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Miles Kimball makes the case for a third term for Ben Bernanke: He “has developed an...

Miles Kimball makes the case for a third term for Ben Bernanke: He “has developed an unparalleled skill in explaining and defending controversial monetary policy measures to Congress and to the public. The most important ways in which U.S. monetary policy has fallen short in the last few years are because of the limits Congress has implicitly and explicitly placed on the Fed.”
Comments (33)
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9013) | Send Message
     
    So, Miles Kimball wants Ben appointed for another term because he has "an unparalleled skill in explaining and defending controversial monetary policy measures" and not because the policy itself is good or has done more good than harm. Who cares how many have been hurt by Ben's inane policy, the words matter more.

     

    Typical claptrap that the words are more important than the actions.

     

    The middle and senior classes of America are being destroyed by Ben but he talks good. What pure BS.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • davidingeorgia
    , contributor
    Comments (2713) | Send Message
     
    Well, of course he thinks Bernanke is great. We do live in a style-over-substance culture these days, and not even that much style is required.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • JT08
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
     
    So if I can BS my way out of something I should be appointed to it...even if I am destroying the country. Ben belongs one place...behind bars!
    23 Mar 2013, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3184) | Send Message
     
    I guess that means a third term for Obama also!
    23 Mar 2013, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • Petrarch
    , contributor
    Comments (935) | Send Message
     
    Good idea.
    Bernanke is needed. He saved the US from Depression and only he can truly navigate the way back.
    If you believe otherwise you have not been paying attention these past 5 years.
    P
    23 Mar 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3184) | Send Message
     
    Petrarch,

     

    Yes, he stopped a possible collapse of the financial system. But you make it sound like there were no alternatives. When in fact there were. Large insolvent banks could have been seized and broken up by the government. That would have solved some of the TBTF - it would have enforced moral hazard - and it probably would have led to actual prosecution of fraud (which is one of the most troubling failures of this crisis). And the financial system would have known the government was there and the system wouldn't have collapsed.

     

    And I also realize that he is only half of the "team" with the other half being the folks in charge of fiscal policy.

     

    But he has totally failed in his responsibility to tell it like it is. He was the one with the bully pulpit - and he abdicated. Had he stood up and called the "stimulus" nothing but a bunch of political giveaways and that he strongly preferred actual infrastructure spending (even if it took a year or two to get it all going) - and actual research, etc - you can bet that Congressmen and women would have been running to get in line - as 95% of them hadn't a clue as to what was taking place.

     

    So the idea that only he can navigate back - thats nonsense - and frankly part of the long journey is of his own doing.
    23 Mar 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (14390) | Send Message
     
    It should be seen as highly ironic, and equally amusing, that many of the same commenters throughout SA that decry a Greece or Cyprus, and fear dire global consequences therefrom, also, are also routinely found lambasting Fed policies (Bernanke). One can only imagine the level of hyperventilation that would have ensued if the Fed/Treasury had stood idly by and allowed the entire U.S. banking (and global financial) systems to collapse.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • lower98th
    , contributor
    Comments (1420) | Send Message
     
    Fed policies defined the system to be the elite banker class committing fraud at the expense of the people and what most would define as the nation: rule of law, property rights.. It would have been equally possible to unwind the kleptocracy while supporting the real banking system. The Fed has supported a horrible, predatory, despicable system of cronyism and graft. Something should have been saved, but not this.
    23 Mar 2013, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9013) | Send Message
     
    Good morning Tack

     

    My criticism of Ben is the fact that he has established policies that are aimed at specifically hurting the older and middle income Americans and he knows it and has stated publicly that it is tough s**t for them. He called it "collateral damage for the greater good" at a presser last year.

     

    I know many older people that wouldn't know the difference between buying a stock or a bond. All they know is that they have 20 or 30,000 dollars in their retirement and they used to get 5% or so annually through a CD at the local bank that helped them pay for groceries, etc. and now they get zero interest which has forced them to dip into their principal.

     

    It is one thing for Ben to save the world like Superman but not on the backs of the less wealthy people. The bankers are doing just fine under Ben. The less wealthy not so good and he just doesn't give a crap about them.

     

    This feeling of mine has nothing to do with how I invest as I know a lot more about investing then the aforementioned people. So my comments have nothing to do with me personally.

