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Ben Bernanke: Economic Recovery May Not Be Self-Sustaining, May Buy More Bonds Depending On Inflation

Tyler Durden's picture


Excerpts from the just starting interview with Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes (via the WSJ):

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appeared Sunday evening on CBS’s “60 Minutes”
to discuss the state of the economy, the central bank’s controversial
$600 billion bond-buying plan and the financial crisis. Following are
excerpts from the interview with CBS’s Scott Pelley, as released by the

Q: The major banks are racking up profits in the billions.
Wall Street bonuses are climbing back up to where they were. And yet,
lending to small businesses actually declined in the third quarter. Why
is that?

A: A lot of small businesses are not seeking credit, because, you
know, because their business is not doing well, because the economy is
slow. Others are not qualifying for credit, maybe because the value of
their property has gone down. But some also can’t meet the terms and
conditions that banks are setting.

Q: Is this a case of banks that were eager to take risks
that ruin the economy being now unwilling to take risks to support the

A: We want them to take risks, but not excessive risks. we want to
go for a happy medium. And I think banks are back in the business of
lending. But they have not yet come back to the level of confidence
that –or overconfidence –that they had prior to the crisis. We want to
have an appropriate balance.

Q: What did you see that caused you to pull the trigger on the $600 billion, at this point?

A: It has to do with two aspects. the first is unemployment The
other concern I should mention is that inflation is very, very low,
which you think is a good thing and normally is a good thing. But we’re
getting awfully close to the range where prices would actually start

Q: Falling prices lead to falling wages. It lets the steam
out of the economy. And you start spiraling downward. … How great a
danger is that now?

A: I would say, at this point, because the Fed is acting, I would
say the risk is pretty low. But if the Fed did not act, then given how
much inflation has come down since the beginning of the recession, I
think it would be a more serious concern.
Q: Some people think the $600 billion is a terrible idea.
A: Well. I know some people think that but what they are doing is
they’re looking at some of the risks and uncertainties with doing this
policy action but what I think they’re not doing is looking at the risk
of not acting.

Q: Many people believe that could be highly inflationary. That it’s a dangerous thing to try

A: Well, this fear of inflation, I think is way overstated. we’ve
looked at it very, very carefully. We’ve analyzed it every which way.
One myth that’s out there is that what we’re doing is printing money.
We’re not printing money. The amount of currency in circulation is not
changing. The money supply is not changing in any significant way. What
we’re doing is lowering interest rates by buying treasury securities.
And by lowering interest rates, we hope to stimulate the economy to
grow faster. So, the trick is to find the appropriate moment when to
begin to unwind this policy. And that’s what we’re going to do.

Q: Is keeping inflation in check less of a priority for the Federal Reserve now?

A: No, absolutely not. What we’re trying to do is achieve a balance.
We’ve been very, very clear that we will not allow inflation to rise
above two percent or less.

Q: Can you act quickly enough to prevent inflation from getting out of control?

A: We could raise interest rates in 15 minutes if we have to. So,
there really is no problem with raising rates, tightening monetary
policy, slowing the economy, reducing inflation, at the appropriate
time. Now, that time is not now.

Q: You have what degree of confidence in your ability to control this?

A: One hundred percent.

Q: Do you anticipate a scenario in which you would commit to more than 600 billion?

A: Oh, it’s certainly possible. And again, it depends on the
efficacy of the program. It depends, on inflation. And finally it
depends on how the economy looks.

Q: How would you rate the likelihood of dipping into recession again?

A: It doesn’t seem likely that we’ll have a double dip recession.
And that’s because, among other things, some of the most cyclical parts
of the economy, like housing, for example, are already very weak. And
they can’t get much weaker. And so another decline is relatively
unlikely. Now, that being said, I think a very high unemployment rate
for a protracted period of time, which makes consumers, households less
confident, more worried about the future, I think that’s the primary
source of risk that we might have another slowdown in the economy.

Q: You seem to be saying that the recovery that we’re experiencing now is not self-sustaining.

A: It may not be. It’s very close to the border. — it takes about
two and a half percent growth just to keep unemployment stable. And
that’s about what we’re getting. We’re not very far from the level
where the economy is not self-sustaining.

Q: [On calls to cut the deficit]

A: We need to play close attention to the fact that we are
recovering now. We don’t want to take actions this year that will affect
this year’s spending and this year’s taxes in a way that will hurt the
recovery. That’s important. But that doesn’t stop us from thinking now
about the long term structural budget deficit. We’re looking at ten,
15, 20 years from now, a situation where almost the entire federal
budget will be spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and
interest on the debt. There won’t be any money left for the military or
for any other services the government provides. We can only address
those issues if we think about them now.

Q: How concerned are you about the calls that you’re beginning to hear on Capitol Hill that would curb the Fed’s independence?

A: Well, the Fed’s independence is critical. The central bank needs
to be able to make policy without short term political concerns. In
order to do what’s best for the economy. We do all of our analysis, we
do all of our policy decisions based on what we think the economy
needs. Not based on when the election is or what political conditions

Q: Is there anything that you wish you’d done differently over these last two and a half years or so?

