Bernanke Fights Back

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics | Posted on 28-11-2009

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Bernanke appears to be on the ropes. He’s fighting back in the Washington Post.

These matters are complex, and Congress is still in the midst of considering how best to reform financial regulation. I am concerned, however, that a number of the legislative proposals being circulated would significantly reduce the capacity of the Federal Reserve to perform its core functions. Notably, some leading proposals in the Senate would strip the Fed of all its bank regulatory powers. And a House committee recently voted to repeal a 1978 provision that was intended to protect monetary policy from short-term political influence. These measures are very much out of step with the global consensus on the appropriate role of central banks, and they would seriously impair the prospects for economic and financial stability in the United States. The Fed played a major part in arresting the crisis, and we should be seeking to preserve, not degrade, the institution’s ability to foster financial stability and to promote economic recovery without inflation.

To start, Bernanke says he’s concerned congress will significantly reduce the capacity of the Fed to perform it’s core functions. Are we supposed to say “oh boy, wouldn’t want that”? It’s core function is to trick businesses and consumers into spending money and then pulling the carpet out from under them when inflation seems to be getting out of control. It’s core functions caused the mortgage meltdown, the tech bubble, skyrocketing oil prices, and skyrocketing food prices. I sure wouldn’t want those functions being impeded.

The government’s actions to avoid financial collapse last fall — as distasteful and unfair as some undoubtedly were — were unfortunately necessary to prevent a global economic catastrophe that could have rivaled the Great Depression in length and severity, with profound consequences for our economy and society. (I know something about this, having spent my career prior to public service studying these issues.)

Bernanke, in his infinite wisdom, has mastered all there is to know about economics. After all, he’s spent his career studying it. What can be more disastrous than a man who doesn’t recognize there are things he doesn’t even know that he doesn’t know. History abounds with disasters from men who thought they had it all figured out and didn’t realize they were living within their own assumptions. ┬áCan someone have Bernanke study the weather? I’d like someone to control the weather, so it’s a constant 75 degrees.

Moreover, looking to the future, we strongly support measures — including the development of a special bankruptcy regime for financial firms whose disorderly failure would threaten the integrity of the financial system — to ensure that ad hoc interventions of the type we were forced to use last fall never happen again.

via Ben Bernanke – The right fix for the Fed – washingtonpost.com.

While Bernanke says he doesn’t want the Fed politicized, he sure is a politician. They cause the problem and then ask you to look to them to be the ones who solve it. We are supposed to believe if we just give them more power, they swear they’ll protect us. This will never, ever, ever happen again. Oh, don’t read history books, you ignorant common man. Just because the Fed was established almost 100 years ago to make sure these things never, ever happened again, doesn’t mean they don’t mean it this time.

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