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Forget Mubarak, Paul Farrell writes, it's Bernanke who needs to be toppled: "Just as...

Forget Mubarak, Paul Farrell writes, it's Bernanke who needs to be toppled: "Just as Mubarak was blind to the economic needs of the masses and democratic reforms, Bernanke is blind to the easy-money legacy that’s set the stage for revolution, turning the rich into super rich while the middle class stagnates and peanuts trickle down to the poor."
Comments (59)
  • 7footMoose
    , contributor
    Comments (2266) | Send Message
     
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
    15 Feb 2011, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • Rightwing
    , contributor
    Comments (123) | Send Message
     
    .....me either.
    15 Feb 2011, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • richrf
    , contributor
    Comments (28) | Send Message
     
    Is there a topple Bernanke movement on Twitter anywhere?
    15 Feb 2011, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Jake Silberman
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
     
    Never before in American history have rates been zero. The saver was the historical supplier of capital, now being punished for his prudence, while speculators are rewarded. Bernanke stated that commodity inflation was being caused by developing nation demand over which he has no control. What? Of course the massive flows of the world's reserve currency are causing worldwide inflation and now social unrest. In the US, a double whammy for the saver: no return on his money and inflation of basic goods. Methinks the Fed fiddles while Rome burns.
    15 Feb 2011, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • Econdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (2944) | Send Message
     
    there is a glut of capital - or haven't you noticed? too much capital lying around and not enough projects - in such a world the returns to savers are going to be small - what Bernanke is doing is forcing a correction of this picture - he is making you take your capital and take some risk with it - that is how you fight the disease - and he is actually winning

     

    you follks remind me of patients who argue with the doctor about the treatment and decide you know better

     

    just because you can balance a checkbook it does not qualify you to have a valid opinion on monetaary policy that also applies to Farrell. You can bray all you like but the policy is correct and is working.

     

    Bernanke for President

     

    E
    15 Feb 2011, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3529) | Send Message
     
    "you folks remind me of patients who argue with the doctor about the treatment and decide you know better"

     

    The doctor is not always right. Second opinions are valuable. Worked for me.
    15 Feb 2011, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • Econdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (2944) | Send Message
     
    Sure but my point is that you don't ask the janitor - Ron Paul or most anyone else for their opinion -

     

    if you have Cancer and you are being treated at the Mayo - you don't go to Bumfuq General and ask the Internist - you don't do that.

     

    Bernanke has the corner on this territory - thank God he can't be voted out or all would be lost.

     

    E
    15 Feb 2011, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2700) | Send Message
     
    [if you have Cancer and you are being treated at the Mayo - you don't go to Bumfuq General and ask the Internist -you don't do that.]

     

    Suddenly, I suspect Bernanke IS the Internist at Bumfuq General. Thanks, Edoc.
    15 Feb 2011, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    Doc,

     

    You said yourself that Bernanke saved YOUR company. Thus, you are excused from the debate.
    15 Feb 2011, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    Bernanke, like Greenspan and Abby Cohen, looks smart when the stock market goes up. Which is why he pushes the stock market.

     

    As for the economy, we have already seen how this happiness cycles end.

     

    By the way, any oncologist displaying the equivalent ignorance of "American banks are strong and well capitalized" or "The subprime problem is small and well contained" would lose his license.
    15 Feb 2011, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • rooftop
    , contributor
    Comments (140) | Send Message
     
    From Bernanke's own piehole, the alleged dual mandate of the fed is to promote stable inflation and maximum employment. "Making you take your capital and take some risk with it" isn't part of the equation. He's an academic and so is Obama and therein lies one of the problems, they have absolutely no idea what happens outside the classroom. Even if you want to argue that somehow, some way he is promoting a good environment for corporations, and this will cause those corporations to expand operations and hire workers thus moving towards more employment, there is a very simple comeback: IT ISN'T WORKING. So you want to talk about fighting a disease? Why the hell would you put your faith in a one-trick idiot who thinks the diagnosis and cure for everything in 2011 is found in a history book on the Great Depression?
    15 Feb 2011, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (734) | Send Message
     
    "The saver was the historical supplier of capital, now being punished for his prudence"

     

    -No good deed goes unpunished
    15 Feb 2011, 10:56 PM Reply Like
  • mytradinggroup
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    Econdoc, there is a glut of capital? When's the last time you tried to borrow money?
    15 Feb 2011, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3529) | Send Message
     
    "He's an academic and so is Obama and therein lies one of the problems,"

     

    Yes and the problem with an academic is that in the classroom you don't argue with them or you flunk. So they are not used to legitimate feedback.
    16 Feb 2011, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12716) | Send Message
     
    Harry:

     

    Any utopian thought that any Fed Chairman would somehow eliminate economic cycles or occasional (~70-80 years) crises should be discarded. Instead, as investors, it's our job to assess the likely effects of economic policies, both short and longer term, and to prosper accordingly by making astute investment choices.