A: Well, I wish I’d been omniscient and seen the crisis coming, the
way you asked me about, I didn’t, But it was a very, very difficult
situation. And– the Federal Reserve responded very aggressively, very
Q: How did the Fed miss the looming financial crisis?
A: there were large portions of the financial system that were not
adequately covered by the regulatory oversight. So, for example, AIG was
not overseen by the Fed. … The insurance company that required the
bailout, was not overseen by the Fed. It didn’t really have any real
oversight at that time. Neither did Lehman Brothers the company that
failed Now, I’m not saying the Fed should not have seen some of these
things. One of things that I most regret is that we weren’t strong
enough in in putting in consumer protections to try to cut down on the
subprime lending problem. That was an area where I think we could have
done more.

Q: The gap between rich and poor in this country has never
been greater. In fact, we have the biggest income disparity gap of any
industrialized country in the world. And I wonder where you think
that’s taking America.

A: Well, it’s a very bad development. It’s creating two societies.
And it’s based very much, I think, on– on educational differences The
unemployment rate we’ve been talking about. If you’re a college
graduate, unemployment is five percent. If you’re a high school
graduate, it’s ten percent or more. It’s a very big difference. It leads
to an unequal society and a society– which doesn’t have the cohesion
that– that we’d like to see.

Q: We have talked about how the next several years are going
be tough years in this country. But I wonder what you think about the
ten year time horizon. Fifteen years. How do things look to you long

A: Long term, I have a lot of confidence in the United States. We
have an excellent record in terms of innovation. We have great
universities that are involved in technological change and progress. We
have an entrepreneurial culture, much more than almost any other
country. So, I think that in the longer term the United States will
retain its leading position in the world. But again, we gotta get
there. And we have some very difficult challenges over the next few

Full interview below:



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Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:26 | 780389 David99
David99's picture

Ben is a mad guy. Should be in the hospital for rest of his life.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:31 | 780673 VegasBob
VegasBob's picture

No, Bernokio is a shifty-eyed goddamn liar (with apologies to Harry S Truman, who used this terminology to describe Tricky Dick Nixon).  If his nose grew a foot for every lie he told in the interview excerpt, it would be dragging on the floor.

Bernokio is someone who should be tried for economic treason against the US, convicted, and hanged.  And plenty of other banksters should follow him to the gallows.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:53 | 780743 B9K9
B9K9's picture

How can Ben be tried for treason since he was working under direct consent from the other 3 branches of government? When will people begin to realize that the USG was, and has always been, the central player in this saga?

Think 5, 10, 25, 100, 1,000 bankers stood to profit? Try 1, 2, 5 million federal, state & county employees, not to mention the massive welfare program known as the MIC. Wake up! This has always been about preserving the power in which the government had garnered on their own behalf for their own benefit.

But, remember, there isn't any reason to get all worked-up & emotional about these events; tyrannies require vast resources. But the 2nd law (entropy) dictates that diminishing returns doom all efforts. So just kick back and watch as nature bats clean-up.

There is no way to jump start the present economic model without some amazing new energy source. It isn't sufficient to merely have adequate fossil fuel resources for 50, 100,  250+ years. No, what we need is something that can handle a 5-10% CAGR ie that which would cover the Ponzi's accumulated debts. (Including $100+ trillion of promised, but unfunded, future benefits.)

Where is this amazing resource? Sorry, fellas, but it doesn't exist. Ben's little game, played on behalf of those so utterly dependent on his success, was simply a means of extending closing time until maybe a cute chick finally walked through the door.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:37 | 780906 anonnn
anonnn's picture way to jump start the present economic model without some amazing new energy source."...


Unfairness begets chaos.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 00:50 | 781233 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Treason is treason. Doesn't matter who authorized it.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 01:47 | 781326 Minion
Minion's picture

I'm starting to wonder if Ben is regretting taking the job in the first place.  He's just a minion like all of us.  He's a front man for someone else.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 01:58 | 781334 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

Oh, I have no doubt he regrets it, but probably got an offer he couldn't refuse...cleverly disguised as fame & fortune & the corridors of power. Poor bastard is stuck now, though, ain't he? Well, I guess he could quit, but sadly those wound as tight as he is usually blow their brains out.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 02:33 | 781365 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

Yup and if he is is right handed he will shoot himself with the left while drowning in a bathtub filled with an inch of water... damn suiciders

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:35 | 780693 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Zimbabwe Ben is a g*ddamn Psycho, is what he is.  He is worried about the dangers of 'not acting', what, like, bankruptcy?  Taking risks, and having those risks backfire should entail some kind of risk/reward.  If there is no risk (i.e. TBTF get bailed out) then we are rewarding failure!  This encourages fraud!  He will destroy the US dollar.  We just have to make sure that Ben and his cabal of friends ARE NOT the ones we allow to institute a new currency when this is all over!

A return to Sound Money!

Read our latest PsychoNews story: "Funny Money, Manic Markets, and Obsolete Media"

"Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont delivered an amazing speech in the Senate on December 2nd that was right on the money in regards to the problems America (and by extension, the world) faces.

To quote:

"There is a war going on, and I'm not referring to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan"

"Against the disappearing and shrinking middle class of this country."