     

    Just my thoughts. Have a good weekend.
    23 Mar 2013, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (14390) | Send Message
     
    wyo;

     

    I'm sorry, but I cannot concur that national monetary policy should be "dumbed down" to the least educated in our society because they may otherwise get hurt by it. If that's so, let's not require ability to read, write or be able to add numbers in order to qualify for a job, either, because those folks, too, are damaged by the requirement that they must learn something. If such attitudes were to become broad national policy -- in fact, the "victimization" mentality that pervades our society is exactly that -- then, the country has no future.

     

    Those that are incapable of performing satisfactorily to maintain themselves can be supported by family, private charity and/or national social services, preferably in that order. But, saying that national monetary policy should be dictated by and directed toward the least capable is simply unsupportable.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9013) | Send Message
     
    tack

     

    You miss my point.

     

    I didn't mean to infer the "national monetary policy should be dictated by and directed toward the least capable....." but I do mean that that same national policy should not be directed to inflict pain on those least able to withstand it. When said policy is specifically aimed to hurt a specific segment of the population, that is simply wrong. Ben acknowledges his policy is doing just that and he has publicly stated tough s**t.

     

    What if a national health policy directed that medicines and doctor care should only be given to the bankers and all the rest of the citizens are sent off to an island to die and said policy was stated as for the greater good? Would you be in favor of that? I think not.

     

    Perhaps we'll just agree to disagree on this one.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • lower98th
    , contributor
    Comments (1420) | Send Message
     
    But, saying that national monetary policy should be dictated by and directed toward the least capable is simply unsupportable.

     

    Then lets fire them: they didn't see subprime coming, would be broke if not for government handouts, in jail except for crony protectionism. Yay Tack: the future and present should belong to the theives.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (14390) | Send Message
     
    wyo:

     

    I just don't believe you have considered the implications of the desire you seem to express for "seniors" (or others) to all be given 5% CD's, as some form of entitlement. The Fed didn't lower rates to "screw seniors," no matter what some may imagine. They lowered rates because we were in the throes of a major recession, a potential deflationary depression, and lower rates and vast expansion of the money supply, in the face of plummeting monetary velocity, was what made sense. In fact, it's worked, overall, as the U.S. economy is performing better than any place else in the world, presently.

     

    If all the economic underpinnings of that policy are above many laymen, then, that's fine, but to turn it into some evil scheme, designed to "hurt people," is just conspiratorial nonsense and venting. And, yes, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Petrarch
    , contributor
    Comments (935) | Send Message
     
    Really?
    So what would you have had him do?

     

    Stand by while 15 to 25% of the workforce became unemployed?
    Nationalize the banks or let them fail? Please choose.
    Let businesses fail and property values to fall even further then they did?
    Go back to the gold standard? or perhaps introduce barter since the stone age would then be right around the corner

     

    What exactly were the magic alternatives that would have spared the virtuous and punished the evil?
    This is what the critics never do expound upon. Please provide some solutions.

     

    If you ran a business in late 2008 and you needed debt to fund working capital - which pretty well includes most if not all businesses - money was hard to come by. The sudden and dramatic loss of liquidity caused by Lehman sparked the crisis. The Federal reserve and TARP saved the banking system and through that saved businesses and those they employ - which is pretty well all of you. That is what happened.

     

    Roll the tape forward - we are out of the woods but we have a very large output gap. This output gap represents a potential destruction of productive capacity. In order to avoid long run bad consequences for the US economy and all who travel inside it - meaning all of us - rich and poor alike - the Fed has adopted a policy of maximum support. This is appropriate and humane. It is designed to save as many of our fellow citizens unlucky enough to remain unemployed from the scrap heap. Nothing could be more supportive of the sanctimonious middle class or of so called Main Street.

     

    Monetary policy is a blunt instrument. In the absence of credible Government leadership and effective fiscal policy it is the best we have. Bernanke has used it well and to maximum positive effect.

     

    If you don't understand this you are not paying attention.
    Very little if any of this was done to save Bankers or even Wall Street. Indeed such statements are absurd given the reality of what transpired. Furthermore - you may carp about the reasons the US got into the mess it - lax lending standards, a tax system that rewards property speculation, Federal agencies and policies designed to drive people without the means into home ownership, excessive leverage in financial institutions etc. etc. but that is mostly beside the point - when the building is burning - first put out the fire.

     

    P
    23 Mar 2013, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9013) | Send Message
     
    peprarch

     

    And all this brainpower to the man who didn't see the housing crash coming? Go back and read some of his quotes from say 2005 to 2009. You might learn a bit about him.

