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Jim DeMint's Q&A With Zimbabwe Ben

Tyler Durden's picture




 

With a whole lot of posturing in the Senate today, long-winded monologues, and propaganda, there was little actual coherent Q&A with the Chairman. Which is why the segment below with Senator DeMint (courtesy of Austrian Filter), is quite valuable, as the South Carolina Republican asks so many of the right questions which his colleagues seem to believe they know the answer to (hint: you don't). Bernanke's responses, of course, leave much to be desired, but at least he is on the record with his arrogant evasiveness.

 

 

 

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Thu, 12/03/2009 - 18:50 | 151555 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I'm going to pass this around, people need to see it.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 18:56 | 151561 VegasBD
VegasBD's picture

And Bunning's rape of him also...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVaDzDcwZGg

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:42 | 151687 Lonewar
Lonewar's picture

Lets see if I have my fact right on AIG.

AIG had paid the collateral calls on its outstanding CDS' that were caused by the reduction of value of the underlying CDO's. This caused the credit rating agencies to down-grade AIG from its AAA status which in turn caused more collateral calls that were based on AIG's credit rating. It was only after the credit rating agencies downgraded AIG that the Fed had to step in and offer AIG a bail-out because of the new collateral calls.

Assuming the above facts are correct, I dont understand why the bail-out cost the American taxpayers more than $1.00.

The Federal Reserve, as the printing press of America should have a AAA credit rating, being based on the credit rating of the underlying entity of the United States of America. Therefore the Federal Reserve should have offered to BUY AIG's CDS contracts and the collateral already paid for $1.00. This then places those contracts back onto the balance sheet of an entity with a AAA credit rating which means the additional collateral needed based on the lowered credit rating of the issuing company is no longer needed, and thus $185 Billion of tax pay money is no longer at risk.

Am I reading this right?

Yes, the above is a serious question as finance and economics were not my major.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:14 | 151797 Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

Good point, the government could have just backstopped AIG (as they did) instead of paying out gambling tickets that really did not even hedge risks.  But they wanted to give their cronies billions of dollars instead.  It really is that simple.

Ironically, they were not consistent and did not allow pay outs on SRS and other similar shorts (similar to the debt CDS but on equities) when they decided to change accounting rules and support CRE equities.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:21 | 151934 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Oh no, it's not that simple. The fact is the Fed and treasury couldn't restore AIG's AAA rating (there woulld have been too much laughing out loud rolling on the floor at this transparent head fake) because..........even with the backing of the TARP and the FED, investors worldwide aren't really buying it. In other words, the rating agencies got the message right away: if these bailouts don't work, the USD/USG is insolvent, and so is the world's banking system. Nothing could be more obvious, especially now. AAA ratings of sovereign debt? That's a hope running on fumes.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:40 | 151825 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

That seems about right.

If the FED was going to backstop why did AIG lose its AAA?

And, as you say, if loosing the AAA caused more loss would it not have been better for the FED to say upfront that it intended bailing out Goldman & Dutch?

That is what after all they did.

The question is, did they know they were going to do it before the muppet taxpayers worked out they were getting robbed.

Answer. Yes.

They knew, but there was no bloody way they were going to tell the taxpayer.

Question.

Did they have to do it?

No.

Plain and simple. They didn’t.

Question.

Why did they do it?

Answer.

For someone else. Not you, and certainly not the muppet show your citizenry is.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:21 | 151875 Dr o love
Dr o love's picture

What irritates the shi* out of me is that Bunning, like Ron Paul, cannot utter one complete coherent sentence.  He stumbles all over himself reading a prepared speech.  How hard is that???  He speaks the truth but unintelligibly so.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:24 | 151940 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You're right about Bunning, but lately Paul has become much much better. Have a look at him again. He is presidential material.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:10 | 151790 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Bernanke claims the FED has kept inflation in check. The reason we are in our current predicament is due to the greatest inflation in home prices in the history of civilization.

Inflation is what has caused this great collapse you dumb ass.

The FED created the inflation. The market is trying to correct the inflation. The FED is using the tool of inflation to fight the markets attempt to correct the FED induced inflation.