     

    All cycles, up and down, begin and end, and that's never going to be eliminated. One can bay at the moon, or try to make money. Those are the two choices.
    16 Feb 2011, 07:05 AM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    Tack,

     

    I agree with you. However, the majority indeed thinks the Fed can control the business cycle.

     

    regards.
    16 Feb 2011, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • mikeybronx
    , contributor
    Comments (347) | Send Message
     
    Feds can and have controlled the business cycle.
    16 Feb 2011, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • MarketGuy
    , contributor
    Comments (3983) | Send Message
     
    "you folks remind me of patients who argue with the doctor about the treatment and decide you know better" - econdoc

     

    And you remind me of a doctor who doesn't listen to the patient, but makes a diagnosis based upon what will net the most money from Medicare.

     

    I guess that explains your man-crush on the Bernank, as his methodologies are the same.
    16 Feb 2011, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • rooftop
    , contributor
    Comments (140) | Send Message
     
    @MarketGuy - an excellent point. Despite his academic credentials there is actually little evidence that Bernanke is competent. It was said best earlier in the thread by Harry Tuttle:

     

    By the way, any oncologist displaying the equivalent ignorance of "American banks are strong and well capitalized" or "The subprime problem is small and well contained" would lose his license.
    16 Feb 2011, 11:02 PM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    Until they lost control. Happened several times. Thus, they do not control the business cycle, only seem to for periods of time. Which is like saying I control my appetite part of the day.
    17 Feb 2011, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (1998) | Send Message
     
    Dreams; keep on dreaming. Folks with $2M above dabbling in the market love it, having a lot of fun Shalome is their hero.
    15 Feb 2011, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • DrBenway
    , contributor
    Comments (300) | Send Message
     
    Paul Farrel is apparently senile and should be in a nursing home playing sudoku with Mubarak.

     

    For those of us not yet stricken with Alzheimer's just a few reminders: Bernanke is appointed by a democratically elected president and confirmed by Congress. If you don't like Fed policies, talk to your representatives.

     

    There is no value in this article apart from shrill and self-serving rhetoric.
    15 Feb 2011, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4010) | Send Message
     
    The Fed operates independently of Congress. It appears immune from outside audit by virtue of its influence and power over the body that created it. Oversight is a joke. The Fed serves the interests of the international banking cartel, not the American people. Andrew Jackson is rolling over in his grave.
    15 Feb 2011, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • phoneranger
    , contributor
    Comments (350) | Send Message
     
    the international banking cartel? do you mean the Elders of Zion?
    15 Feb 2011, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • grinninbrit71
    , contributor
    Comments (168) | Send Message
     
    Yes as the Geoffster points out the fed operates independently of Congress. As others also point out even the budget for their basic operations don't come from Congress, they come from profit's on debt instruments, fee's etc...

     

    I wanted to respond here because I believe the actions of the Federal Reserve more so than any of the responses to the financial crisis from the congressional and executive branches will destroy the country as they debase the currency. The wealthy will certainly be able to invest and speculate in assets that will keep their assets moving along with inflation.

     

    The majority of the country though will be burned.

     

    But I think a key point in fighting against this if you believe it, is to realize any time you spend speaking with Congress is absolutely a waste of time. Even supporting Ron Paul is a slow and likely no end-game waste of time. Not demeaning Ron Paul, but its just not going to be Congresses call.

     

    What might draw greatest attention to the problem quickest (and it better be quick because the currency debasement doesn't have years waiting on Congressional hearings, etc...) would be Egypt Style protest, peaceful but extremely LOUD & PASSIONATE). Again this wouldn't be in front of Capitol Hill because Congress has ZERO power. We need thousands in front of each home of the members of the federal reserve. How do we obtain their home addresses?

     

    I've got to believe the national (likely global) media coverage of massive concurrent protest in front of federal reserve members homes, requiring them to walk through crowds of thousands on the stroll to their limousines each morning would be more significant than any letters to Congress, town halls with the tea party, or whatever.

