Getting “Ugly”, DC Style

Bruce Krasting's picture

After the Fed announced last week that it would extend its zero interest rate policy for another two years I flipped out. I thought the Fed’s actions were flat out wrong for a dozen reasons. I lead with this one (Link):

This action is indefensible on the economic merits. This move is not motivated by sound monetary policy. It’s motivated by politics. This is a payback to Obama. Shame on the Fed for mixing politics with money.

It’s all well and good when a low rent blogger like me throws stones at Bernanke and the Fed and accuses them of playing fast and lose by mixing monetary policy with politics.

It’s quite another matter when a serious presidential candidate says pretty much the same words that I used. The difference is that Governor Perry called Bernanke’s action “Treasonous”. That is a fair bit stronger then me saying "Shame on Ben".

When the Perry/Treason story first broke I just laughed. I thought Perry would have to back off. Not a chance. He has not backed down a bit. When asked by reporters today he said:

“I stand by what I said”

To me, this just got ugly, DC style.

I am a cynical son of a bitch. (I’m the first to admit that) There is a part of this story that is not being told.

Perry’s candidacy has been telegraphed in the press for weeks. Every DC insider had this on their radar. Including Bernanke. Including his cohorts. Two weeks ago they have a meeting. It goes like this:

BB: (commandingly)
I’ve called this meeting to give you my thoughts on which way we should move policy at the upcoming meeting. I expect you to conform to this view:

Cohort #1 (obediently)

Whatever you say!

Cohort#2 (excitedly)

Show me where to sign!

BB: (sternly)
While it is true that the economy has slowed of late it is the collective Fed forecast that growth will pick later in the year. There may be some moderation in energy prices in coming months, but the cost of rent will continue to push core CPI higher than our target.

Cohort#3 (sheepishly)
Yes! Yes! All that you say is true! We must balance our obligations to our dual mandate. You said that on TV Mr. Chairman! We must maintain policy as it is. We should not be more nor less accommodative at this time.

BB: (condescendingly)
As a policy matter you are correct. But we must play politics as well as run the global monetary system. I have a source who has given me a tip on what will come in the future. This information has forced me to change strategy. We must do something to shore up the stock market.

Cohort #4 (female voice)
Oh Gosh! That sounds scary! Is there some new economic crisis pending that we don’t know about?

BB: (exasperated)
I said it was political! It’s Rick Perry. That SOB from Texas. He’s running for President. I hear he is going to use the Fed, and me in particular, as his stalking horse into the White House.

Cohort #4 (fearfully)
Oh Dear! That sounds dreadful. How do you have this valuable information.

BB: (slyly)
Ha! I have a few friends in town. One of the guys in the banking lobby gave me the heads up. Perry’s campaign goons are out raising money. They are selling Perry as an upscale Ron Paul. He hates the Fed and that will be a plank in his campaign.

Cohort #1 (astonished)
Gee Wiz! This is a hell of a turn of events. What can we do? What can we do at the next meeting?

BB: (forcefully)
We can’t do another LSAP. That never worked. The only thing available to us is to extend the zero rate policy to a period past the next election. We have to take this bold step before Perry gets a national stage. We have to get infront of this guy. Out maneuver him.

Cohorts #3 (stupidly)
Wow! This is fun! Almost like Watergate! We get to do dirty tricks!

BB: (definatively)

Perry started it. We finish it.

We take this step now. Then we sit on our hands unless there is a true emergency. We can say we were politically neutral. Even if that is not the case. We will get infront of any of Perry’s public diatribes. We will take the high road publicly and be laughing all the way to the bank behind the scenes.

Cohort # 1 (nervously)
There’s only one problem Boss. Plosser, Fisher and Kocherlakota will never go along with a two-year extension of ZIRP! That would mean there would be three dissenters! We don't want that, do we?

BB: (Angrily)
Screw it! I don’t care what they say! I have the vote. I have you all in my pocket. Let them dissent. I have to do what I have to do. I want to deflect Perry. This will be my only chance. This will help stocks. That will keep Obama in office. And then I can keep my job as the head of the Department.

Cohorts #s 1-4 (in unison)
Well Done! Brilliant! Fine Leadership! Way to go Ben!
All kidding aside, the Perry Development has tied Bernanke’s hands. Those hands won’t come untied again unless there is a significant “emergency”. What we have today, we will have for the next 18-months. There will be no more from the Fed.

So much for the Bernanke Put. 


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M.B. Drapier's picture

Well, I think Fisher's speech today confirms your claim that things inside the Fed have descended into partisan jockeying over 2012. I don't think Fisher comes out of it any better than Bernanke or any other actor, though.

crzyhun's picture

Excellent article in the WSJ of late- when the Nixon took the USA off the AU standard the value of a $ was 1 today it is .18 cents!! This menegelliing of our economy falls again on all those dicks since then. Our collapse is tied to this- nothing less. Conspiracy theories aside, how this can be set right is the ?? of the hour.

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

As Im reading this, watching the news talk about how Rick Perry is calling for more transparency at the Fed.

marcusfenix's picture

rick perry is just another globalist parasite masquerading as a conservative, and like 99.9% of DC I take what he says as nothing more than vote pandering fake platitudes. all he said was the most obvious thing that would appeal to the mainstream neocon sheep and grab the largest headline, and while Bernanke should have been thrown in the hole years ago, perry is just another disingenuous politician and I wouldn't even waste the grain of salt on what he says. 2012 is shaping up to be the biggest bread and circus election ever...

even if the current TOTUS loses, it's just going to wind up as another case of "meet the new teleprompter...same as the old teleprompter" just with a different accent. 