"Their [billionaires/Oligarchy] greed has no end"

"[there seems to be] very little concern for the people if it gets in the way of accumulating more and more power"

"top 1% of all earners earn 23% of all the income in this country"

"Exxon made $19 billion last year and paid $0 in taxes.  They got a refund..."
(12 minutes into video)

Sounds like Senator Bernie Sanders has been reading PsychoNews!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 23:49 | 781108 Rider
Rider's picture

A hospital with bars you mean?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 23:50 | 781110 Rider
Rider's picture


Mon, 12/06/2010 - 00:39 | 781205 bankrupt JPM bu...
bankrupt JPM buy silver's picture

Wasnt this the real 60 minutes interview with Ben?

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 01:31 | 781264 Thanatos
Thanatos's picture

You are right.

Can you see his facial ticks get going. His mouth quivering.

Those are the kind of responses you see from a person who knows its all over but has to "keep up appearances".

Thanks for the good stuff ZH.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:30 | 780395 Racer
Racer's picture

A: It doesn’t seem likely that we’ll have a double dip recession

Quote: Sub prime... well contained... NOT

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:30 | 780401 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

The insufferable, condescending Bob Brinker is predicting spectacular stock market performance based on a 1 - 2 year extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Says the naysaying short sellers have been riding on Don Gibson's "Sea of Heartbreak"..

Interest rates remain at "rock bottom levels"..


About 7 minutes into the broadcast...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:58 | 780550 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

Robo - you're getting cryptic on me - I'm getting confused! What do I dooo? Oh, lawdy, what do i dooo?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:05 | 780572 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Bob gave great advice and led many to the land of "critical mass" in normal times, but he is a bit lost now, crisis of 08 caught him completely by surprise...

But he is essentially telling folks the same thing you tell them, which is don't fight the fed, which is good advice...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:04 | 780777 billhilly
billhilly's picture

Hey Robut, where are those futures charts(posted so gloriously on an earlier thread) NOW?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:28 | 780871 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

All the more reason to go long COH & GUCG :)

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:55 | 780966 Dr o love
Dr o love's picture

This is the same Mr. Brinker that was bullish all the way from S&P 1550 to 666.  ALL the way down.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:30 | 780402 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

Did I miss the part where he suggested he may have to do more ?


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:41 | 780463 asteroids
asteroids's picture

I thought Ben was going to cry or piss his pants. His lips were trembling. For a man 100% confident... Nice suit though.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:53 | 780526 Jones79
Jones79's picture

i thought he looked a lot worse during the first 60 minutes interview.  more composed this time but not wholly confidence-inspiring despite his 100% level.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:53 | 780642 Whats that smell
Whats that smell's picture

I noticed that also. He did not have a very strong demeanor.


Anyone else see this?

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 02:15 | 781356 trillionaire
trillionaire's picture

I didn't pay much attention to what he was saying because I knew I would be able to read / view it again later.  I paid attention to his appearance and mannerisms and I am very scared.  His lips were quivering, he stuttered on saying "inflation" (I think) and his hair and beard were trimmed to perfection, a well polished turd indeed.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 05:21 | 781515 ViewfromUnderth...
ViewfromUndertheBridge's picture

Hey, don't insult Turds...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:30 | 780405 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

Hope the public tunes in and realizes this guy is clueless...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780479 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

LMAO... You're funny

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:31 | 780408 samseau
samseau's picture

So wait...

"a recovery that isn't self-sustaining"

let me think about this, in terms of logic....

*looks up what a double-negative is*




isn't a recovery that isn't self-sustaining just doublespeak for


"not recovering"?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:39 | 780452 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

Attempt at logical conclusion detected!

Sending MIB team and Rendition Team ASAP!

ETA 20 minutes.

Glad we caught that one!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 23:10 | 780884 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

An observable absence of absence doesn't quantify an absolute absence of absence, or an implied absence of near or medium term moderation of absence absent quantifiable or qualifiable absenceism - Jean-Claude Trichet's notes on his planned 60 minutes interview

This absence of logic simply cannot be equaled, let alone bettered.  So let not his absence of sense be questioned...

Cheers Hedgie & make sure that MIB helicopter is a sky crane for that flying long short bus pick up in Brussels

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780470 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

double plus, good!


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:58 | 780546 CheapKUNGFU
CheapKUNGFU's picture

errrr, ummm, a negative X (times) a negative is surely a positve

havent you been practicing your CAPTCHA math?

Even Robo has figured that equation out

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:32 | 780410 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I'll give it to Ben he sure is not afraid to go into public and tell whoppers.  Unemployment is education based?  Tell that to the college kids with student loans and no jobs.  Buying securities is not money printing,then why not buy ALL Treasuries issued? Hell he probably will at some point and self reference this interview.

I guess can't be surprised.  Man lies under oath in Congress and gets away with it, so why the hell not!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:44 | 780482 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Hehe. He was using that to skirt the question about income disparity. He didn't want to talk about 'Trickle Down'.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:53 | 780524 Phineas Gage
Phineas Gage's picture

Exactly.  I expected soft journalism, but that was absurd.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:00 | 780560 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Only "trickle down" happening involves Bennie's pantleg . . . and it ain't nothin nice.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:12 | 780605 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Right! He won't take any responsibility for the effects of his policy. That's all Congress's headaches. I just print the bills and count de money, man. 

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:50 | 780508 Phineas Gage
Phineas Gage's picture

When I heard his response to the income disparity question I got annoyed.  The appropriate rebuttal to the dodge should have been "I didn't ask you about unemployment, I asked you about income disparity.  Aren't your policies benefiting a small percentage of the population disproportionately?"

