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Ben Bernanke
  • Former Ballplayer Pulls a "Tiger Woods' Wife" on Ben Bernanke

    Lots of poop got thrown at Ben Bernanke during his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, but the MVP award goes to Jim Bunning, pitcher from Kentucky.

    The Wall Street Journal has the full text of his statement. It is epic.

    Four years ago [...] I was the only Senator to even raise serious concerns about you. I opposed you because I knew you would continue the legacy of Alan Greenspan, and I was right. But I did not know how right I would be and could not begin to imagine how wrong you would be in the following four years. [...]

    [Y]ou have decided that just about every large bank, investment bank, insurance company, and even some industrial companies are too big to fail. Rather than making management, shareholders, and debt holders feel the consequences of their risk-taking, you bailed them out. In short, you are the definition of moral hazard.

    From monetary policy to regulation, consumer protection, transparency, and independence, your time as Fed Chairman has been a failure. [...] Where I come from we punish failure, not reward it. That is certainly the way it was when I played baseball, and the way it is all across America. Judging by the current Treasury Secretary, some may think Washington does reward failure, but that should not be the case. I will do everything I can to stop your nomination and drag out the process as long as possible.

    Listen, if anybody knows about failure being punished, it is Jim Bunning.

    Being forced into retirement by your own party after being named one of America's five worst senators will do that to a man.

    (Seriously though: it's nice that people want to keep Ben on his toes. I just don't understand why it's only the crazy people.)

    Tags: Ben Bernanke, Economy, Federal Reserve, Jim Bunning, Sports
  • It's Throw Poop at Ben Bernanke Day!

    ben-bernanke-frustratedWill beardly Ben Bernanke win a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve? Yes he will, because even with gajillion percent unemployment nobody in the Obama administration is about to write that help wanted ad ("ISO chief executive to become symbol of everything that is wrong with the economy, management exp. necessary, whiskers preferred").

    But we can still have a little fun with today's confirmation hearings, thanks to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Rogue-VT), who has "put a hold" on Ben. Hold him closer, Bernie

    Sanders's action means that Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) will have to win the assent of 60 senators before a vote can be taken on the nomination. Typically, 51 votes are needed to confirm.

    In other words, everyone will have more time to grandstand and holler at Ben, who will respond by… hmm, how will he respond?

    "He has to stand up and connect the dots between what the Fed has done to help Wall Street and the economy on Main Street, and that's a difficult thing to do," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.

    Ah, but not if you look the other way while a huge bubble of dots builds up in the market and then try to take credit for stepping in at the last minute to clean up the aftermath of the massive dot explosion.

    This'll be no sweat.

    Tags: Ben Bernanke, Bernie Sanders, Economy, Federal Reserve, Senate
  • The Federal Reserve is Your New Bicycle

    ben-bernanke-hearts-flowersThe Federal Reserve baked you some cookies. The Federal Reserve gave you a shoulder rub. The Federal Reserve finished your assignment while you were at lunch. The Federal Reserve bought you a puppy. The Federal Reserve let you borrow its car.

    The Federal Reserve stopped banks from charging you $40 or $50 in overdraft fees when you get a twenty from the ATM, not knowing there's only $19 in your account…

    The Federal Reserve will begin banning banks from charging many overdraft fees unless customers sign up for the service, an unprecedented move that comes as a wave of consumer reform sweeps Washington.

    The new regulations, announced Thursday, cover overdrafts from ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases, which account for roughly half of overdrawn transactions, and help to address widespread complaints that consumers who were unaware they had insufficient funds were being charged exorbitant fees for purchasing a cup of coffee, for example.

    Q: If you love Ben Bernanke so much, why don't you marry him?

    A: Because his wife Anna would never allow such a thing, sorry.

    Tags: Banks, Ben Bernanke, Economy, Federal Reserve, Money, Puppies!
  • The Recession is Officially Over, For Whatever That's Worth

    Crack open your finest can of beans, America, it's time to celebrate! According to Federal Reserve Chairbeard Ben Bernanke, the recession that's been going on for the past year and three-quarters is OVAH. Dunzo. Finito. Down for the count.

    Final tally? America: 1. Econopocalypse: 0!

    "From a technical perspective, the recession is very likely over at this point," Bernanke said in responding to questions at the Brookings Institution. "It's still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time because many people will still find that their job security and their employment status is not what they wish it was."

    The recession, which started in December 2007, has claimed a net total of 6.9 million jobs.

    Okay, okay. America: 1, Econopocalypse 0 + 6.9 million.

    But who's counting? If you get all technical with the technical economic data, it spoils the fun.

    Tags: Ben Bernanke, Economy, Recession
  • Barack Obama Sentences Ben Bernanke to Four Years of Torture

    Today Barack Obama is suspending his vacation schedule of eating soft-serve made from the tears of a million Fox News radio hosts, just for an hour or so, in order to make a very important announcement: Ben Bernanke, the straight-talking, nose-holding Chairbeard of the Federal Reserve is going to keep his job.

    Four more years, buddy

    Having pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial system and tried to heal the economy with near zero interest rates, Mr. Bernanke needs to decide how and when to pull back. If he moves too soon, he could undermine a recovery, as happened in the U.S. in the 1930s and Japan in the 1990s. But if he moves too slowly, he could spur a new period of inflation, as in the U.S. in the 1970s.

    Of course, for months Bernanke-haters have been grumbling about punishing Ben for failing to foresee the severity of the recession and screwing Lehman Brothers and doing a little hm-hm with Bank of America.

    Congratulations, guys!

    Tags: Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Economy, Federal Reserve, Vacation