Bernanke is clearly a dumb ass when he asserts the FED has kept inflation in check.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 02:59 | 152046 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

good point, and the fed does not monitor housing as an indication of inflation.

the last two statements he made were a lie.

he has not been open, and has been fighting it all the way

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 18:55 | 151558 VegasBD
VegasBD's picture

Love the last two seconds. "Chairman Bernanski...."

what effin senator is that who doesnt even know how to spell mugabee ben's last name? jesus

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:02 | 151575 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

that's Akaka from Hawaii. I couldn't even listen to him talk.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 18:56 | 151560 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture

Bloomberg runs on its crawl, Zimbabwe : 'We will take a long time to reintroduce currency' right before Demint starts askin' 'do you believe money is an instrument of government to be manipulated...

 

 

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 18:58 | 151567 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

6:04 - [the Fed is] "an agency of the government."

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:55 | 151711 deadhead
deadhead's picture

yes, what was that??

maybe it depends on what the definition of "is" is

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:21 | 151802 Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

Then why did they refuse a FOIA request with the response that they were not subject to the FOIA because they were a private entity?

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:30 | 151816 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

when you hire a law firm, to the extent that they are acting on your behalf, they're an agency of you.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:54 | 151838 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It’s called Mentalis Restrictio.

It’s a method of personal mind control established by the Roman Catholic Church.

It is your duty to tell the truth to God (or whatever master you serve) and not man.

Man is corrupt. Your master is not.

As long as your are not lying to your master it matters not if you lie to your fellow man.

The method is often described as “Jesuitical”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_mental_reservation

Druid

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:56 | 151970 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"A wide mental reservation is using equivocations and amphibologies to imply an untruth that is not actually stated. In the strict mental reservation, the speaker mentally adds some qualification to the words which he utters, and the words together with the mental qualification make a true assertion in accordance with fact."

:bernanke to a T

An anecdote often related, for instance by the canonist Martin de Azpilcueta to illustrate his doctrine of a mixed speech (oratoria mixta) combining verbal speech and gestual communication, concerns Francis of Assisi, who allegedly declared to people pursuing a thief that he had just seen, "He hasn't passed by here," at the same time sliding his finger in his sleeve

:watch timmy's hands

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:00 | 151571 Stevm30
Stevm30's picture

"I think that as evidenced by the fact that every major country in the world has a central bank, and uses monetary policy.  I think that's the system that we have determined is the most effective at this point."

I haven't determined that Ben.  Don't include me in that "we".

Lord Acton: "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks."

 

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:03 | 151578 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Ben was back on his heels at that point. I would've liked to have seen another 30 minutes of Demint grilling him...BB would've started crying.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:03 | 151576 koaj
koaj's picture

i will rout you out like the den of vipers that you are - andrew jackson

 

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:21 | 151602 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

Love the headline at the bottom of the screen: "Zimbabwe Progressing..."

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:34 | 151613 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Decent questions, but he didn't hit hard enough.

For how much longer is he going to prop up Fannie and Freddie?

What does he think is going to happen if/when he stops buying Fannie/Freddie MBS?

Will he actually stop in March like he promises?

What plans does he actually have to sell the MBS he has accumulated?

This is never going to stop, guaranteed when March rolls around Geithner will try to resurrect Fannie/Freddie in essentially their current form, and Bernanke will keep buying their MBS.

I will keep holding on the my gold, thank you very much.  The USD is toast.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:35 | 151951 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

If you don't shape up a little, Johnnie, I'm gonna cut off your candy supply of purchases of mortgage backed securities by March 2010, I mean your combat troop levels in AfganiPakistan by July 2011...........or something like that. So just remember I'M SERIOUS ABOUT THIS. And now, I need to go to get a pedicure before the state dinner tonight.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:44 | 151618 aaronvelasquez
aaronvelasquez's picture

I think Ben and Tim really don't know what to do.  They were trained to believe in systems and scenarios that aren't reflected in the current state of affairs.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:15 | 151732 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

When one is stuck in the confines of an outdated system, they are the last to know. We are truly in a new world--East dominating West--which is a shift this country has never endured. It's the end of a cycle and the new one will born in pain.