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:32 | 780680 SRV - ES339
SRV - ES339's picture

That would be journalism... there is a law against that now, isn't there!

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 05:24 | 781518 ViewfromUnderth...
ViewfromUndertheBridge's picture

Well, calls for assassination are maybe not the law but...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:26 | 780658 DarkMath
DarkMath's picture

"Unemployment is education based?"

Translation: If you're a blue collar worker who relied on any sort of domestic manufacturing then Ben Bernanke wishes you would just die already and take yourself out of the gene pool because you're not supposed to still be here now goddamit. All you factory workers should have gotten your degrees of the University of Phoenix online and invented a new Facebook app already. Fuck you if you didn't. It's not Ben Bernanke's fault your can't feed your family anymore. Sorry.

"Buying securities is not money printing"

This one really confused me. He seems to still be stuck on the previous QE where they just increased bank reserves which technically didn't show up in M2. But not anymore. Every dollar he buys of US Treasuries show up in M2. Right? I mean he creates money out of thin air, buys US Treasury Debt and allows the production of Food Stamps which can be taken down to the Walmart to purchase real goods. Am I right here? What am I missing. Did Ben Bernanke just fucking lie on national television?



Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:28 | 780870 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

He didn't "lie"

He didn't "print" the money he "created" the money by adding numbers digitally here and there. 


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 23:01 | 780981 dbach
dbach's picture

lol exactly! that bugged me too. benny's arguing semantics there. the reporter should have asked where did those $600B come from? they need to do a follow up report where we can send in questions for them to ask the bankster.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 02:17 | 781358 merehuman
merehuman's picture

Any bartender would have done a better interview with or without the barnacle

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:29 | 780881 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

I know a person holding a > $200k jobs without a college education.  Lets call him Oddball.  Well Mr Oddball says that you can't look at simple statistics to determine the ability for one to succeed in business.  Many of those that do not attend college and graduate are not because they are uneducated, instead it is because they may be uneducatable.  Or they may have financial problems preventing a college education.  Or they may have family situations that require more attention (think mentally ill sibling) than what they'd be able to do when attending college.

Mr Oddball had no reason not to finish college.  He just decided that it wasn't right for him and went on his marry way doing other things in life and striving for what he wanted to accomplish. What does Mr Oddball think about Ben Bernanke's comment?

"Bullshit.  The guy is a clear psychopath with no grasp on the basic statistics of formal education and employment.  He should assign some of the statistical turds down on Maiden Lane to write a paper with a really complex title revealing how ignorant he is.  But psychopaths don't use logic to make decisions."

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:49 | 780946 Shameful
Shameful's picture

My best friend makes a great living without a degree, because he has a marketable skill. He routinely busts on me for not making as much as him even thought I got my "education" at a sanctioned American school.

Ben is dancing. My take away on that phrase is "Go back to school and take on student loan debt". Problem is everyone graduates eventually or amass so much debt that even Uncle Sugar thinks you are a bad risk. Again I know people 200k+ in for student loans without any real job prospects. Might come out and be lucky to get 30k a year.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 23:24 | 781043 Maiden Lane
Maiden Lane's picture

I don't want him either :)

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:32 | 780413 dantes1807
dantes1807's picture

The whole problem with Ben Bernanke and the banks is that banks should not be taking risks. Prudent underwriting means good collateral, borrower's equity, and personal liability against the borrower. Bankers were happy to play games before because they didn't get stuck with the hot potato. Now that they are being forced to take on underwriting risk, they are not going to make these poor loans.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:46 | 780494 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

Yeah it seems now that the moral hazard issue is no longer academic and TBTF has been enshrined by the Fed and the Feds they have cold feet and want to take their ball home. Crazy banksters!


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:32 | 780415 Nihilarian
Nihilarian's picture

"We’re not printing money."

What does the Fed purchase Treasuries with -- delusions?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:57 | 780535 Ludwig Von Miso Soup
Ludwig Von Miso Soup's picture

To be fair, they don't print the money. They enter it into a computer.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:22 | 780647 Astute Investor
Astute Investor's picture

BB parses his words like Bill Clinton (think definition of "is") - the Fed does not "print" money.  So in the world of weasel-word legalize, the Ben Bernank is not lying so he sleeps like a baby at night despite his misleading comments.  Unfortunately, Scott Pelli didn't acknowledge that today no central bank anywhere "prints money", but the QE initiated by the Fed "creates money" that previously did not exist.  I'm sure BB would have responded - "No comment".

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:35 | 780695 DarkMath
DarkMath's picture

I disagree, BB is actually talking about print money as in adding new money into circulation, whether that be literal printing or adding digits to a balance sheet. BB says "We’re not printing money. The amount of currency in circulation is not changing."

So I think what's happening is WORSE that what you think. He's not parsing a phrase like Bill Clinton, he's either just clueless or he's lying. His 1600 SAT score means he's not clueless so that means he's lying. BB is just plain old naked ass lying to America. He's that arrogant.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 03:07 | 781403 delacroix
delacroix's picture

he cheated on the SAT

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:57 | 780544 docsdoc
docsdoc's picture


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:32 | 780419 Racer
Racer's picture

"inflation is very, very low,"

oh please can someone tell this man to go out shopping and fill the petrol tank and pay the heating bills and ALL the other things you NEED to live on....

