The Fed's Racket Exposed

Tyler Durden's picture

A reader provides us with the following letter he received from Senator Mikulski in response to dissatisfaction expressed about Bernanke's reconfirmation. The response from the Senator demonstrates precisely the type of intellectual racket that the Fed is exposing gullible and incompetent senators to, in forcing them to pass law after law that is only in the Fed's, and thus Wall Street's interests, as the alternative would always be a "market nose dive." Enough with the pandering. If senators can not think and verify independently, they should be replaced immediately with people who are capable and qualified to make critical decisions about this country without Wall Street's influence.

Thank you for getting in touch with me about Ben Bernanke's nomination to chair the Federal Reserve.  It's great to hear from you.

Americans are angry and they are anxious.  In diners and at the dry cleaners, I'm hearing tremendous anxiety about the economy.  People are feeling like their middle class way is slipping away, and that brings a lot of anger, fear and frustration.

When Chairman Bernanke thought Wall Street was on the verge of a crisis, he acted dramatically.  He used new powers for new programs.  Well, the job market is in a crisis now.  But the Fed's response has been tame and tepid.  We need the same urgency from the Federal Reserve to jumpstart the job market that was given to Wall Street to jump start the financial markets.

I voted to confirm Mr. Bernanke because he is not a man of ideology.  When we needed him the most, his expertise and level-head probably helped prevent a catastrophe.  Bernanke didn't panic and he took his lessons from economic history, a subject which he has studied closer than anyone else.  No one understands the risks the economy faces better than he does.

I was advised that rejecting his nomination would cause markets to nose dive, which would hurt retirees and families saving for their future.  I am not enthusiastic in my support.  But I think Mr. Bernanke understands the job that he still has to do.

We need bold new approaches - and I'll fight for them.   I let Mr. Bernanke know that I am focused on three things to get our economy going again: creating jobs, getting more lending to the middle economy and small businesses, and helping people get out from under the threat of foreclosure.

Thanks again for getting in touch with me.  Knowing of your views was helpful to me.  Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you in the future.

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

And for the counterpoint, here is an example of a Senator who does not fall for the Fed's racket:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate hearing your thoughts about President Obama's decision to nominate Ben Bernanke for another four-year term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve (the Fed). I voted against approving Mr. Bernanke, who was nevertheless confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 70-30.

My opposition to Mr. Bernanke is based on a number of concerns about his actions during both the run up to the financial crisis and the crisis itself. Before the financial crisis hit in 2008, Mr. Bernanke failed to either diagnose the housing bubble or adequately protect consumers from many of the abusive financial products, especially credit cards and mortgage loans, which helped to contribute to that bubble. These mistakes helped to precipitate the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and while Mr. Bernanke has taken bold and creative steps to help stop the bleeding, I believe that his record prior to the crisis does not warrant him a second term as Chairman.

In the midst of the crisis, I am also concerned that the Fed has provided an unknown number of financial institutions with billions of dollars at almost zero interest without appropriate transparency or accountability, including to the insurance giant AIG. While the current economic crisis has certainly made increased action by the Fed understandable, it is inexplicable to me that the Fed has taken such unprecedented action without putting conditions on these loans that would require the funds to be used to make loans to small businesses, or would restrict the payment of unwarranted bonuses. In addition, the Fed has refused to inform Congress or the public the extent of these financial commitments. For this reason, I am a cosponsor of S. 604, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009. This legislation would require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve and submit those findings to Congress to determine what commitments the Fed has made in response to the financial crisis.

Finally, I am troubled that, in the wake of the financial crisis, Mr. Bernanke has argued against creating an independent consumer financial protection agency. It is painfully clear to me that the Fed's failure to protect consumers from abusive products in areas like credit cards and mortgage loans helped to fuel the spiral of debt that contributed to the economic downturn. Given the Fed's abysmal failure in this area, I find it remarkable that Mr. Bernanke wants to give the Fed more authority. This neglect for adequate consumer protections is unacceptable to me, and I am not convinced that Mr. Bernanke would behave any differently now than he did before the crisis.

While I have heard the concerns of many that the failure to confirm Mr. Bernanke would have damaged the financial markets and jeopardized our economy recovery, I do not believe that anyone, including Mr. Bernanke, is too big to be replaced. We should not hold our economy hostage to the Wall Street threat that total economic collapse is the sure result of not doing everything they want.

Thanks again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again about this or any other issue that may concern you.

Tom Harkin
United States Senator

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Great Depression Trader's picture

What a dumb fucking bitch

chumbawamba's picture

What a cunt and a whore.  Or, concatenated, a cuntwhore.

I am Chumbawamba.

cougar_w's picture

No actually "dumb" is worse. She failed to think when that was the only hope left for mankind.

She is just a limited woman too afraid to change anything. She will die along with the rest of us, in the end, and she'll be so swept up in the head-down petty fights to save a scrap for her kids that she'll completely forget how she failed when she could have saved us all.