     

    The executive branch and congressional leaders then instead of just piping their constituents concerns to the federal reserve politely in q&a sessions to Bernanke, will find it necessary to hold frequent news conferences in direct response to the massive citizen protests. That would be much more likely to save the country than these back and forths each day now on whether the cuts to the budget this year should be 30 billion or 60 billion.

     

    30 billion or 60 billion !!!!! What is that in terms of destroying the US dollar, trashing the middle class... What is going on with Bernanke is so much more important right now than what will be months of debate on cutting 30 billion or 60 billion.

     

    Force a change in this dialog ! Put the focus on the fed. Only way I can imagine that happening as fast as it need be will be to surround the homes. Get the addresses, surround the homes, and call the media and their cameras.
    15 Feb 2011, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • bobaka
    , contributor
    Comments (62) | Send Message
     
    well said dr
    little more than a sales pitch trying to drum up some investment business from wackos with tea party leanings
    15 Feb 2011, 11:59 PM Reply Like
  • coddy0
    , contributor
    Comments (1182) | Send Message
     
    The Geoffster
    The Fed operates independently of Congress.
    ======================...
    IMHO.
    Creation of FED was attempt to separate polititian and citizen money.

     

    Problem is not Fed's indepandance.

     

    Problem is Fed became too close with politicians and politics. Congress audit of Fed it's like drug user auditing own drug supplier
    ======================...
    Contrary to Truman's expectations, however, Martin guarded the Fed's independence, not just through Truman's administration but also through the four administrations that would follow. To the present day, his term as Chairman is the longest term the Board of Governors has seen. Over nearly two decades, Martin would achieve global recognition as a central banker. He was able to pursue independent monetary policies while still paying heed to the desires of various administrations.
    ======================...
    However, this did not prevent him from pushing through an increase in the discount rate in 1965 against the wishes of President Lyndon Johnson--a move that earned him a trip to the woodshed at Johnson's Texas
    16 Feb 2011, 12:23 AM Reply Like
  • coddy0
    , contributor
    Comments (1182) | Send Message
     
    grinninbrit71
    either you 'have not so much brain as ear wax' or simply provocateur
    16 Feb 2011, 12:28 AM Reply Like
  • coddy0
    , contributor
    Comments (1182) | Send Message
     
    phoneranger
    the international banking cartel? do you mean the Elders of Zion?
    =======================
    unlikely
    Classical 'the Elders of Zion' allegation associates Elders with adherence to hi landing rate and worship of Gold Standard
    Note: Both activities are extremely admired and popular here in SA

     

    In my opinion "the international banking cartel" meant for people supporting low landing rates, Gold 'shorts' and equity longs

     

    16 Feb 2011, 01:08 AM Reply Like
  • Jason Tillberg
    , contributor
    Comments (1237) | Send Message
     
    The title of my article is the title of a book I recently got from the library. It was written in 1975 by William Guttmann and Patricia Meehan and is about the period in Germany from 1919 - 1923.

     

    The title of Chapter 1 is "A license to Print Money" and starts off with a quick story from a play written a century prior called "Faust" by a famous German Poet named Goethe. In his play, there is a scene where the Emperor, who sold his soul to the Devil, Mephistopheles, is lacking money and asks the Devil to create it. The Devil accepts this task and a prototype note is created and multiplied a thousand times by magicians overnight. The Chancellor then gives the Emperor the note that has turned an ill into a good.

     

    The authors go on to write on pg. 42 from this book:

     

    It is fitting that licence to print money should have originated with a spirit akin to the Devil, the father of lies. The currency of Germany during the inflation years was a gigantic lie, which the nation recognized for what it was only in the last stage. (emphasis mine) The road to inflation, like the road to hell, is paved with good intentions, and it was to turn "ill into good" that the German government gave the licence to print money.

     

    I can't help but recall the speech our Federal Reserve Chairman, Mr. Ben Bernanke, gave in November of 2002, known as his Helicopter Speech, in which he stated:

     

    The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.
    15 Feb 2011, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • Pathfinder's
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    America appears to be using the Japan Model for Zero Interest rates and Zero Growth, Global and Domestic. We are all told that Obama and Bernanke are extra smart and the guys to lead the Fiscal Policy. Boy, Bernanke is giving the global economy, inflation and Obama is giving America, no growth and high taxes, coupled with hyper spending/debt.
    Sooner or later, the Political Class in Washington and the Business Leaders will need to demand change, or the Working Class will be broke and unemployed. Since the 2012 Obama Budget is a renege on Tax Increases and increased spending programs, it could be too late for any Leadership to be forthcoming.
    15 Feb 2011, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12716) | Send Message
     
    Yes, absolutely, if the government would only raise taxes and drain yet more capital out of the private sector for public-sector "spending programs," that would certainly improve the lot of the average person in the "Working Class."