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:58 | 780549 docsdoc
docsdoc's picture

Say it like Elmer Fudd...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:33 | 780421 doggis
doggis's picture

the bernake is a lying prick!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:33 | 780422 nm1
nm1's picture

I have finally come to the conclusion that our economy is being run by a mentally ill patient.


Quote from Ben: "We're not printing money"


What more can one say?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:47 | 780733 partimer1
partimer1's picture

They are actually not printing money.  They make the shit up by computer.  After all trillion is just a number with a lot zeros. If you really literally print a trillion dollars, it will take many trucks to move that.  All money transactions now electronic, which is just a number.  They can make the shit up just pushing some buttons.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:34 | 780425 richard fitzwell
richard fitzwell's picture

let's keep it simple.  "never trust a man's rendition of things if his upper lip is quivering....."

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:34 | 780427 Nepenthe
Nepenthe's picture

Does he have some sort tick? Is he that nervous and mousy? For one of the most powerful men in the world he isn't very confident. No wonder he doesn't give interviews, it was painful to watch.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:52 | 780520 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

Yeah, he has that type of, what I think is called, a "quavering, tremulous" type of voice. Like he is all tight in his chest and has to take controlled, albeit shallow, breathes just to get his words out. He's gonna have a stroke...funny though, I don't think that will disqualify him from being chairman...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:18 | 780620 Arius
Arius's picture

its the times...he has been a professor all his life, never took life and death decisions and here he has been thrown to deal with the biggest crisis ever...he is way above his head...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:04 | 780581 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

I believe he's losing it -- his theortical house of cards blew down--he just looked up and there's a wall of greenish black supercell coming.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:00 | 780771 chubbar
chubbar's picture

This is a recap of what we are facing, definitely gold positive, from an investment advisor. I found it interesting as it went into some details.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 23:08 | 781005 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

Judging by the price of precious metals so far, I'd say that the world agrees with you.  The "Bernank" blew it and the world's fiat currency is about to take a dive.  They're manipulate the hell out of the US Dollar Index (via the Euro), so I don't trust that as a sign of currency direction or strength/weakness at the present time.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:34 | 780429 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

Not exactly the marsh mellow throwing I expected. Nonetheless.. I would have asked if he fears hanging from a light pole when the sheeple wake up to the dry-fucking they have been getting from banks in the last 100 years..

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:35 | 780430 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

This is where I knew he was full of shit:

A: A lot of sma...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:35 | 780435 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

once you commit to you first big whopper of a lie, the rest of the lies are quite easy, so easy you may start to believe them

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:37 | 780438 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

The Bernank looked panicked to me.. as though he sees something huge cresting the horizon.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 23:12 | 781015 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

I've watched the Bernank for a while and he always has a little jumpiness and slight hesitation in his voice when he is intentionally trying to deceive.  You now have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight when you watch him on CSPAN.... you'll see that each time he is clearly lying, he has these same visual and verbal signs.  I personally think the Fed is in a panic mode and they're going to try to slam the precious metals market HARD this next week.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 01:06 | 781255 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Yes it's all the fault of precious metals! 

Doesn't matter if he/they slam it. Enough people know what is going on. Few sellers, many buyers.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:38 | 780439 Aductor
Aductor's picture

Obviously, equity markets got a bit ahead of themselves. "Oh, it’s certainly possible. [...]" sounds more like stating the theoretical possibility than an actual concreta plan waiting to be launched. EUR/USD slightly down.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:38 | 780442 nm1
nm1's picture

Ben Bernanke: "The bailout money was not taxpayer money. It came from the fed's own reserves"


Someone please explain what the ben bernank meant?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780475 Catullus
Catullus's picture

For real or just joking?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:09 | 780598 Aductor
Aductor's picture

As to QE: It's an accounting technique. Basically (if I have understood it correctly), if  treasuries are taken up as an asset, and matched by a liability on the balance sheet, the net effect would be zero. In reality, this works as a stimulus since treasuries that otherwise would hit the market are absorbed by the Fed.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:19 | 780636 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Partially correct.

When the Fed purchases Treasuries (never from the Treasury Department directly, but from the Primary Dealers), it is taking the Treasuries from the asset side of the banks balance sheet and increasing the balance of the banks at the Fed of Federal Reserve Notes.  The Treasuries come on to the asset side of the balance sheet and are matched by Federal Reserve Notes outstanding. The Federal Reserve Notes are legal tender and the Fed is not limited in the creation of these Federal Reserve Notes.  When the Fed purchases anything from anyone, it necessarily increases the money supply. 

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:41 | 780920 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

Don't forget what happens if the Fed holds the treasuries till maturity.  They basically are hedging that deflation cannot occur.  If deflation does occur, it becomes significantly more difficult for the Treasury Dept to pay out deflated dollars to the Federal Reserve.  If the situation occurs, we'll see the US Govt default on its debt to the Federal Reserve and the Fed will be very happy to just erase that debt from their books with the stroke of a key.

