Ben Bernanke

Fight Ben Bernanke While You Still Can


There's not enough love and beauty in this world for Ben Bernanke.

The U.S. Senate is rebelling against the seemingly inevitable reappointment of Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke. With Time magazine's person of the year facing the end of his term at the end of this month, the Senate is under some time pressure to confirm the grossly incompetent Fed chief. But the trends are all pointing in the wrong direction. Today Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) and Barbara Boxer (D-California) joined fellow Democrats Byron Dorgan (North Dakota) and Jeff Merkley (Oregon), along with Independent Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Republicans Jim Bunning (Kentucky), Jim DeMint (South Carolina) and David Vitter (Louisiana), announcing that they will oppose Bernanke's reappointment.

This raises cloture problems for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who was hoping to close the vote on the controversial central banker this week but now has put the confirmation off indefinitely. And if the anti-Bernanke trend continues to catch on, it could endanger even Bernanke's ability to win a straight-up popular vote.

Under Fed rules, Bernanke would not be able to stay in his seat if he is not confirmed before January 31st. The post would be temporarily filled by vice-chairman Donald Kohn, whose term runs through June.

President Obama "has confidence" in Bernanke, and I still would not bet against his confirmation. But the backlash against Bernanke in particular and the Fed in general is getting bigger, not smaller; the political climate is, if you haven't noticed, pretty unpredictable these days; and Bernanke's failures have been grave, deep and numerous enough that what seemed impossible just a few weeks ago is looking less than totally impossible today.

The Bernanke Confirmation option at Intrade is unchanged on this latest news.

NEXT: Q: When Do Proposed Constitutional Amendments Deserve Derision?

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  1. I’m not too confident that whoever they get to repleace him would be better.

    In this climate, I see the Fed becoming more politicized, not less.

    1. It’s true. There’s at least a 5% chance Bernanke might realize we need to tighten the money supply. Anyone Obama appoints will print us into the ground.

      1. The thing about the people Obama apoints is they tend to be less subtle, more blatant and open about their true motives. This could actually be to the advantage of those of us who support sound money and free markets. I say let him appoint his own Fed Head.

        1. Er, I hope you’re right about that.

        2. The thing about the people Obama apoints is they tend to be less subtle, more blatant and open about their true motives.

          Which won’t matter since the MSM won’t report on anything that might hurt the Obama administration…and most people still get their news from the MSM.

    2. You realize that it doesn’t matter who’s replacing Bernanke, right? The problem lies with the presumption that it’s possible to plan or control interest rates & the supply of money successfully. The system is flawed, Bernanke is just another suit playing a role that just about anyone else could do badly in his stead.

  2. “a great deal of confidence”

    Bernanke’s track record lights that confidence. Is Babs really going against Hope on this one?

    Oh yeah, I forgot. She’s up for reelection in Leftist California. Who’d’ve thought?

  3. The problem is the institution of the Fed itself. The person who runs it is truly irrelevant. I do not care if the person is an Alan Greenspan Clone or a Paul Krugman fan. The problem is the Fed itself. The Fed needs to be dismantled.

    1. OK, but I have a question:
      Given fractional lending, bank runs are inevitable. Private organizations were capable of providing the liquidity to keep the market working for most of history. But now the market is of such size I’m not sure that’s workable, but it seems required.
      Much as I dislike the concept of the fed, I’m not sure it can be dismantled without losing that source of liquidity.

      1. The size of the market does not change the principles of economics. Have you ever cooked for a large number of people? What do you do? You simply multiply the ingreadiants by a number to get the larger meal. The principles are the same.

          1. It may, but it presumes two conditions:
            1) Non-fractional lending
            2) Specie-(commodity?)based currency
            Both of which suggest a drastically reduced growth curve.
            I’m not arguing, but I’m not agreeing, either. For instance, while banks inflate M-something with fractional lending, so do airlines and credit-card companies with ‘miles’, along with introducing a ‘non-anchored’ currency. I’m not sure how you’d accomplish the goal without government interference.

            1. 1) Non-fractional lending

              eliminate the fed, and fractional lending will cure itself…

              1. By what mechanism? Are you suggesting that banks would simply stop factional lending, or that the banks which continued would be competed-out?