     

    You're kidding, I hope.
    15 Feb 2011, 07:54 PM Reply Like
  • Pathfinder's
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    No Kidding here, Believe the Political Class will not be willing to take the required steps to stop the spending and will increase taxes for the working class and small business. There are no enought "Rich" to meet the fiscal requirements.
    No understanding of the desire of the American Voter to reduce spending, across the board. Including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, EVERYTHING.
    Sorry if my statement misled ???
    15 Feb 2011, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12716) | Send Message
     
    Path:

     

    OK, if I understand correctly, now, you're not in favor of yet more government and yet more taxes.

     

    I hope that's the correct interpretation.
    15 Feb 2011, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4010) | Send Message
     
    The Democratic Party has convinced its constituency that social welfare, sustainable energy, environmental stewardship and growth of unions could all be achieved with higher taxes on the rich, but, as you note, there are not enough rich to cover the promises. The Republicans have convinced their constituency that the problem is too much spending and that the Democrat's programs and taxes can be cut. Both parties must support their constituencies with spending in order to wield power. Neither party has any intention of cutting spending until they are out of power and can't do anything about it. Ultimately, the only governor on spending is the bond market and it may already be too late the right the ship of state.
    15 Feb 2011, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • Pathfinder's
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    Is that a question or a statement. ????? Or are you just being difficult,

     

    I reviewed my comments, and cannot see any mention that I was in favor of tax increase or bigger government. I believe this is what the Political Class will do. That does not mean that I agree,
    Thank you for the comments,
    15 Feb 2011, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • Agbug
    , contributor
    Comments (1085) | Send Message
     
    The Oliver Wyman Group has a great deal of content on global risk that is free to view. On the Zurich Financial(?) chart of essentially insolvent countries in the Global Risk 2011 presentation we are not far behind Ireland. Japan was left off the chart as it was so far outside the zone. The two political parties have upped the ante to retain power to the point that we have gone over the edge into the red zone. QE is just delaying the inevitable bond market backlash and then the jig is up. We join Ireland, Iceland, Greece, etc..
    15 Feb 2011, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12716) | Send Message
     
    Path:

     

    I don't know why I'm bothering, but I guess I just have spare time at this time of the evening.

     

    Your original post ended with:

     

    "Since the 2012 Obama Budget is a renege on Tax Increases and increased spending programs, it could be too late for any Leadership to be forthcoming."

     

    A reasonable person might interpret that to imply that Obama "reneged" on higher taxes and more spending, and that "leadership" was required to reinstitute them. That's what I was responding to.

     

    Now, if you favor bigger government, then, we're on opposing sides; if the opposite, then, we're promoting the same agenda.
    15 Feb 2011, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Pathfinder's
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    "A reasonable person" as in "YOU".

     

    Please, move on, it is a "Comment" not any more than that, Try to read the complete text of the subject.

     

    With all your comments, it appears you do not have anything else to do than correct and grade what "A reasonable Person" would interpret in a internet comment. And I know, you are one of those guys we have all met in life, that thinks it is your position to correct those of us that are not up to your level.
    I have a suggestion, don't read my comments in the future, I don't plan on reading yours. Okay????? Deal.
    15 Feb 2011, 09:14 PM Reply Like
  • Pathfinder's
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    I agree, there are not enough real Libertarians in Congress to effect any change in reducing the size of Government.
    The Political Class, which includes Republicans and Democrats have the numbers on their side. Plus, we are already in election mode for 2012, so they will all support one another, when required.
    15 Feb 2011, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2700) | Send Message
     
    Wow, there's not too many who can silence a Tack
    15 Feb 2011, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • bricki
    , contributor
    Comments (1099) | Send Message
     
    The Republicans' usual complaint is that taxes are too high, and if they were lowered revenues would go up and they could spend more. The Democrats rightly discredit that fantasy and claim that to get the revenues for more spending higher taxes are needed. Both have no (real) problem increasing the debt ceiling.

     

    But in reality taxes are what government spends, not one cent more or less. Borrowing may defer the taxes but not forever. Sooner or later the debt service snowballs and increases the deferred taxes. Monetization of the debt is a mechanism by which a tax on savings is applied in order to pay some of the debt.