They'll play this game a long time.  Basically they're trying to signal to the markets that they won't let the required deflation take hold ... instead they must have inflation which means precious metals, commodities, water rights, land rights, and everything else is going up in cost far more than it already has.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 00:04 | 781145 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[Don't forget what happens if the Fed holds the treasuries till maturity.  They basically are hedging...]---Captain Benny

Thanks for your post, Captain.  Informative. Unfortunately, I don't think I can take it all in tonight.  With all the news coming out this past week, my head is about to explode.

Information overload.





Mon, 12/06/2010 - 04:57 | 781502 Catullus
Catullus's picture

I don't think the fed cares much for the credit worthiness of the US government as they look at the bonds currently on their books. If the government only defaulted on Fed owned treasuries, the Fed would just record it as a hit to equity. The Fed could technically have negative equity, but who cares? It's not like you can shut the fed down. What someone in the government would try to do is either nationalize the fed or a supra-national banking entity would claim they're bailing out the fed.

But the fed holding treasuries to maturity is neither deflationary or inflationary. They've already created the money to purchase the assets.

In general for Treasury defaults, I don't think the fed wants to even allow it be discussed. They've signalled quite clearly that the US government should not really be concerned at this point about this.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:22 | 780644 Arius
Arius's picture

great, more financial engineering - lets buy ALL treasuries...good to luck to all of us

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:51 | 780749 partimer1
partimer1's picture

the fed controls money supply, and Ben can just push some buttons and put a few extra zeros, so there you got the money. We keep hearing paper money, if all the trillions are paper, there surely is a lot paper, and all the trees may be gone by now.  Its computer generated numbers. 

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:04 | 780787 DarkMath
DarkMath's picture

Technically he's correct about the bail-out money. The Fed provided short term liquidity in the form of 2 Trillion in loans. This kept the world financial system liquid until the crisis abated. Then the loans were paid back and the Fed's balance sheet went back to what it was before.

Ben Bernanke is duplicitious because he's throwing out a red herring. He's making it seem the American Tax Payer lends money to the Fed and the Fed has an unlimited borrowing window.

This is exactly the opposite of reality. We borrow FROM the Fed. We only have to pay back the money we are lent. Because we technically decide whether to borrow that money the Fed is absolved of any guilt.

It's like a bank robber tells depositers: "Don't worry I didn't use any of your money to rob the bank!".

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:37 | 780444 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

To me this is just cruelty or more information in my pocket to turn away from this system of society.

Who asked these questions, did not hold BB's feet to the fire to actually get answers, etc?  The answers to the questions do not even make sense in some cases as they are so far from the intent of the question.  Sort of "I'll pick something in your question to talk about, but I won't answer the question."  In a well-meaning person that would mean a psycho-physio-logical issue, but in a public person it is business as usual.

I, and many of the folks here in this blog, know that the purpose of the Fed at this time is to destroy the global society and send it into a period of chaos.  Personally I believe that the level of chaos will be extreme and prolonged.

But it is not as if we have not been warned, in print, in video, and in person.  So do what you feel is right.


:) LB

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:56 | 780540 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture


Mon, 12/06/2010 - 04:17 | 781467 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

I hear ya!  I still find it distressing that millions (, perhaps billions!) will die in the process.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:41 | 780462 swissinv
swissinv's picture

You have to be fair - it is true that there is also a high risk of not acting -> deflationary spiral is even worse then inflation but what I am afraid is that this policy is getting out of control and that we finally end up with hyperinflation and a deflationary spiral (Stagflation). But how can we juge if we even don't know M3 aggregate?

Anyway, I am sure the FED will come up with further QE to buy MBS -> no other choice if the US doesn't want to abandon property rights and putting things into relation means that QE2 was just the mini version of what will see coming.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:21 | 780643 greased up deaf guy
greased up deaf guy's picture

" ... deflationary spiral is even worse than inflation..."

only to a banker...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:41 | 780715 Greenhead
Greenhead's picture

Agreed, prices declining are not always bad... unless you have a ton of debt and no savings, cash, reserves, etc.  In other words, if you aren't loaded up to the gills with debt, why do we always hear that deflation is always the worst thing that could happen to us.  Prices dropping could create a lot of opportunities too.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 03:44 | 781436 swissinv
swissinv's picture

Because in a deflation poor people with debt are getting poorer and rich people are getting richer. Do you see the point? There is a much bigger potential for unemployment, insurgencies, violence and chaos in a high deflationary scenario. However, if we end up with hyperinflation anyway it's better to take the deflationary pain before we end up with the run costs. In addition, most of the rich people have the resources and are clever enough to protect themselve with gold against hyperinflation while poor people have no money to buy metal and may even not aware about the real dangerous state of the world economy. Thus it will be again the rich people who are making the run and that's ain't be good for security of nations.

And just another point: I am not supporter of Kenesian policy at all and I also believe prices declines are necessary for having a well functioning market. However, we can't ignore the fact that the markets have been manipulated for decades and therefore it is simply not possible to rapidly unwind this policy without blowing up the world markets. But printing that much money is not a solution as well and it will just make the things worser for the future. The intristic value of fiat currency is zero and economy growth will adjust to real rate of growth. The adjustment for inflationary growth will come on the death of fiat currencies. We'll be all fucked anyway - the question is just when.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:36 | 780696 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Deflation is bad for whom?  Not for someone trying to buy a house, or farm land, or commercial real estate, or someone trying to start a business, or young people trying to get started in life.  I do not understand the bone headed ignorance of those who are only interested in maintaining the real estate bubble, who refuse to see the damage and treason done by these gangsters.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:51 | 780949 akak
akak's picture

All true.  In addition, I would like the Keynesian apologists for the kleptocratic establishment to give me one, just ONE, example of a real "deflationary spiral" every having occurred in history, much less under a purely (and worldwide) fiat currency regime. 