 

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:59 | 151973 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

so be it...asian dominatrixes are hot

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:44 | 151619 Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza's picture

What if...

What if, in 1980, the Fed's mandate had been changed from (A) balancing maximum employment with inflation to (B) maintaining a constant level of total credit outstanding (government, corporate, financial, household) within a safe band and not allowing total debt to grow to 365% of GDP?

What if, because of that policy, Americans had been incentivized to save more of their earnings?

What if, because of that policy, Americans were not misled to have consumed more than they had produced, for 30 years, due to unnaturally low interest rates?

What if, because of that policy, American jobs had not been increasingly off-shored for 30 years, as Americans would have been kept honest with regards to having to produce as much as they consume?

What if, as a consequence of this policy, we weren't faced with debt/GDP of 370% today?

What if Washington was not owned by Wall Street?

What if Bernanke told the truth?

What if pigs could fly?

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:51 | 151625 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

What if people realized that economies can't be 'managed' without destroying them?

What if the Congress disbanded the Federal Reserve System and gave the market back its gold standard?

etc.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:00 | 151637 Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza's picture

I'm a fan of libertarian ideology.  I've been reading Mises extensively.  The world would certainly be a better place if every nation could adopt such policies.  But I'm not convinced that libertarian policies are practical for a single nation state in the world we live, or if they would have been practical in 1980.

Thanks for your comment.  I'd enjoy an intelligent discussion about the limits and inevitable impacts of government.  

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:05 | 151644 lookma
lookma's picture

But I'm not convinced that libertarian policies are practical for a single nation state in the world we live, or if they would have been practical in 1980.

Perhaps, but it may be "more impratical" to have a system that is inherently doomed to collapse and is ripe for the looting on the way down.


Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:17 | 151664 Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza's picture

Indeed.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:37 | 151681 Glaucus
Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:47 | 151695 Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza's picture

I'm familiar with the theory.  Allow me to play devil's advocate.  I don't know where this will go, if anywhere.

What if we had gone on the gold standard in 1980...  We allow our markets to realize a natural interest rate.  Our government no longer controls our monetary policy.  All is well and good.

Now, if you are some high level war strategist in the former Soviet Union, how could you use this to your advantage?  

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:40 | 151953 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You fail even faster than you did under Reganomics. Bring that scenario on. I would really like to see that.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 01:27 | 151987 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

To what extent did we (the US) help to actually create the Soviet Union via consequences of our policies? Since we're playing the alternate history game, I would suggest 1980 is a suboptimal starting point for reinstating the gold standard.

Although it does illustrate the tar pit of consequence we've sunk into.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:29 | 151813 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"What if, in 1980, the Fed's mandate had been changed from (A) balancing maximum employment with inflation to (B) maintaining a constant level of total credit outstanding (government, corporate, financial, household) within a safe band and not allowing total debt to grow to 365% of GDP?"

As Denninger just said,

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1687-The-Last-Word-On-Bernan...

check out the actual wording of the mandate!

http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/section2a.htm

I don't know if Denninger and I are interpreting the language correctly, but it certainly seems that the "monetary and credit aggregates" language puts the stability of the debt-to-GDP ratio on exactly the same footing as the stability of the money-supply-to-GDP ratio: the Fed's first-order mandate is explicitly to achieve both, with no priority given to one over the other. And it's clearly the case that "maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates" are *second-order* objectives, which the Fed must only pursue through achieving its first-order objective. So, afaics, even if we assume, contrary to all reason, that the way - and the only way - for the US to achieve full employment, low price inflation and low interest rates is through a sustained credit bubble, then nevertheless the Fed is required by law to prevent a sustained credit bubble anyway.

The act doesn't give any specific percentage target for debt-to-GDP, but equally it doesn't give any specific percentage target for growth in the money supply either. (IMO specific targets for both would be good, and they should be backed with an obligation to make a report to Congress - like the Bank of England's inflation letters - whenever either target is missed.)

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 20:02 | 153352 Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza's picture

Thanks! 

I'm literally in awe.  So its either outright incompetence by both Greenspan and Bernanke, or something far more sinister.