                1. eliminate the fed and free money for banks to create out of thin air. (necessarily FDIC as well), and banks will make sound lending decisions or fail.

                  1. “and free money for banks to create out of thin air.”
                    OK, but airlines, credit-card companies and ‘green stamps’ (remember those?) can still create currency out of thin air.

                    1. they can create all they want, but if it’s not well backed, it will not succeed.

                    2. Ron,
                      I agree with you but I can hear the screams of the electorate when their bank failed and lost all their dough.

                    3. “green stamps” – were those those things you could save up from the grocery store and then redeem for discounts or whatever?

                    4. There, and we got most of ours from gas stations competing to sell us their cheap gas by offering us free prizes when they couldn’t lower the price any lower without paying us to fill up. Once you had enough stamps you picked your prize out of a catalogue put out by S&H the company that made the stamps. At least that’s how I remember them. Personally I preferred the on the spot presents like free drinking glasses. Of course it all ended when Jimmy Carter came along and ruined it for everyone, forever. After he was done destroying everything, gas was never cheap again, and people were just thankful to get gas for awhile right after he screwed it up. There were no more free presents from there on.

              2. Ron L, ransom147 does have the answer. Some banks may choose fractional reserve policies but if they are ever called on it – i.e. if there is a run on the bank – they will not be able to pay up and will go out of business. In a free market there would be competing currencies. That is not legal now. I could not set up a store in Florida and say I will only accept Euros or Japanese Yen or Ron L’s Brand Dollars. I MUST accept U.S. Dollars even if they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Commodity based currencies have historically been the best but in a free market people would be free to experiment.

                1. So your point is that bad currencies would be competed-out of the market?

                  1. Gresham’s Law

                    1. Uh, Gresham’s Law sort of argues *against* bad currencies being competed-out. Wanna try again?

                    2. that depends on your perspective, and the legal situation… given two currencies of equal denomination but one is “good” and the other is “bad”, the bad currency will certainly drive the good out of circulation… e.g. silver coins. however if you eliminate the fed, the legal tender laws no longer apply. currencies must compete honestly. the same thing happens, but we observe it differently. the price of bad money falls and good money rises. the law still applies…

                2. Some banks may choose fractional reserve policies but if they are ever called on it – i.e. if there is a run on the bank – they will not be able to pay up and will go out of business.

                  Not true. Your checking account contract may specify that different terms. For example, terms that reserve the right to reimburse you later with interest. Many historical free banks had these clauses. Banks could do this because they have asserts beyond their reserves. Heck, even their outstanding loans are considered assets. But it takes time to liquidate these assets.

        1. I question your analogy. For scaling from cooking for two to cooking for 10, sure. Scale it to cooking for 10,000 and there’s a lot more involved than just multiplying ingredients.

          1. OK, I admit I never worked in a large cafeteria or restaurant. I am not a professional chef.

        2. Bad analogy. Cooking for more people is logistically completely different. Like, super-duper different, and stuff.

      2. you can have a fed that still acts as the “lender of last resort” but at the same time does not seek to manipulate short term interest rates

        1. It’s not that bad an analogy honestly… All the basic principles of cooking absolutely still apply. Yes you have to do more logistical planning and you have to have more people, etc, but if you cook 1 cup of rice with 1 cup of water, you still cook 100 cups of rice with 100 cups of water. It does scale up.

          You do your prep work, you prepare what you can in advance, you plan ahead to have things timed right. All the same stuff applies, it’s just bigger, involves more stuff and is more complicated.

          You don’t suddenly change what constitutes good knife technique or the ratio of wine reduction to fillet.

      3. Free banking tends towards fractional reserve. It’s not a government phenomena. However, free banking also uses real commodities for their reserves which places real limits on their actions. Inflate too much and see your reserves flow out to banks that don’t. Without government promises to bail them out banks will act conservatively.

        We haven’t had real free banking in the US. The closest was the during the first half of the 19th century. It also happened to be the period with steadiest economy. (It wasn’t perfect because there were still a lot of government regulations at the state level that kinked things up). Also, Canada’s had a fairly free banking system, and not one of their banks closed during the Great Depression, despite being hit just as hard in the nuts by the contraction.

        Fractional reserve isn’t the enemy, government is the enemy.