Now, if they want a historical example of a INFLATIONARY spiral ---- well, those are too numerous to list here.  So let's examine the odds of what is likely going forward ....

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 00:02 | 781139 Fearless Rick
Fearless Rick's picture

Deflation is bad for bankers and Wall Street and big companies who have to maintain high profit margins for their shareholders.

Deflation is actually quite good for most people and for the world at-large. Imagine where we'd be if computers and related electronics did not deflate in price in the 1990s? As technology has shown us, robust product cycles engender lower production costs, ergo, deflation.

Deflation is the end-product of unwinding malinvestment. We aren't getting it because the Fed and the Govt. doesn't want to unwind all the TBTFs and their marvelous MBS.

Also, Bernanke's little factoid that unemployment is only 5% for college-educated people is a complete lie. He's likely not including the graduates form 2008, 09, 10 who are terminally out-of-work.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:42 | 780464 tickhound
tickhound's picture

"Apparently" the "problem" with our declining middle class is "a lack of a college education"... Thanks Ben, I knew it something simple.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:52 | 780515 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

Certainly! That's how come nobody with a BS or higher ever got laid off (nad probably never will). The Defense rests.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:14 | 780564 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Sounds like a case for government backed low interest rate student loans!!  Ignore the higher tuition costs... We can spread that out over 450 easy payments of....

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:03 | 780779 MarketTruth
MarketTruth's picture

REMEMBER: The Fed wants everyone on crack cocaine, i mean credit. School education loans, small business loans, loans for no other reason than getting others into debt... Re-read Ben Shalom Bukkake's comments and it becomes painfully apparent all he cares about is getting others addicted to crack cocaine (debt).

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:45 | 780730 SRV - ES339
SRV - ES339's picture

At least he didn't say "Blacks and Hispanics," but you know he was thinking it... for a second there I thought "The Bernank!" was having an "Al Campanis" moment!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:41 | 780465 StockInsanity
StockInsanity's picture

Sounds like Bernanke finally is ready to say that we are heading for least one truth out of that whole interview

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:42 | 780469 Catullus
Catullus's picture

"One myth that’s out there is that what we’re doing is printing money. We’re not printing money. The amount of currency in circulation is not changing. The money supply is not changing in any significant way."


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:05 | 780587 rubearish10
rubearish10's picture

I think the Ben Bernank thinks that the FED is not printing 'cause banks aren't lending which would circulate cash into the "system". The problem with is that the "reserves" are used to buy stocks and bonds because it's "less risky" meh. Should the banks ever lend, stocks will be sold and reserves would be drained as the FED raises rates. If the FED does not do this (raise rates), we'll hyper inflate, stock will still crash and your food cost will drive much higher than what you're seeing now.

It's all amatter of time for the charade to fail.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:12 | 780610 Catullus
Catullus's picture

If the banks take the money from the Fed and purchase stocks and bonds, they're increasing M3. 

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780472 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

They should have asked him how much physical gold he owns personally, and what a Central Bankster packs in his bug-out bag. Now, that would have been an interview.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:56 | 780539 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:58 | 780552 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

For real, Dagny!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:01 | 780569 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Bug out bag +100000000 ;)

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:03 | 780579 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

The bernank probably has a bug-out GulfStream 5 with a golden potty aboard, but it would be fun to hear his answer.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780473 Mark Medinnus
Mark Medinnus's picture

Kill the wabbit!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780474 mopickens
mopickens's picture

Ben can try and hide behind that beard all he wants - I can still see how terrified

he is - why is he terrified ?  Well, where should we begin ?


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:00 | 780563 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

Yes, watch the right, upper curls into a sneer from time to time...He's channeling his inner Johnny Rotten (forgive me Johnny!).

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780476 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

"We want them to take risks, but not excessive risks. we want to go for a happy medium."

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!! *wipes tear from eye*

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:43 | 780477 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

housing cant get much weaker.....i think that was my favorite one....LOL

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:12 | 780804 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

... Mine too. The Bernanke lies.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:18 | 780840 swanpoint
swanpoint's picture

it can roll over and die. can't get weaker? just like 'housing prices can't go down'.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:47 | 780481 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

What I didn't like most about this article was that he admitted he was not omniscient but he was 100% certain that he is in control.

It also seems to me that the FED is unwilling, at least publicly, to admit or even acknowledge any sort of responsiblity for the mess we are in. The closest thing we got to that was "gee wiz, if only we had more control of AIG" We regret that. It's like give me a fucking break.

I'm over it. I'm done here.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:05 | 780585 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

Smoke and mirrors. The Feds PR is that it operates, objectively, with the best interests of the economy and nation at heart, but this is a ruse as we all know. But how could they hold themselves out to the public otherwise...Vampires!