To think, all the Fed would have had to have done to avoid the disaster we are facing, was to have followed its own mandate.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 19:51 | 151624 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

DeMint sounds like he would make a hell of a president.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:20 | 151665 AN0NYM0US
AN0NYM0US's picture

the best was the Jekyll Island comment from Senator Bunning

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:20 | 151666 slickrock
slickrock's picture

What a flippin idiot Zimbabwe Ben is.  If I ever had an annual review like that one I'd be out in a flash.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:39 | 151683 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I doubt that.  Could you really walk away from a job where you can literally make money out of thin air and give it to yourself and you're buddies?  Shit being Fed Chairman is my dream job! I can see it now...

"Hey Shameful, I bet Amzn would hit 250 and lost my shirt can I have a few billion in exchange for these worthless options?"

"Of course bro!  We hitting Vegas this weekend?  I got to give the economy some liquidity injections"

You couldn't get me out of that job without dragging me out the door kicking and screaming!

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:14 | 151730 slickrock
slickrock's picture

By being 'out' I meant that I'd be fired.  If the other senators can't see the horrific job he has done as measured by the goals that Z.B. set for himself then they should all be fired.  Well most of them should be anyway, but that is a different thread.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:54 | 151765 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Oh I agree he should be fired at the minimum.  By any yardstick Zimbabwe Ben is a complete failure.  I could make random babbling statements in my sleep and be a better market forecaster. He's clearly a crook and charlatan and not even a convincing one.

I'm quite sure most of the senators or their "advisers" are well aware with the horrible beating he is giving America.  The question is do they care?  After all they are going to get theirs. 

Hell I'm waiting for Uncle Ben to drop the line "Well you know a new Fed Chairman right now could cause instability in the dollar market..." or "Debating my reappointment makes me angry...you wouldn't like me when I'm angry!".  Openly engage in a little financial terrorism.  If it's good enough for Hank Paulson then it's good enough for Bernake.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:41 | 151827 Dburn
Dburn's picture

"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry"

HAHAHAHA

Surprised he didn't have some Queeg like little balls to crunch together in his right hand while he had his hand on a Stables like button called "I am Shiva..."

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:42 | 151685 Lexington Duffet
Lexington Duffet's picture

Demint's Lead in--all the republican talking points, refusing to take any responsibility.  Claims failures in system based on Fed.  Really?  How did the Fed force Mozillo to ramp up a phony loan program?  Or force Lehman, Bear Stearns and AIG to make really stupid bets?

This is the Republican blame the others and hide the truth strategy.  Like Ben or not, this mistelling of reality is bad for the country.

Look at Demint's question #1-- Federal reserve does not regulate.  Actually, that is the Senate\Congress's job.  Not the Feds and not Bernanke.

Demint knows that. 

As B points at the end, Fed raised the questions for year.  Regulators did not act.  1998, they repealed rules which would have limited the damage we've seen in the last 2 years.

Hate Ben and the other policy wogs for truthful reasons if at all.

 

From Wikipedia on Demint:

"DeMint was ranked by National Journal as the most conservative United States Senator in their March, 2007 conservative/liberal rankings,[3] and again in 2008.[4]

DeMint's main work has been opposing the increase of Federal government spending, both under the Bush and Obama Administrations. He was opposed to federal bailouts for banks and other corporations. For his stances on budgetary issues, DeMint has been strongly supported by the fiscally conservative political group Club for Growth.

He has been a consistent supporter of school sponsored prayer and has introduced legislation that would allow schools to display banners reading "God Bless America".[5]

DeMint favors banning all forms of abortion even in cases of rape and incest.[6]

DeMint endorsed Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

In the Senate, DeMint introduced an amendment aimed at weakening the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate accountability legislation; this amendment failed to become law.

On the issue of immigration, DeMint favors requiring all illegal immigrants currently in the United States to return to their home countries to apply for legal reinstatement. He is also against the Guest Worker program and is in favor of establishing English as the country's official language.