        1. Fractional reserve is kind of the enemy… But honestly, it’s not that big of a deal since overleveraged banks which don’t have the backing of some central bank/government would collapse and fail anyway upon making bad bets. The real issue is just whether or not banks have to live within a truly profit & loss system where greed for profits is balanced against real risk of losses.

          The 5 major banks that fucked up in 2008 like Lehman were leveraged upwards of like 30:1 and that was entirely a special gift from the SEC & the Fed. If they hadn’t been so overleveraged, they wouldn’t have failed so hard or collapsed, but also, believing as they did that they wouldn’t really bear the losses for the most part (Lehman folks are kicking themselves no doubt), then that overleveraging wasn’t much of a risk to take. People with no real skin in the game playing high stakes leads to bad things, as it turns out…

    2. The problem is the institution of the Fed itself. The person who runs it is truly irrelevant.

      ditto on the executive office.

      1. As a Rothbardian An-Cap I agree with you.

        1. well i’m one of those pesky minarchists. but since i know that’s a wet dream, i’m a de facto An Cap. for the sake of reality and all…

          1. I used to be a minarchist. Almost all an-caps used to be minarchists. But, at this point in history, we are on the same team and trying to throw the ball in the same direction.

            1. “Almost all an-caps used to be minarchists.”

              yeah, i feel it’s a process mentally to go from minarchy to an-cap. thought, observation, frustration, all kind of lead you there.

            2. It’s the realization that minarchism is not sustainable–government will always grow–that turned us into an-caps. JOIN US

              1. yeah. the more i observe the world from a perspective of liberty, the more i realize that the state is not an necessary evil. it’s just plain evil. so i lean more and more an-cap all the time. i still think minarchy is a fine ideal, but i know it is futile. as you state, govt. will not be contained, so i choose the system w/ the maximization of individual liberty.

                “the perfect is the enemy of the good” – may be cliche, but if you really apply it to the minarchy/ an-cap dilemma, the only real choice becomes apparent. anarcho capitalism may not be perfect, but what we get in from the state can not compare…

                1. Very good. The tipping point is differnt for everyone. I need to say good night and will hopefully see everyone later.

                  1. good night.

              2. An-cap is not sustainable, government will always grow. Both an-cap and minarchy lead to the same place, minarchy has the advantage of avoiding the warlord stage.

                1. On what basis do you claim that anarcho-capitalism is not sustainable? How would government grow if there is no government to grow? What do warlords have to do with anarcho-capitalism?

                  1. On what basis do you claim that anarcho-capitalism is not sustainable?

                    It is metastable. One perturbation and government exists again. Hence, not sustainable.

                    How would government grow if there is no government to grow?

                    Without a government there is nothing to prevent a government from springing up at the first whim.

                    What do warlords have to do with anarcho-capitalism?

                    They are what fill the void of a lack of government.

                    Without a government (and sometimes with one, obviously, Im not denying that reality) the strongest, best armed guy takes charge. Its why governments exist to begin with, mutual protection against the asshole.

                    Holding onto a minarchy is easier (but near impossible) than holding on to an anarchy. At least for a short while.

              3. I sometimes call myself a “pragmatic anarchist”. Philosophically anarchism is correct, but pragmatically it won’t work due to human nature. For some problems institutionalized coercion is the easier solution. Defense and criminal justice are classic examples. Roads are a good example too. Private roads are cheaper and more efficient, but government roads are just too damned easy to implement for only a little more cost and inefficiency. All you need is to ignore the inherent injustice, something that human beings are very good at.

                1. Philosophically anarchism is correct, but pragmatically it won’t work due to human nature.

                  I don’t really get this; Marxists can say the same.

                  In what sense is it “correct” if it’s contrary to human nature? What are you founding your political theory on, if not human nature?

                  (And, to be clear, I’m sympathetic to your view.)

            3. I;d like to ba an an-cap, but I’m a minarchist. I believe the fundamental flaw of an-cap is that it does not have an institution that an finally resolve all (and I mean all) disputes. A final arbiter is, I believe the root cause, and the necessary function, of government.

              When you have alternative dispute resolution mechanisms with no undisputed final arbiter, you will have irreconcilable conflicts. Irreconcilable conflicts will destabilize any society.