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:44 | 780927 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

The Fed is still pushing to be granted more authority to regulate without they themselves being regulated.  No checks and balances allowed at this party.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:45 | 780485 MyKillK
MyKillK's picture

Let's remove maximizing employment from the Fed's mandate, ASAP.


It's the only leg the Fed has to stand on when it comes to inflationary practices of QE

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:45 | 780486 Joe Grannville
Joe Grannville's picture

Bernanke looked like he just robbed his mothers purse, he had just been caught and she had his fathers belt behind her back.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:47 | 780496 liberal sodomy
liberal sodomy's picture

Got Judefetzen?

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 02:43 | 781374 Art Vandelay
Art Vandelay's picture

Johnny One-Note, at it again.

You hate Jews.  We get it.  Move on, dude.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:47 | 780500 Xavier Snoweman
Xavier Snoweman's picture

What a tool.......and whore.

It's not like there is any personal legacy for him to save.  There's no way history could say anything know, at least Volcker got some credit for having some balls.

If I were Ben, I go into the vault and stuff a suitcase full of hundreds and then disappear forever.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:50 | 780507 David99
David99's picture

Just one month ago, G20 kicked out USA for QE2 and if mad Ben goes for QE3, QE4, USA will be kicked out of this planet

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:51 | 780509 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

By saying that unemployment is the problem, what he's doing is laying out plausible deniability for failure of Fed policies. He's saying that it's the responsibility of Congress and the White House to create jobs. He's also trying to justify more QE and loose money forever. 

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:52 | 780523 StockInsanity
StockInsanity's picture

Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me, but I could have swore he has at least one gold tooth or filling !!!  I also couldn't believe how nervous he acted in the interview. Scared of something for sure.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:55 | 780536 FatFingered
FatFingered's picture

How would you feel telling all of those whoppers to the entire world?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:26 | 780660 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

"I could have swore he has at least one gold tooth or filling !!!"

Still got one?  He's already sold his mother's and wife's to help COMEX deliver.


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:53 | 780527 FatFingered
FatFingered's picture

The Nankster must think Americans are complete idiots... 

I guess he's 97% right.?... 8{

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:32 | 780678 Arius
Arius's picture

did you mean 9.7 %?  was dat a typo from a fad fingere?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:23 | 780856 FatFingered
FatFingered's picture

Ha!  No.  I would venture to guess that about 97% of Americans are clueless.  Dat was nota typo form mi fad fingerw.  I supposted taht I can geter away wit it though....huh?

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:58 | 780553 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

"Long term, I have a lot of confidence in the United States. We have an excellent record in terms of innovation. We have great universities that are involved in technological change and progress. We have an entrepreneurial culture, much more than almost any other country."

Really? Really Ben?


Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:58 | 780554 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Ben's world: We won't get a double dip because....housing can't go any lower! :)


Not seeing the forest for the trees. 

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 20:59 | 780556 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

There are so many ridiculous comments here, I just don't know where to start.

So I quit.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:00 | 780561 docsdoc
docsdoc's picture

The man behind the curtain is revealed.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:00 | 780565 liberal sodomy
liberal sodomy's picture

Has the Fed ever had absolutely 0 palpable credibility before this?

This is quite the weimar inflection point.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:05 | 780589 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

Probably not since before and during it's creation by those wise enough to oppose it. You've mentioned the Wiemar Republic a few times. Been reading some history books and was quite surprised about the eleborate welfare state and culture of entitlement that existed there. Fascinating......

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:01 | 780570 Xavier Snoweman
Xavier Snoweman's picture

there were large portions of the financial system that were not adequately covered by the regulatory oversight. So, for example, AIG was not overseen by the Fed. … The insurance company that required the bailout, was not overseen by the Fed. It didn’t really have any real oversight at that time. Neither did Lehman Brothers the company that failed


Oh right, so the Fed needs more power......................makes sense.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 22:24 | 780858 swanpoint
swanpoint's picture

"large portions" like the 21 ('08) - 6 = 15 ('10) trillion in shadow banking. there's a reason funds like TIAA only allow 10% withdrawal per year at retirement. funds ain't there.

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:06 | 780590 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture


I always thought he looked nervous.


Like if Woody Allen were the Fed Chairman...

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:28 | 780667 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

"Like if Woody Allen were the Fed Chairman..."

Woody couldn't help telling the truth in spite of himself.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 00:36 | 781196 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

"Excuse me, can I just interject something here?  The US economy is as competitive globally as I am at professional basketball, ok?  My my my therapist is telling me that my ex-wife is is right and we're going to have to start thinking about separating our economy from the rest of the planet before we embarrass ourselves any more.  I'm very sensitive to that sort of thing."

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 03:50 | 781444 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Nicely done.

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 10:32 | 781790 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." -Woody Allen

Mon, 12/06/2010 - 06:42 | 781553 ViewfromUnderth...
ViewfromUndertheBridge's picture

"Down one road lies disaster, down the other utter catastrophe. Let us hope we have the wisdom to choose wisely." - Woody Allen

Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:06 | 780593 Selah
Selah's picture


How can such an utterly incompetent fool be allowed to control our nation's monetary policy???!!!

I know, it's rhetorical... the people of today have no say in how they are governed. So, why don't we just officially abolish this whole charade of a "Constitution"...



Sun, 12/05/2010 - 21:08 | 780597 putbuyer
putbuyer's picture

What a douche bag

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