Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was on Capitol Hill today, testifying before the Senate Budget Committee. The official theme of the hearing was "Economic and Budget Challenges for the Short and Long Term," which, let me check… yes. We have those.
Luckily we also have Ben Bernanke's trademark straightforwardness…
“Mr. Chairman,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, asked at the outset, “at what point will the taxpayer no longer be on the hook for the massive A.I.G. failure? What is the end game for American taxpayers?”
Mr. Bernanke replied that nothing had made him more angry during the months of the sprawling financial crisis than the episode involving the insurance giant that has reported astronomical losses and has been given financial lifelines worth billions of dollars.
“A.I.G. exploited a huge gap in the regulatory system,” Mr. Bernanke said. “There was no oversight of the financial products division. This was a hedge fund, basically, that was attached to a large and stable insurance company.” And this quasi-hedge fund, Mr. Bernanke went on, to nobody’s surprise, made irresponsible bets and took huge losses.
Uh, okay. So can we assume next Thursday for the taxpayer-off-the-hook thing?
Because next Thursday's good for me.
Tags: AIG, Ben Bernanke, Economy, Ron Wyden, Senate