              1. By this logic it seems you would support one world government provided it was small enough.

  4. This is really surprising. Who knew Oregon even had a senator?

    1. Oregon is a college football team with a duck for a mascot. Who you kidding?

  5. Obama wants to reapoint Bernanke so that if Bernanke screws up again Obama can still blame Bush. I hope the Senate does not give him this oportunity.

  6. The devil you know…

  7. ‘Obama can still blame Bush’

    That would stop him? I think he should blame Bush for every failure. If I failed a test because I was copying off of the test of an F student, I’d blame the F student. Who wouldn’t?

    1. Obama is so dumb, he will copy from an F student…

      What’s the punchline?

      1. Who said F students were dumb. Smart people fail all the time. It’s usually due to laziness-intellectual or otherwise. Why does there have to be a punchline? I was pointing out that Mr. President is lazy.

      2. What’s the punchline?

        Our tears.

  8. I have a cunning plan. Rather, it’s a plan for Obama. Appoint George W. Bush to be the next Fed chair. That way, Bush can be blamed afresh for the rest of the term. For that same reason, the Senate will confirm him.

    1. +1000000000000

      1. I expect a large check from the administration for this one.

        1. Hell, I’m no the verge of cutting you a large check just for this joke.

          1. I couldn’t take your money, The Art. Unless it’s a lot. Then I could take it.

  9. I feel compelled to repost Ben’s song, while I’m at it:

    (by Michael Jackson)

    Ben, the two of us need look no more.
    We both found what we were looking for.
    With a friend to call my own,
    I’ll never be alone.
    And you, my friend, will see.
    You’ve got a friend in me.
    (You’ve got a friend in me.)

    Ben, you’re always running here and there.
    You feel you’re not wanted, anywhere.
    If you ever look behind,
    And don’t like what you find.
    There’s one thing you should know,
    You’ve got a place to go.
    (You’ve got a place to go.)

    I used to say “I” and “me.”
    Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we.”
    I used to say “I” and “me.”
    Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we.”
    Ben, most people would turn you away.
    I don’t listen to a word they say.
    They don’t see you as I do.
    I wish they would try to.
    I’m sure they’d think again.
    If they had a friend like Ben.
    (A friend) Like Ben.
    (Like Ben) Like Ben.

    1. Wow! That was from back when he looked like a human being!!!

      1. Yeah, that’s an oldie.

      2. Oh man. Thanks for that. In all his weirdness as an adult we sometimes forget that he could damn sure sing when he was just a boy.

        1. I am not a psychologist but if I had to guess his weirdness as an adult probably came from not having a normal childhood.

          1. That’s a pretty solid guess.

      3. And decidedly a bit more alive.

  10. Obama always blames the ‘special interests’ without ever naming them per se. The ‘special interests’ are of course only beholden to Republicans.

    Of course, the Fed sets ‘special interest’ rates all the time.

    1. hahahahaha

    2. Yes, all of the special interests are beholden to Republicans. Special interests like labor unions, environmentalists, lawyers, anti-tobacco activists, NOW and many others. They are all beholden to Republicans.

      1. You forgot feminists.

        1. One person’s special interest is another’s definition of pork.

  11. If Bernanke gets fired, maybe some enterprising prosecutor can indict him on charges of fraud. Because I want nothing more than to see Benny pay dearly for what he’s done, and I fear he never will.

    1. Why couldn’t he be prosecuted while he is still in office?

      1. I suppose he could, but what prosecutor would go after him? He needs to lose the protections of being Fed Chairman first. A little disgrace also would encourage the sharks.

        1. Good points.

    2. I don’t see how he’s committed fraud…but it is interesting to see an anarcho-capitalist endorse using a very expansive interpretation of criminal law to get back at his enemies.

  12. … and I fear he never will.


  13. Why did they post the Che picture with an article about the Fed chief?

    1. Could Bernanke t-shirts be the new Hollywood chic? No? Anyone?

      1. Hmm, that is a thought. I do not know. I do know that the LvMI is selling t-shirts with the pictures of free market economists done in the same style as the Che shirts that some very na?ve college students where.