     

    However, I won't argue as you are entitled to your opinion. I simply disagree.
    23 Mar 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3184) | Send Message
     
    Petrarch,

     

    Nationalize the banks or let them fail? Please choose.
    ----------------------

     

    Both. TBTF nationalize. Fire the executives and prosecute fraud. Not TBTF - fail - FDIC sells off the assets and protects the depositors. And the government could have even guaranteed basically all savings accounts as part of the effort to secure the banking system. That would have at least been following the rule of law - those that should lose - ie management, shareholders, and bondholders would have at least lost first - and then for those instances of TBTF the government extends its involvement to wind down the banks - sell off the assets - prosecute the fraud and away we go.

     

    I think your very mistaken that somehow his policies made it easy to borrow money or have access to working capital. My various LOC for my small businesses was drastically cut - and I've never missed a payment. Why? Fear. So in early 2009 had things changed? No. Even today the LOC against my businesses is LESS than it was in 2008. Now part of that is that I don't walk into my local bank and stomp my feet and make a great issue of it, but the other part is that there is less borrowing available to small business today.

     

    And finally, I don't think Wyo - nor myself - nor the majority of folks opposed to Bernanke believe that NOTHING was the alternative.

     

    What took place from a legal perspective is simply dangerous. A certain "class" of people was allowed to walk away from fraud. Plain and simple. In the S&L crisis - thousands were prosecuted. More than 2000 went to jail. Those that should have lost - indeed lost - and yes we all paid a little to fix the massive problem. In the latest financial crisis those that should have lost - ie bankers, brokers, certain politicians and those lying on loan forms..... they ALL WON!! And those that had nothing to do with the crisis - they all suffer.

     

    In the long term that weakens the institutions that are country are based on. I can speak for myself - I don't believe much of anything our government puts forth anymore. I don't trust the bureaucrats. Í don't trust any of the politicians. I view our current condition is not too far away from the USSR days. Government of the bureaucrat, by the politician, for the financial elite is NOT what the USA is supposed to be.

     

    Could Bernanke done all those things himself? No. But could he have used his pulpit to publicly push for them? Yes. And in terms of the approach of the bailout he certainly could have told Paulson to pound sand and that he'd be seizing a couple of the TBTF banks and break them up.
    23 Mar 2013, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • Petrarch
    , contributor
    Comments (935) | Send Message
     
    I hesitate to use the word but ridiculous

     

    who of the great and good actually saw any of this coming
    who?
    who saw any of it coming pre Bear Stearns? pre Lehman?
    who?
    name one

     

    to use that as an argument demonstrates the utter emptiness of the case against.

     

    and yet still - silence on the magic alternatives

     

    empty ideological ranting that's all

     

    P
    23 Mar 2013, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9013) | Send Message
     
    How about Paulson who shorted it all before it happened?
    23 Mar 2013, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3184) | Send Message
     
    Thats nonsense.

     

    Millions saw that house prices were out of whack - they chose to not buy.

     

    And what does that have to do with the actions that Bernanke took once it was obvious????

     

    Seems perhaps your the one with the ideological rantings with no substance to back things up once its pointed out that doing nothing wasn't really the alternative. Easy to say "its better than allowing civilization to collapse".... much more difficult to excuse fraud, theft, lessening of the rule of law, etc.
    23 Mar 2013, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >I don't trust the bureaucrats. Í don't trust any of the politicians.

     

    But you did prior to the 2008 financial crisis?

     

    >financial elite is NOT what the USA is supposed to be.

     

    You mention the people lying and defaulting on loans as beneficiaries of the situation. I don't think those people are the "financial elite". Why are you not ranting more about them?
    23 Mar 2013, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3184) | Send Message
     
    Prior to the 2008 crisis I still believed we were a country with a foundation of laws - and that as a general rule they applied to all - including the government. No more - we are a country simply about the use of government controlled power.

     

    And I believe I clearly stated that fraud should have been prosecuted - so not sure what else you'd want to do with those lying on loan applications.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (861) | Send Message
     
    davidbdc -

     

    Excellent comment. Caused me to finally sign up for SA.

     

    Many Bankers and politicians should be serving prison time for their role in the 2009 fiasco.

