ease monetary policy further" and could even "open the door to "unconventional unconventional" easing," like nominal GDP or output targeting.
The markets are surely expecting something, with Bank of America analysts calculating Friday morning stocks have priced in an 85 percent probability of QE3. A big divergence from what the market is expecting will be grounds for a big sell-off Friday afternoon.
So, the big question remains: will he or won't he?
Come back at 10 a.m. for minute-by-minute coverage of the Chairman's speech.