        1. Wear!!! I can’t believe I did that. They really need to let us edit.

  14. Ron Paul for Fed Chairman!

    1. I don’t think he would be willing to take the job. He does not think the job should exist.

      1. Sure he would. Raising the Fed interest rate to 10,000% would do a lot for the cause of sound money.

        1. He is more effective as a member of Congress asking to Audit the Fed.

          1. You must be using a different definition of “effective”. Didn’t he wind up voting against his own bill?

  15. First Bernanke … then Geithner ….

  16. On Unemployment:

    The government is saying the unemployment is around 10%, but that’s a fraud. They don’t count things the same way as they did then, not even as they did in the recession of 1982. Furthermore, they should count many government employees among the unemployed, since relatively few of them produce anything that anyone would voluntarily pay for. I’m not talking about police, garbage collectors, judges, and the like. The market would employ many of them in their current jobs even if the state were to disappear. But many of the apparatchiks filling offices not only don’t serve any useful purpose, but they actively destroy, and prevent the creation of, wealth. These people are worse than just unemployed.

    Something else. Very few of the 1.5 million people in the Armed Forces actually create wealth or would be paid, in a free market, to do what they do. The same goes for the perhaps several million contractors and employees that compose the so-called “defense” industry. Obama is giving veterans preference in hiring for government jobs as well. Which means people who are not only quite jingoistic as a group but most used to taking orders ? and giving them ? will increasingly dominate the civil service. And, benefits included, government jobs now pay about 50% more than those in the real world. This is not a good trend any way you look at it.

    The government’s unemployment figures basically include people who are paid to dig ditches during the day and others who fill them up at night.

    Doug Casey, Jan 22 2010

    1. That is stupid. The purpose of unemployment figures is not to tell us how productive people are, but how many people are not taking home a paycheck.

      By the standard your friend uses, we should count the guy who cleans the toilet at McDonald’s differently from a neurosurgeon, for instance. It’s not the right statistic to use.

      1. Re: Tulpa,

        Depends on what you want to measure. You are taking two extremes to try to shoot down the argument, which is not logical.

      2. Also, you missed the point of Casey’s comment. The fact is that the number of UNproductive people (not unemployed, but employed by the State but that do not produce anything) is very high compared to the number of people employed in the productive sector. This is dangerous and unsustainable.

        He also mentions something very troubling:

        I’m sorry to say, it’s going to get much worse. With 15% of the population collecting food stamps, and another 15% eligible but unaware or unwilling to accept the stigma ? yet ? and more people accepting various other government subsidies, there will be a growing population that doesn’t want to work. In response, there will be higher minimum wages that will keep more of the unskilled out of work, and more regulations and higher taxes will keep businesses from hiring more people. The government is going to enact lots of new laws, supposedly to protect the employees, and that’s going to make it much riskier to hire anyone. It’s a truly vicious cycle that’s going to cause serious structural unemployment for a long time.

        1. This is what I am arguing is stupid:

          Furthermore, they should count many government employees among the unemployed, since relatively few of them produce anything that anyone would voluntarily pay for.

          1. Wow! What’s your issue! I loove my new driver’s license each time I wait 10 hours in line for its outcome. I’m so handsome. Shucks! That card alone gets me ten twenty dates a year.

            1. I don’t have “issues”. Do I look white to you?

          2. Tulpa,

            Just tell me what you find of value about any of the coercive “services” the State gives you, besides cleaning the bird nests off street lights.

            But, please, remember that a person cannot VALUE something he is made to purchase or pay for. Value is subjective and is VOLUNTARY.

  17. Things Are Much Worse Now Than During The Great Depression

    [T]hey say that during the [D]epression of the 1930s, unemployment went as high as 25%. That’s interesting, in that at the time, half the people in the country were still farmers. They knew how to make the things they used in daily life with their own hands, and how to grow their own food. There was less specialization in the economy, and people were more self-sufficient. That made them better able to cope with an economic depression.

    So it seems to me that that [The D]epression wasn’t anywhere near as bad as this one is going to be. It was caused by the inflation of the currency in the 1920s, by the Federal Reserve, and was prolonged by the actions that Hoover took, which were in exactly the same vein as those Roosevelt took later. Hoover was quite a dirigiste ? I mean, Roosevelt applauded all the things Hoover did, but Hoover didn’t have the panache and good P.R. that Roosevelt did. But everything these two did ? and both were disasters, lengthening and deepening the depression ? was trivial by comparison to what’s being done today.