On February 6, 2008 Jim DeMint was joined by Saxby Chambliss, Tom Coburn, John Cornyn, James Inhofe, and David Vitter in the Senate to introduce the Semper Fi Act of 2008 which would strip federal funding from Berkeley, California in response to the Berkeley Marine Corps Recruiting Center controversy.[7] The bill would have stripped $2.1 million in earmarks for the city and the University of California, Berkeley and would have instead directed the funds to the Marine Corps Recruiting Fund. His actions were reprimanded by both the House and Senate leadership as divisive and unnecessary. His bill was defeated by a 74-25 vote.

In 2009, DeMint introduced an amendment to a multi-billion dollar economic stimulus bill that would have prohibited lawmakers from using any percentage of transportation funds on bicycle, walking, or wilderness trails. [8] Additionally, DeMint opposed the whole bill.

DeMint was one of two Senators, along with David Vitter, to vote against Hillary Clinton's confirmation to become the United States Secretary of State.

DeMint went to Honduras in 2009, and met with de facto president Roberto Micheletti, who was installed after the coup. The White House has explicitly banned meetings with the current leaders. The United States (along with every other country) officially views ousted president Manuel Zelaya as the legitimately elected president.[9]

In 2009, DeMint authored a book entitled Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism (Fidelis, Nashville, 2009)."

Opposing spending--I'm on board.  But I find it really weird that Demint is against bycycles.  That is bizarre.  They may not work everywhere but those who've seen Holland see how well they can work, at least in some places.  

    

   

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:46 | 151694 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

"Look at Demint's question #1-- Federal reserve does not regulate.  Actually, that is the Senate\Congress's job."

Really, Congress is supposed to act as a bank regulator?

That is news to me, or just about anyone else in the country.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:47 | 151696 Stevm30
Stevm30's picture

What's bizarre is you saying he's "against bycycles" when he's actually against federal funding of bicycles.  That's bizarre.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:21 | 151742 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Listen up Lex, this is not about party affiliation anymore here at ZH. We are a mixed bag of Dems, Repubs, Libs, Nothings, and even a socialist or two. DeMint asked excellent questions and Ben was stuck with one sentence answers.

And there is not a congressman or senator that you could not pull up lots of dirt on. They are all bought and sold--except maybe perhaps and hopefully, Ron Paul.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:24 | 151806 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Yawn. Ad hominem attacks are so boring.

You're against the spending but not against the things government spends the money on. That's very principled of you.

Reading zeyala election is a fascinating read into western interventionalism.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:03 | 151856 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Shame on you Lexington, lobbing that stink bomb and then running away and hiding. Just like most ideologues on both sides of the aisle...at least the ones I know.

I'm gonna mess with your world view. I am a Libertarian. I tend to support Republicans but next to Ron Paul I think Bernie Sanders is the most PRINCIPLED member of the old boy's club. I couldn't care less for people on either side of the aisle tied to bankrupt ideology.

And Hoss, they're called bicycles, not bycycles, and they may work in Holland but I'd like to see you ride one to work in Houston in July.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:46 | 151693 whacked
whacked's picture

rofl ... last seconds from Senator Cocker .........."Chairman Bernanski ... "... love your senators !!

 

then at the 2.23 minute mark .. bernanke "... we found some mistakes and we tried to improve them."   rofl .. so he fund mistakes and tried to make them worse ...

 

Look this is obviously a foregone conclusion. Read between the lines peoples, Bernanke has had separate discussions with the majority of the detractors in the Senate .. he anticipated all of the questions and already had pre-made answers. Not one of your senators has Q&A grilled the bloke ... I doubt Warner Bros could have done a better job is staging this whole situation ...

 

 

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:52 | 151705 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

We'll see how DeMint votes..methinks it's just theatre.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:02 | 151716 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

OK, have to eat my words on that last post.

DeMint Says He Will Oppose Bernanke Nomination
Senator pledges to hold nomination until the Senate votes on the Fed Audit
 
December 3, 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, announced this morning that he will oppose the nomination of Ben Bernanke to serve a second term as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

http://demint.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detai...

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:22 | 151747 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Hope your dinner of words was tasty...and thanks for redeeming yourself.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:30 | 151947 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

ahhh...I'm still not all that sure it isn't theatre but it does sound like he won't be voting for Benny. The senate is a club, very exclusive and very connected, I don't trust any of them.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:08 | 151724 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I think we now know. Hot off the presses from DeMint's office:

http://demint.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detai...

