Today, several of the Fed governors are out defending the Open Market Committee’s decision to leave rates unchanged last week. They indicate that their position is to ensure that the economy has enough momentum to not get dragged down with money costing more to borrow. Three Fed officials are continuing to warn that they will raise rates prior to the end of the year (names below). Stocks are down about 1.5% this morning, mostly on weakening forecasts out of China and India–where a large percentage of my IRA funds still reside. The Federal Housing Finance Agency this morning reports that home prices rose 0.6% from June to July, and are up 5.8% in the 12 month period ending July 31st. Oh, and the portrait of Jack Nicholson has nothing to do with anything, but I figured that you wouldn’t recognize James Bullard, Jeffery Lacker, of John Williams (Fed officials) anyway.