    The government today is making things far worse than in the 1920s and 1930s. Everything the government is doing is not just the wrong thing; it’s exactly the opposite of the right thing. But more importantly, as far as unemployment is concerned, this inflationary boom has gone on much longer than that of the ’20s. Not only does that call for a bigger correction, but unsustainable patterns of production and consumption have become far more ingrained.[…]

    If people lose their jobs today . . . Well, they are pretty far from the land, and I’m not sure people today think about that. Back in the ’20s and ’30s, if your car broke down, it was expected that you would get out and, under a shady tree, fix it yourself. And you could ? you could even take the engine apart and fix a bearing. That’s not in the least practical today. You’ve got to have the money to pay a specialist to fix your car today.

    Back then lots of people who weren’t even farmers had vegetable gardens and chickens in their yards. Today, people live in suburbs ? chickens and goats are out of the question.

    Doug Casey, Jan 22 2010

    Well, when the end comes, I will have a goat farm – and will fend off hungry people with MGs and gas canisters and mines. You better get some gold or silver, because I won’t accept anything else . . .

    1. Jeezus, it ain’t anywhere near there yet. You underestimate the non-corporate don’t you. Do you work inside the government? Is that why yer so scared?

      1. Jeezus, it ain’t anywhere near there yet.

        You would be surprised as how fast things can deteriorate – just look at Weimar Germany for a little taste.

    2. … and get off my lawn, you damn kids!

      You think you got it tough? Lemme tell you about tough! Used to be every man in the good ‘ol USA could repair a car bearing, birth a calf, plow the back forty, perform a craniotomy and hit a squirrel’s eye with a .22 from 3 miles. And all before breakfast!

      We’re soft, now, I tells ya!

    3. Or someone could just get a rifle and scope and finish you off before you know it.

      1. Meh, its possible, but I have a big family full of vengeful Mexicans (our family reunions are always interesting . . .)

        It is not like you can hide forever . . .

  18. Did a little googling on Bernanke’s backup and he–surprise–got the interest rates and housing bubble decisions wrong. It’s somewhat early (2003) but I’m sure there are more boneheaded statements out there:
    No housing bubble, Fed’s Kohn Says

    Oh and Rand Paul 2010! He’s our best chance at a Senate seat for the next decade–if ever. Please consider supporting him in his remarkable run for Senate. He’s currently leading but his opponents are painting him as a “godless libertine who hates America” so it will be tough sledding from here on out.

    1. Is this a bot or something? Bernanke wasn’t setting Fed policy three years before he got there.

      1. I was referring to Bernanke’s prospective replacement, Donald Kohn. Both Bernanke and Kohn are on the board of governors and are on record supporting the interest rate cuts. This reflects heavily on their judgment.
        Take a gander at Bernanke’s statements during the bubble.

    2. Schiff, Connecticut – don’t forget.

    3. “godless libertine who hates America”

      Is “Hates America” code for “he doesn’t want to kill people in other countries”?

  19. Right, right. It’s Bernanke’s fault! We just need the *right* guy running things and then it will all work.

    Reason and commentators are routinely getting this wrong. Bernanke had nothing to do with the bubble. He raised interest rates when he was sworn and and only began to cut them when the shit started hitting the fan. Are you going to criticize him for starting the recession or laud him for popping the bubble?

    What needs to be noted is that no one, least of all people here, would have done any better. Ben Bernanke is probably the best person for the job. The point is that the single person most suited for the position isn’t capable of setting interest rates in real time.

    1. We agree in one sense that no one is capable of such a feat as I believe central banking is central planning and thus unworkable.
      So, yes, Bernanke, predecessors, sucessors et al aren’t at fault in that sense. Though a conservative central banker would have been more cautious than to lower interest rates to one percent for an entire year.

      1. So what point is there tilting at Bernanke? That’s like making a point of calling for the head of the FHA to be replaced with a more sensible planner who will raise mortgage down payments for people with bad credit to 4%.

        Bernanke isn’t the issue here.