He's not only extremely likely to vote no, but he's going to do his darndest to hold up the whole nomination vote until they get a vote on S 604, the equivalent of HR 1207.

Jimmy, keep it up!

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 05:05 | 152078 Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

That is the key - it doesn't matter who they put in, it's a system, but the audit the fed bill must be pushed through before approving appointment.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:04 | 151719 Kayman
Kayman's picture

In Bloomberg, on the topic of how (or whether) to deal with asset bubbles, Helicopter Ben states" it is inherently difficult to know if asset prices are appropriate or correctly valued".

 Well, duh... when by edict, devoid of any connection to a free market, the cost of borrowing is reduced to zero, by the Fed, what the hell else is going to happen to (some or all) assets, when the annointed "systemic risk" friends of the Fed start playing games.

Maybe a simple test could be, "when your mind wanders into describing assets in terms of irrational exuberance then it might be time to do your job and take the punch bowl away.

By dumping private losses (from unchecked greed and unethical/criminal conduct) onto the overloaded American taxpayer, through their friends at the Treasury and the Fed, these slimy bastards have once again shown who controls the Fed and the political system.

The only thing that will save America this time is to have the voters kick out every Senator and Representative (Republican or Democrat) November next year.

 

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 21:34 | 151750 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Regarding your last sentence, I don't think that would do a thing unless we changed the system completely. We're a few years away from that because massive change only comes from devastation. You want change? How about kicking out the lobbyists of every ilk forever from interacting with any part of the government? Shoot the whole lot of them.  How about 50% + reserve requirements for banks? Even in 1929 the reserve requirements were 22% and they ran the banks anyway. How about a new model altogether with no Fed?

Collectively, with the brainpower we at ZH possess, we could come up with a new system that is far more efficacious and for and by the people. Forget this system, Kayman. It's broken.  

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:03 | 151781 deadhead
deadhead's picture

see Geo. Washington's article just posted.

 

highlight: "DeMint tweets: “I will oppose Bernanke and hold his nomination until we get a vote to audit the Fed.”

http://twitter.com/JimDeMint/statuses/6315878082

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:19 | 151800 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Tweets are sweet....Kix are for kids..Let's make some noise!

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:09 | 151787 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I think it important to mention that the feller behind Demint looks like Larry Bird..

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:10 | 151789 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture
Oh clue train sounding louder
Glide on the clue train
Come on now clue train
Yes, clue train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the clue train
Come on now clue train

Get your bags together,
go bring your good friends too
Cause it's getting nearer,
it soon will be with you
Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:16 | 151798 Andrei Vyshinsky
Andrei Vyshinsky's picture

More than anything, today’s confirmation hearings make clear one thing about Ben Bernanke: He missed his calling by become an economist. Bernanke would have been far more suitably employed as a mortician, wearing non-descript gray suits and passing on meaningless condolances to the bereaved family. One can almost hear him offering assurances sotto voce concerning his best efforts with the appearance of the deceased. “But, Mrs. Roland, Harry’s upper lip would have looked even more waxy if we hadn’t injected the more expensive embalming fluid.”

Hat’s off to the the questioning of Jim Bunning who missed nothing in his indictment of Bernanke. Perhaps they’ll trot him out to do the people’s Andrei Vyshinsky to Bernanke’s Bukharin when the show trials begin.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:44 | 151956 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Bernanke as mortician....you totally nailed it.He just oozes artifice and faux humanity.

 Epic post!

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 05:42 | 152086 Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

He is employed as a mortician, of the dollar, guaranteeing the funerals of savers.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:52 | 151836 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

6:00 DeMint: Is the Federal Reserve is an instrument of the government?

6:04 Bernanke: It is an agency of the government yes.

6:43 DeMint: Should the government or an agency established by the government have the power to distort the purchasing power of money?

6:50 Bernanke: The federal reserve is mandated to achieve price stability, the one thing you didn't mention in your list was inflation. Inflation has been low, and in that respect the purchasing power of the dollar has been, has been good. It's been stable.