It's just so sad.

economessed's picture

But you must ask yourself -- who is dumber (or less capable of thinking):  Barbara "The Walking Colon Polyp" Mikulski or the citizens of Maryland (yes, I'm looking at you, morons) who elected

cougar_w's picture

Since you asked:

Individuals can be dumb and make stupid mistakes. Whole populations cannot be. This a core tennant of democracy.

What populations can be is mislead. Under massive propaganda, an entire nation can be coerced into doing dumb, self-destructive things. The history of Europe is punctuated by huge acts of misdirection under monarchs and tyrants alike.

Mikulski is a fool. She is unworthy of her station. Her people however were mislead into thinking that what she represented was what they wanted.

They do not want her. She will get them killed. But they did not know that.

They will know it soon enough, or else the game really is lost.

i.knoknot's picture


that they act, according to the information they've been given = smart/rational

that they continue to blindly *trust* that information = ???

we're friggin' doomed...

Apostate's picture

It's unfair to rage at a population that has been subjected to generations of brain-washing through the public school system.

It's like getting angry at someone stuck in a Clockwork Orange style chair for the first 21 years of their life, watching a looping film of a fluttering American flag.

To boot, many of them are addicted to hard drugs pushed on them by the AMA, the state-supported drug companies, and the bizarre controls of the FDA.

They still have free will, and they're responsible for their lack of initiative in educating themselves... but it's just like getting angry at kids with Down's syndrome for being slow. 

cougar_w's picture

Nice try.

I get your point, but you labored it too hard. The population is composed of adults, not kids. And honestly I suspect the people with Down's Syndrome might make better decisions on average, being more feeling and less greedy. They know what it's like to be lost.

Nobody is raging against the population. We're discussing how they have been un-done. This is an important idea, and it should be discussed. Less TV, less talking-heads, more arguments, more reading of history and more values clarification are needed all around.

I yell at people because I don't want to lose them. That's all.

Apostate's picture

I understand.

And, knowing people with Down's Syndrome, they tend to at least trust their instincts.

"Educated" man tends to behave against his own interests reliably, and bring others down with him. And they believe that it's righteous.

It's my strong belief that the market is the most effective tool that we have to keep the Promethean fire burning.

I recently re-watched Children of Men.

That film, to me, is the best expression of the kind of chaos and cultural degeneration that we face. It's a matter of saving whatever we can while the world burns. 

Clinteastwood's picture

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer "Present" or "Not guilty." Theodore Roosevelt

tip e. canoe's picture

apostate, we'll all got our shit bro.   time for all of us to stop playing the victim.

Miles Kendig's picture

Cheers!  Get busy with life in community.  This is no time to try and get by on the easy cheesy.

Bull Meat's picture

I'd say that a group of people who are misled can "make stupid mistakes".  What's with this "core tennant" stuff anyway?  I get so friggin tired of people treating democracy like it's some kind of divine thing not to be challenged.

Do you ever consider that there could be something inherent about the operation of large-scale political democarcy that guarantees that the population is misled?  I don't know if I have the energy to pursue that debate or if people here would have the interest to follow it.  But that kind of question needs to be raised sometimes.

kurt_cagle's picture

Democracies allow for the greatest participation by the overall populace, which, ironically, means that most of the really egregious bad decisions tend to cancel out. In essence, most true democracies are random walks - over time, the decisions tend to balance out so that while few benefit completely, most benefit somewhat, while comparatively few receive the raw end of the stick.

This is why it is far rarer for democratic countries to commit mass genocides, though it does happen, than it is for totalitarian states to do so. Now, I think it can be safely argued that what has happened in the last half century has been a move towards the concentration of power in the hands of a much smaller cadre of elite. This manifests in the high degree of polarization in the country, but it also means that the "drunkards walk" effects of large scale democracies are replaced by the Group Think phenomenon endemic to many corporations, where there is a high degree of homogeneity in the decisions ... and the corresponding tendency towards the making of really bad decisions for the overall populace, at the expense of short term gain (and typically long term loss) for the "board".

That I think is the real danger that this country is facing now - we've replaced the democratic "market" with a combination of elite rule manipulating mobs. The drunkard's walk is taking him far from his lamppost.

thesapein's picture

All you really did there was say that individuals can be dumb and groups can do dumb things, clarifying that being and doing are not the same thing. So what?

Dr o love's picture

Individuals can be dumb and make stupid mistakes. Whole populations cannot be.

What about a population of Americans who voted for Bush II twice under the premise that "If you don't agree with (insert dumbass idea here and don't forget to say "Nucular" to ensure that educated folks know you are a dumbass), you are a unpatriotic and a terrorist."


American government brainwashes the populace much worse than the Kremlin ever did.

Tex Mex Hickspanic's picture

While I have no love for W., his successor has moved on from calling dissent (the formerly highest form of patriotism) unpatriotic and terrorists, to... racist. What an improvement.

mwmolloy's picture

You could also say "the American government brainwashes people more effectively than the Kremlin ever did".  I travelled a little behind the Iron Curtain just a few years before it fell apart.  From conversations with people, nobody believed the government at all, not the TV, not the radio, not the newspapers.  There were two worlds - the world as presented in the media vs. the real world, which people talked about amongst themselves, in the workplace, at dinner tables and in cafes.   