     

    Ultimately the big fear is not getting re-elected. With a two party system the odds are 50-50, which I think is too high. What is needed is a real challenge to the two parties. 4-5 parties would do more to make Congress more responsive, perhaps.
    15 Feb 2011, 09:58 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12716) | Send Message
     
    I tried to explain why your comment might have been easy to misintrepret and why I posted my response. For this I get your childish abuse because you're peeved that I didn't recognize your perfection in construction of the written word.

     

    Here's a better idea, since you've apparently just arrived here: if you can't entertain a dialogue and commentary without getting all agitated, like a juvenile, just go back to whatever other entertainment you enjoyed before you took up financial discourse.
    15 Feb 2011, 10:11 PM Reply Like
  • bricki
    , contributor
    Comments (1099) | Send Message
     
    Oh pooh. Bernanke would be out in a week if Congress wasn't in the pocket of the banks and the rich.

     

    Ultimately Congress makes the laws and controls the purse strings. The representatives that do the bidding of the moneyed powers get rewarded with massive campaign contributions and re-election, and those who don't - see ya.
    15 Feb 2011, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (7614) | Send Message
     
    A question..............
    Does the House set the Budget for the Fed? If not for things like QE, does it have budget control over its salary etc? If not then who sets its budget and funds its operations? If it does, then defund it.
    15 Feb 2011, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • bricki
    , contributor
    Comments (1099) | Send Message
     
    The Fed was created when Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. This started as House Resolution 7837 in 1913.

     

    Congress can change the parameters of oversight of the Fed or abolish it completely any time it so pleases, of course subject to the usual parameters of Presidential authorization, veto etc.

     

    The Fed does not receive funding from appropriations of Congress. Its income comes from interest on the various debt instruments that it owns, and various fees for check clearing etc. Surpluses are remitted to the US Treasury.
    15 Feb 2011, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4010) | Send Message
     
    "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." -Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence
    15 Feb 2011, 09:13 PM Reply Like
  • stocknerd
    , contributor
    Comments (1238) | Send Message
     
    America is fast becoming mentally ill with wacko theories anddark forces innuendo from the left and right. Everything in American economic and political life is now a grand conspiracy.
    15 Feb 2011, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • apberusdisvet
    , contributor
    Comments (2860) | Send Message
     
    Do yourself a big favor and read an acclaimed book called "The Creature from Jekyl Island"; then, and only then can you write about conspiracy theories without being intellectually (and economically) naive.
    15 Feb 2011, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • baileylewis23
    , contributor
    Comments (160) | Send Message
     
    Finally an informed intelligent post.
    15 Feb 2011, 10:45 PM Reply Like
  • mikeybronx
    , contributor
    Comments (347) | Send Message
     
    its true what they say, hindsight is 20/20. just curious, but before you throw benny under the bus does anyone remember a guy named greenspan? just checking.
    The Mess....themessthatgreenspanma.../
    15 Feb 2011, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • realornot
    , contributor
    Comments (1281) | Send Message
     
    ...."turning the rich into super rich while the middle class stagnates and peanuts trickle down to the poor."

     

    I somewhat disagree. It is the middle-class get slammed and not just stagnates. The poor has a welfare net to catch them and middle-class people catch with what??? Super rich may not necessary go super rich.
    We need 15% flat tax (state tax included). Don't need any surprises with fees hike either.
    Ben is only a puppet. Who is the master? I think many in the congress are playing masters.
    You can throw Ben under the bus but there will be many just like him after that. We need to fix the structure of the government. Change the way how budgets being written and re-calculated at all government levels.
    15 Feb 2011, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • longtimeadvisor
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    0 to 25 bpts is a joke - who really believes this benefits any segment of society other than those who control or move large amounts of $ - we scare the rest to keep their $ parked in 0% money markets or bank deposits yielding less than 1%, all in order to promote "economic recovery" does this policy truely promote full employment or stable growth - of course not - could anyone make heads or tails out of the January employment report - weather related - give me a break- what about commodity prices over the last 3 -4 months - lets start asking some serious questions about the current and future monetary and fiscal economic policy of this country
    15 Feb 2011, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • Harry Tuttle
    , contributor
    Comments (2221) | Send Message
     
    Funny how people forgot how highly were Rubin and Greenspan regarded and how low their popularity sunk in 2008.

     

    Bernanke is the new "maestro" idolized by those who either don't understand what he does (the majority) or directly benefit from his policies (Wall Street banks).
    15 Feb 2011, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • bmcpic
    , contributor
    Comments (150) | Send Message
     
    While sounding the alarm bell seems, for some reason, to entitle you to double-digit thumbs up and staying rational doesn't seem to get you anything but a bunch of thumbs-down this is, with all due respect, nonsense.