  20. No wonder the market tanked again today. Does anyone really think this is the time to be pushing Bernanke out? While I think there is a need for change, I just don’t think now is the time for said change. It looks like a few others agree with me:…..oor-2010-1

    1. The markets tanked on the fact that those expectations that Insurance and Pharmaceutical lobbyists insisted were a done deal really were not (inverse of the Lefty meme)

      1. The market tanked because it’s overvalued by 5000 points.

        1. that’s a truism. Jeez, Tim, I was in the middle of parody anyway.

        2. Word! But hey, Fannie and Freddie are killin’ it.

          The overvalued market is indisputable proof that Obama’s stimulus is working! That is on destroying what’s left of the economy.

        3. On this line of thought, I always get annoyed by newscasters reporting the Dow change and then blithely conjecturing why the market went up or down. Such as, “the Dow fell 128 points today due to anticipated earnings losses due to Haitian sweatshops moving to Jamaica”. It’s like, did they interview all the people who sold stocks to determine why people were selling? Is there some exit survey required when you sell stocks?

          1. Hate to break the news Tulpa, but, not only do I agree, I have looked at it the way you do and have axed myself the same questions-since I was a kid.

            1. Well, that’s an intelligent and not-nutty remark. I’ll move you down to #3 on the On Notice Board, below SugarFree and Hitler.

          2. I think Nassim Taleb makes the same point in Fooled by Randomness. It’s still a good one, though.

    2. Does anyone really think this is the time to be pushing Bernanke out?

      That time was years ago, but better late than never.


  21. I just finished reading “The Creature From Jekyll Island.” It’s a Fascinating history of some of the shenanigans the Federal Reserve has pulled.

    Also mentioned in the book; In addition to Gold and Silver, America has also used as money;

    Tobacco, Liquor, Land, Iron, Lumber, and even Nails.

    If the Fed goes bye-bye there will be some initial discomfort. But I would bet we will figure out a way to survive.

  22. Wampum. What about wampum.

    1. “Wampum. What about wampum.”

      Sounds like a title for cheap paperback novel from a Louie L’Amour wanna-be. But hey, if it pays the bills go for it.

    2. There is actually a very good discussion of wampum in this book I link to below called “A History of American Currency”

    3. What about woodpecker scalps?

      1. Why go against tradition?

        Guns, Ammo and Whiskey. Oh, and gold.

  23. Not your bad. The book forgot about wampum. Although the time parameters may have excluded wampum.

    But what’s cool about wampum is that there was cheap immitation wampum. Git along Gresham’s Law.

    Little Known Fact:

    Nicolas Copernicus was the first to see Gresham’s Law and write about it.

    1. The book doesn’t mention wampum at all. But, the book does mention Gresham’s Law. It just doesn’t dwell on it much. But one of the author’s more interesting points, is you don’t need a lot of specie to start with. Any amount will do.

  24. I heard a guy mention tying currency to the price of adwords on google(or any service that participates).

    I have no idea if that’s actually workable.

  25. No doubt about it dude, someones gotta stand up to this guy!


  26. Speaking of the value of a dollar, the Barret Jackson auction of “fine” cars is in progress. $135,000.- for a 1967 Chevrolet NOVA?

    By all means, continue on your current “sound dollar, low inflation” course, Ben. Yer doin’ a heckuva job.

  27. He will keep his job. The fear of the market crashing or plummeting due to uncertainty will ensure he stays where he is. He’s banking on that. (OMG PUN)

  28. DUde that is like way cool man i mean really.


    1. I have now turned against you, anon bot.

      1. When the anonymity bot has lost The Art-POG…

  29. Someone recommended Donald Kohn as a replacement for Bernenke. I would suggest the possibility of either Charles I. Plosser (Philly Fed) or Thomas M. Hoenig (KC Fed). Both were critical of Bernenke’s and Paulson’s handling of the situation and offered real alternatives.

    1. How about Timothy Franz Geithner.

      1. Larry Summers all the way.

        1. Summers would be good. He did a great job at Harvard.

    2. . I would suggest the possibility of either Charles I. Plosser (Philly Fed) or Thomas M. Hoenig (KC Fed).

      Fuck that. Bring back Volcker.


      1. I think it’s obvious that Volcker doesn’t want the job.

  30. President Obama “has confidence” in Bernanke,

    That’s one more reason to bounce his incompetent ass out of the job.


  31. Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

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