 We now know that Propaganda only works when the recipient doesn't realise that what he is consuming is propaganda.  If all of this info were coming from The State Department Of Truth, it would be rejected by the consumers.  But if it gets delivered through the networks, with its myriad of confusing acronyms, CNBC CNN CBS etc etc etc - and it looks as though there is a free market for news, then it gets swallowed.  Its the illusion of the free market for news that is the most important thing, consumers believe that if there was something going on, the free market would respond by telling us about it.  Its all about presentation.

The difference is the slickness of the American propaganda machine.  The US won the cold war because their people believed in the system more than the people behind the iron curtain believed in theirs.  When the people rose up in Berlin and the officers told the soldiers to shoot the people, the soldiers said "no" because they no longer believed in the system.  It was at that precise moment that the system failed.  What I worry about is what will happen in the USA if / when the people rise up against the system?  Will the soldiers do as they're told and fire on the people?  I believe they will.  Because they believe in the system.


MrPalladium's picture

"Individuals can be dumb and make stupid mistakes. Whole populations cannot be. This a core tennant of democracy."

The driving ideological force behind democracy is the belief in human equality, a belief that is contradicted every day by what we see right in front of our own eyes.

Lower the average IQ of the population and you get a "democracy" that much easier for a reasonably cohesive oligarchy to manipulate.

We are trending into the Latin American model, but with too many fractious contenders wanting to replace the cohesive oligarchy which now holds power. It is a prescription for conflict between Vilfredo Pareto's top one half of one percent and the next 20 percent that they must keep happy.

The targets with the most to lose are the relatively high IQ middle class, who are alternatively an irritant or a threat - in other words the kind of people who read and post on zero hedge. Democracy is the primary weapon in the war on you!


A Nanny Moose's picture

The Seven National Crimes:

  • I don’t think.
  • I don’t know.
  • I don’t care.
  • I am too busy.
  • I leave well enough alone.
  • I have no time to read and find out.
  • I am not interested.
Problem Is's picture

I Need an Official Ruling Chumbawamba:
Is it a dumb chore or a dumb whunt?

i.knoknot's picture

i vote 'whunt' - you could slip it into the MSM and they wouldn't catch it. but we'd know...

dark pools of soros's picture

its more sad than anything..  sure she would be better running your local grocery store but it is sad when someone naive but thinking they can help gets steamrolled by the FED's picture

End The Fed.

I gotta get drunk, I can't stay sober,
               G                     D
    there's a lot of good people in town,

    who'd like to hear me holler, see me spend my dollars,
           E                             A
    and I wouldn't think of lettin' 'em down.
    There's a lot of doctors that tell me,
              D                          A
    that I'd better start to slowin' it down.
                 D                          G
    But there's more old drunks than there are old doctors,
          D                 A            D
    so I guess we'd better have another round.

tony bonn's picture

fuck the people who junked your post....your summary of the slut is correct and apt....

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

oh my god, lol, first post too, hilarious

Cheeky Bastard's picture


Mikulski: " No, no; im not Danny DeVito...... but i try,"

i.knoknot's picture


let's just get it over-with already...

(where's that handle...)

Clinteastwood's picture

When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer "Present" or "Not guilty." Theodore Roosevelt

_Biggs_'s picture

Interesting timing on creation of the Fed. considering what a badass Teddy was.  Guess the powers that be at the time didn't like the anti-trust concept.

economessed's picture

Is it the camera angle, or is she using her belt as a bra too?

akak's picture

No, it's not just the camera angle.

And is it just me, or does "she" look suspiciously like John McCain with a wig and lipstick?

I mean, "she" even has the same little T-Rex arms raised in clenched-fist Neocon frustration:

"We need to bomb ....... SOMEBODY!"

ratava's picture

man im so glad all these old people will be dead soon

merehuman's picture

ratava i hope you have the opportunity to age well, in whatever state

The Alarmist's picture

This is not so much about her appearance, though that is hardly confidence inspiring, but about ability.  When you consider how much brainpower is actually among our leading 100 citizens, it can only make one shudder.  The republic is dead.


bigdumbnugly's picture

I never would've thought she'd have been able to pull it off wearing Urkel's hand-me-downs.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


I really didn't need to be reminded there was a Urkel on TV and my son watched it. I lived with Urkel imitations from my son for a few years. Probably why I didn't see the resemblance until you mentioned it. I was in denial.

bigdumbnugly's picture

Yeah, Urkel just looks a little smarter though.

Maybe that blank look on Barbara's face threw you.


btw, i enjoy your posts, CD

Bob's picture

Now that was damn funny, CD!  Horrible, I can imagine your pain, but the rugrat really gotcha there . . .


ReallySparky's picture

Cheeky, I am sooooo glad you are back on this board.  I missed your humor and intellect.

special K's picture

more like Mickey Rooney;no!

Ripped Chunk's picture

I had an outfit like that when I was an alter boy (short lived engagement)

WilliamC's picture

And here I thought that Kagan was hard on the eyes.

Maybe the two of them....ugh, it's too much to contemplate!