     

    We have significant problems in our country. But revolution? There is no chance at all. None. Zero. There have been much, much worse stretches for this nation than right now, and we didn't have anything even close to resembling a national uprising. People in this country have plenty to eat - say what you will about rising food costs, our starvation rate is the best in the history of the world, near zero - and they are relatively free from disease, foreign invasion, etc... People don't rebel because they can no longer afford to have netflix and in-home internet access, they rebel because they have nothing to eat and have their ambition stifled. Say what you will about our system as it exists now, but it is still, by-far, the most mobile economy in the world in terms of those who work hard advancing themselves. Our free expression principles have never been stronger, and we have a mini-revolution every four years.

     

    There are problems, but those who think this is "worse", in terms of being closer to revolution, than the late 70s early 80s or the race riots of the 1960s is either too young or has an incredibly short memory. There are problems, but things are relatively good.
    15 Feb 2011, 11:23 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12716) | Send Message
     
    bms:

     

    Very well stated. As a nation, we're spoiled, not deprived.
    16 Feb 2011, 07:08 AM Reply Like
  • mikeybronx
    , contributor
    Comments (347) | Send Message
     
    hi Tack,
    you have forgot to mention greedy.
    16 Feb 2011, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • KJP712
    , contributor
    Comments (437) | Send Message
     
    Very soon most will pay a "Fee" to the bank to warehouse their savings.Thanks to Ben.
    15 Feb 2011, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • jd123
    , contributor
    Comments (173) | Send Message
     
    As much as I loathe Bernanke and support high interest rates, I have to disagree with many of the claims in that article...

     

    1) Bernanke is not yet a dictator. 10-year bond rates have risen from less than 2.4% in late 2010 to over 3.6% today; mortgage rates too are well up from their lows. Bank rates, while very low, are still non-negligible in a few cases; there are still considerable numbers of banks offering 1%+ on high-yield savings accounts and 2%+ on long-term CDs. In a true dictatorship, such acts of open defiance would never be tolerated. Furthermore, much of the population sincerely believes interest rates (short and long-term) will recover, even within the next 2 years; a real dictator could never convince any but the most gullible that he plans to give up power "once the crisis has passed" (and indeed, wouldn't have much incentive to repeatedly emphasize that claim). Bernanke is steadily moving towards becoming a dictator, and I think he'll get there eventually; but he's still quite a long way from that point.

     

    2) I don't see why the author dates the start of easy-money to 1981. I find it hard to believe that the "free money forever" crowd was in control of the Fed in 1981, when interest rates were in the double-digits and Volcker was chairman. One could make the case that it started around 1991, or even 2001. But at the very least, easy money didn't start before 1987, when Volcker left office.

     

    3) China's US debt holdings don't really give it power over America. The debt generally isn't backed by specific collateral, and any attempt to sell or boycott Treasuries would be met with a fresh round of QE from the Fed, which would inflate away the value of the remaining debt. In fact, I think China will be the world's biggest economic victim over the next few decades as it is threatened, terrorized and blackmailed into buying ever more US debt at very negative real interest rates.

     

    4) No one leader, even a dictator, can truly rule alone. To hold on to power, he must gain the support, or at least the passive acceptance, of powerful constituencies, by robbing the truly powerless if necessary. Though it may not seem that way today and though it has certainly weakened in the last few years, Middle Class America (at least, the stereotypical one with the mortgage, white fence in the suburbs and the kids) still collectively wields a great deal of economic and political power. The Fed can't afford to screw them over too badly, it needs to at least maintain the appearance of looking after the middle class' interests. I'm convinced the way they plan to do that is through (artificial) housing inflation. Now admittedly, Bernanke hasn't been very successful at that recently, partly because I think he was genuinely caught off guard by the 2008 crisis and partly because he has other things to attend to (such as amassing "temporary, emergency" powers). But once Bernanke's permanent zero-interest regime is secured, he will surely shift as much of the pain as possible onto the truly powerless people in society: savers and renters.

     

    5) Alas, the Bernanke regime isn't nearing an end. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Mubarak's rule lasted nearly thirty years; Bernanke's is only around 5 years old, and could well last just as long. He is a very smart man, far smarter than just about all of history's dictators. Unfortunately for mankind, he decided to use his knowledge for evil...
    16 Feb 2011, 03:37 AM Reply Like
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