7:08 DeMint: In a free market economy you would think the cost of capital would fluctuate with supply and demand. Yet a big part of the Federal Reserve is to fix those interest rates. Is that a function that has been employed properly or is that something that needs to be reconsidered?

7:27 Bernanke: Well we always need to improve our execution but I think that as evidenced by the fact that every major country in the world has a central bank and uses monetary policy. I think that is the system we have determined is the most effective at this point.

8:04 DeMint: The confidence in the Federal Reserve, the mistrust around this country has reached new heights, and we need to do something to restore the faith that the American people have in their monetary system, their financial system. That responsibility is at the Federal Reserve as well as at the Congress.

9:03 Bernanke: In terms of transparency I think the Congress should have access to all our financial information, financial operations and the like. We have made every effort to do that and what ever remains to be done we want to work with you to do that. our main concern is about the independence of Monetary Policy itself and not about ANY financial aspects. So we are very much committed to transparency on all financial aspects of the Federal Reserve.

Why are we celebrating this again? Neither one of these people have any of our interests in mind.

Isn't Zero Hedge actively involved in trying to remove faith in our monetary system? Isn't that the whole fucking point of all this information? Wtf would we want to restore faith in the ponzi?

And the frankness with which Bernanke answers that they don't care if we see ALL the financial information as long as they get to control monetary policy sent shivers down my spine. That is the whole show right there. As long as they maintain control over the money we are slaves to the debt machine.

I want to see the clip of Senator Gregg claiming that no nation in history or the world that has allowed it's politicians to control monetary policy has ever prospered. I want to move to his district and spend the next year educating the good people of New Hampshire about their own damn history. When Congress has controlled monetary policy directly through out our history we have prospered. It's only when the banksters are in control that we get crap like today.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:05 | 151857 Michael
Michael's picture

Funny how only the best Senators and Congressmen asking the tough questions get Youtube top rated videos stored on hard drives all over the world.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:08 | 151861 saladbarbeef
saladbarbeef's picture

Bernanke will resign to fall on the Obama's reform sword. Wait for the press conference where the teleprompter announces it "backs Bernanke 110%" before you take down the Bernanke CDOs.  

Let's annoint Blankfein the next Fed Chair.  Just drop any pretense of objectivity. Heck, no need to change the business cards. 

Remember, CONGRESS is the only entity authorized to establish the monetary system. (Art 1, Secs 8 & 10, of the Federal Constitution.) It's not SUPPOSED to be "independent" and out of control.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 01:39 | 152002 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Nor is it supposed to involve fiat money.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:08 | 151862 reading
reading's picture

Sounds like DeMint has been reading many of the posts here...

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:34 | 151896 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hey, we're not agin' bicycles.

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:51 | 151913 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Bernankakke

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 06:53 | 152104 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Wasn't it Bernanski in those last few seconds ?

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 07:59 | 152116 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Wasn't it Bernanski in those last few seconds ?

Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:54 | 151914 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Sancho,

You are correct about libertarians as I am sure you already know. There are not enough of them to stop this bulldozer of socialism trying to destroy our economy and country. Also as Karl Denninger for one has noted many times, we had many severe financial crises when we were on the Gold standard for our money. DeMint did an excellent job of bringing out the facts of Bernanke's poor performance. If Bernanke were in the private sector and had allowed this catastrophy to happen to his company, he would already have been fired. Only in government can someone who caused their own country to go bankrupt be considered by the majority ( Democrats) to have done a fine job. Probably most of you on this site have viewed the Youtube videos of Republicans trying to stop Fannie and Freddie back in 2006 and 2007. Remember how viciously they were attacked by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and discredited by the MSM. That should give you an idea of how hard it is going to be to stop the liberals from destroying our jobs and economy. The MSM will vilify anyone that stands up to them. Hmmm, kind of reminds me of Germany and Russia.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 01:44 | 152006 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I think the claim about financial crises while on the gold standard deserves more scrutiny. I'm not saying there weren't crises, but they need to be more closely examined and compared to the many deep and long crises we've had while on 'managed' fiat money.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 04:54 | 152076 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You're right. The gold standard is a red herring. the problem is caused by banking.