     

    Our government of, by and for the banks has prevented that though to protect the complicit parties in both banking and government.
    25 Mar 2013, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • minecanary
    , contributor
    Comments (641) | Send Message
     
    Tack, it is excess spending, debt overload, and corruption that led to the problems in Greece and are coming soon to the rest of the civilized world. Having Bennie whip up $4 trill on the printer is not the answer. Maybe we need a PHD to study Iceland and learn how to let the biz cycle run it's course.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • tradewin
    , contributor
    Comments (658) | Send Message
     
    Excess spending, debt overload and corruption. Are you sure you are talking about Greece?
    23 Mar 2013, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Lakeaffect
    , contributor
    Comments (1178) | Send Message
     
    Ben won't be sticking around. He's spoken (eloquently, apparently) too much about how easy it will be to reverse all his policies when the time comes. His successor has not and thus will not.
    23 Mar 2013, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Valueplay98
    , contributor
    Comments (584) | Send Message
     
    Ben is definitely going to quit while he's ahead. All these years of ZIRP and QE are going to have to be paid for sometime, and Ben knows that day is coming.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • into dark shadows
    , contributor
    Comments (392) | Send Message
     
    Bernanke has perjured himself in front of congress and deserves to be in jail along with Jon Corzine and the rest of the progressives who have perverted our once "Free Market System"!
    You have a deliberate shift going on from those who have worked and played by the rules all their lives and saved the sweat of their labor to the criminals who brought the system to its knees and cried for a bailout to save "the so called system" they perverted!

     

    If you are retired, or just someone who tries to save for a rainy day, Bernanke and his policies are "NUDGING" you to take on risk when you should be shunning it!
    The young are being saddled with a financial burden they can NEVER overcome!
    This is slavery by the progressives who want to be Kings and Queens of America!
    The perversion of our way of life is in full swing and Bernanke and Yellen and the rest of the "Elite" know better than you, don't you know you are just to stupid to think and do for yourselves!

     

    Look at your children's school programs, revisionist history on steroids, a generation or two at the most and you will never get back the freedoms the founding fathers fought and died for.
    To much blood and sacrifice have been waged to blindly give away that which no progressive government could TAKE FROM YOU!
    You are witnessing the birth of SLAVERY 21st century style!

     

    May the good lord watch over this fragile little experiment in freedom / man's self rule we once called America

     

    God Bless The Virtuous
    23 Mar 2013, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    Kings and queens? This is an investment site; how does this nonsense get "likes"? No wonder the average person gets crushed in the market.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (9013) | Send Message
     
    dnorm
    Your bio says trying to learn.
    Son, you'll never learn anything by criticizing what you don't like.
    Besides investing, there are also opinions expressed here; some you may agree with and some not.
    Feel free to write something intelligent, you might just teach someone else a thing or two.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3184) | Send Message
     
    dnorm,

     

    It is an investment site. And on a macro level what will lead to the greater creation of wealth - freedom and liberty Or government control and repression?

     

    How much money would it take for you to agree to allow your children and grandchildren to live their lives without freedom and liberty?

     

    My answer is there is no amount of money you can bribe me with to give up their freedom and liberty.

     

    Comparing whether to invest in apples or oranges is missing the point if the ground and water that sustains both is contaminated and polluted to the point of threatening all the trees existance.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • Valueplay98
    , contributor
    Comments (584) | Send Message
     
    Our housing bubble was largely created by like ~2 years of sub 2% Fed Funds rate back after 9/11 ... what kind of bubble are we creating going into 5 years of ZIRP ?

     

    People do realize the Fed Funds rate is ZERO, right ? That's going to get unwound at some point ...
    23 Mar 2013, 02:24 PM Reply Like
  • David Urban
    , contributor
    Comments (1036) | Send Message
     
    It will create the greatest short trade in the history of capital markets if interest rates ever rise. Nobody will be caught dead holding 3% 30 year mortgage bonds.
    23 Mar 2013, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • David Urban
    , contributor
    Comments (1036) | Send Message
     
    As a gold and silver investor I wholeheartedly support Ben Bernanke for a third term. The destruction from his War on Savers and Japan-style debt trap will send gold and silver to new highs.

     

    Just remember, nobody forced the Fed to buy 75% of Treasury issuance or almost $1 trillion in debt securities this year to prop up the economy.

     

    Ben is doing that all on his own.

     

    He could have let the recession do what it is supposed to do, purge the economy of its imbalances, so that it can move forward. Instead he is trying to reinflate the debt bubble and create an artificial recovery.
    23 Mar 2013, 03:03 PM Reply Like
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