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Washington Post biz reporter Frank Ahrens these days is Twittering the stock market, which has got to be a simultaneously exciting and baffling assignment. I’ve been watching the markets on and off for many years now, and each time I read a sum-up of the markets’ “logic,” I affix my hands to the sides of my head to keep it from spinning.

Take this morning. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tells Congress, according to the Post, that the economic contraction is “severe.” Yet the markets are up, with the Dow posting a gain of about 90 points. I guess the markets already knew about that “severe” part. Let’s see, what else could push the market up? Perhaps some layoff announcements!

No, what really appears to have sent a wave of hope on Wall Street was Bernanke’s statement to Congress that the recession would end this year, after continued trouble throughout the first six months. Good thing that that guy from “Lie to Me,” that terrible Fox program on outing fibbers, won’t get a chance to cross-examine Bernanke. Does anyone else really believe that this economy is going to start coming back to life as soon as, like, August?