Say you have a gold standard, but allow banks to create money through fractional reserve lending at interest. That's not much of a gold standard, since the bankers are not going to dig up a bunch of gold before lending, and then dump most of it back down the mineshaft when the loan is paid or defaults.

The minute people can take out a bank loan and pay for groceries with a check, you've gone off the gold standard.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:22 | 151937 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hello Howard_Beale

I don't know if the conditions will evolve to provide the basis of another American Revolution, but...

Obama was bought and paid for last fall when Paulson enlisted him to help save Hank's friends ( oh, yeah, systemic risk, too big to fail, blah, blah, blah...)so lets forget about Change That Makes Me Want to Puke... This guy is no leader... like Ronny Reagan he is only good at reading his cue cards.

The U.S. Military would have to keep foreign cretins, like the coward Bin Laden, the armpit Allmad Dinijihad of Iran, and other irritating assholes at bay, while the American Middle Class takes over the streets.

When that happens, Foreign Banks holding money stolen American taxpayers (held in gold bars) will be given the option of freezing all these accounts to be returned to their rightful middle class owners, or ...

Trade with America will be two-way trade only, and any country manipulating their currency will have their containers quarantined, pending inspection of each and every item for lead paint, copyright infringement, choking hazards, etc...

All previously outsourced American jobs will be repatriated, and all executives that outsourced U.S. manufacturing in the past, will be outsourced to China.

I am only getting started.

You are right, but how do you light this fire ?????

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 01:59 | 152012 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Did anyone mention when Bernanke stated that the Fed has a printing press? Also, who instituted all the central banks in each country? Sounds like a cartel or a collusion of ?

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 14:28 | 152665 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Central banks are instituted by banks that get sick of the pesky bank runs and social unrest that always happen after a few decades of them lending too much money and fueling market excesses. They say "something needs to be done about this."

Unfortunately they do not say, "our business is based on bad law that allows us to run a technically insolvent business that effectively embezzles deposits. We should stop."

Instead they say, "we are obviously entitled to create new money that was not earned through work or wealth production and lend it at interest." Then they pitch a central bank scheme to their bribed politicians who are too stupid to understand, or too venal to care that the Central Bank is just an added tier to an existing pyramid scheme.

The Central Bank will step in during a crisis to lend money to banks at interest until those banks are able to resume creating money to lend at interest. Why go to such lengths? Collecting interest off money you never really had is quite lucrative!

There are other forms of banking that do not present these problems. If fractional reserve were stopped tomorrow, banking would not end, it would just become far less parasitic. The reason that fractional reserve is allowed is because there is so much more money in it for bankers and their friends.

Fri, 12/04/2009 - 02:09 | 152015 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

What a complete deceiving liar Bernanke is. How can he say with a straight face that the Federal Reserve is a Gov't agency! That just plays into the whole one-sided Gov't is always bad crap put out by market fundamentalists such as DeMint. Why can't people distinguish between representative government and corrupt/collusionary gov't!

Everybody on here should know that Federal reserve banks are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations in light of fact that direct supervision and control of each bank is exercised by board of directors. Federal reserve banks, though meant to be regulated, are locally controlled by their member banks, banks are listed neither as "wholly owned" government corporations nor as "mixed ownership" corporations; federal reserve banks receive NO APPROPRIATED FUNDS from Congress and the banks are empowered to sue and be sued in their own names. . . .

The Federal Reserve Bank can be considered a government "instrumentality" for all intents and purposes, but cannot be considered a "federal agency", because the term carries with it the assumption that the federal government has direct oversight over what the Fed does. Of course it does not,those who know about this subject know that the Fed is supposed to be "politically independent" although Bernanke and Greenspan are the epitome of political hacks as current and former "Fed" Chairmen.

The common claim that the Fed is accountable to the government, because it is required to report to Congress on its activities annually, is not accurate. The reports to Congress mean little unless what the Chairman reports can be verified by complete records. From its founding to this day, the Fed has never undergone a complete independent audit. Congress time after time has requested that the Fed voluntarily submit to a complete audit, and every time, it refuses. Bernanke is just continuing the tradition....

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