ArgentDawn's picture

Is not Perry a Bilderberg lackey? Then this is all according to plan.

Mercury's picture

All kidding aside, the Perry Development has tied Bernanke’s hands. Those hands won’t come untied again unless there is a significant “emergency”. What we have today, we will have for the next 18-months. There will be no more from the Fed.

Well then, an "emergency" we shall have...

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, this is the other option.  The scary bit is that, given the current state of apathy in America, this will have to be one hell of an "emergency".  Given the pressure the pentagon is currently under to slash funding of all the industrial military complex, I think we all know where this is going.

Mercury's picture

It probably depends on what SHTF first.  At least when the market was tanking last week TD seemed to think that a 20% equity market correction would provide the sufficient justification/demand for more QE in one form or another.

BB might also use his position of authority and bully pulpit to endorse some ex-FED action that the Obama administration dreams up...

Careless Whisper's picture

Never underestimate a politician with nice hair and who sticks to the script.


whstlblwr's picture

Or fake hair. Perry role to take votes away from Tea Party, for Obama to win. Now Ron Paul gets support from many independent voters and if he also get progressives and social conservatives, he can beat Obama.

bbbilly1326's picture

Perry is the ultimate bigmouth boastful redneck, and will appeal to all American redneck types (u know who u r ;-) .  But his particular brand of Texas "ugly" will not play well to most Americans, who have the poast few decades been taught that it's not "nice" to threaten high officials.

Besides, he's also an "uber-Christian" fundy, another strike against him according to lots of Americans.  Once he starts talking more, he'll be revealed to be "all hat and no cattle" politically...............

LawsofPhysics's picture


I have enjoyed reading your trading thoughts and blog.  Two things;

First, all that a candidate like Rick Perry will do is insure that Obama gets re-elected.  The whole GOP machine is making a big mistake by ignoring Ron Paul's success and popularity.  At the very least, if the GOP wanted to turn people away from Ron Paul (who has remained committed to his positions for far longer than anyone else)  then they should be confronting him head on and paint a grim picture of what the economy would be like should his polices become reality.  Personally I like Ron Paul, he speaks the truth and the truth is that he really doesn't give a shit if people are starving in the streets.  So be it, at least we would have a free market and I could actually get back into the security sector.


Second, don't get emotional yourself, it is what it is.  Getting emotional makes you appear unprofessional.

Bruce Krasting's picture

The last thing I strive to be is a Professional. I'm semi pro. I like to get emotional.

whstlblwr's picture

Only grim reality is if Paul policies don't become reality. He doctor, LOL not care starving in street.

Second, don't be asshole yourself, it is what it is. Being asshole makes you appear like asshole.

LawsofPhysics's picture

So how are things in China asshole?

RichardIII's picture

Everybody thinks he/she can write satire. Unfortunately very few can. That's why satire is what closes on Broadway the night after it opens. 

Bruce Krasting's picture

No, really. Did you like it?

Okay you didn't. I write about Social Security and the bond market. Such boring shit. Every once in a while I try to do something different. Sorry if you didn't like it.

What a really really want to do is write skits for Conan. Was it really that bad?

Mr. Depressed

ToNYC's picture


So much time; so little Molière.

lieutenantjohnchard's picture

the bernanke put may be temporarily in handcuffs, although we'll never know since transparency is virtually nonexistent at the fed. the wine, women and song saga for the top 1/10th of 1% must and will go on. so the bernank will resume the game if it ever stopped with or without perry or ron paul in office. i believe that if the heat on the banking cabal gets too hot under a paul or perry administration the north may find it convenient to force (or let leave) southern and western states, which is the best outcome since the usa is too big to govern, and too diverse for one set of rules for everybody given our cultural differences re: gun rights, money, social issues. besides, why ought new yorkers have the right to tell texans how to govern themselves or live their lives, and vice-versa.

spanish inquisition's picture

Perry has an electable platform. Jobs, jobs, jobs. And he is going to create jobs just like he did it in Texas.

Step 1. Fire up the oil wells in every state. (Every state doesn't have a shitload of oil?)

Step 2. Every state needs to discover a shitload of oil...


dick cheneys ghost's picture

Even Newt suggested a Fed audit (during the last debate)..........the funniest thing is that karl rove slamed Perry over his comments..........I realize that there is no love lost between rove and perry, but come on, things are getting interesting.........

Tuffmug's picture

Perry is being smart politically. He's looked behind the curtain and realizes Wizard Ben has been crippled by the Tea Party debt ceiling blockade which cuts off the ammo ( debt expansion) Ben needed for QE3,QE4, etc.. Ben Bernanke wasn't being political with ZIRP, he was being desperate. Without QE, Ben can't expand the monetary base and pump up inflation and the markets! No debt expansion means ZIRP is now the best tool he has left to continue the financial repression and feed his economic parasite banker buddies.


Pegasus Muse's picture

Should Bernanke be Hanged?  The Constitution says yes.  The Bernank is a counterfeiter --- a money printer --- a destroyer of the US Dollar.

Gov. Perry was correct in calling the Federal Reserve’s money printing a crime.  He ought to have been more specific and by calling it counterfeiting rather than treason, although it amounts to the same thing.


James Grant Suggests Life In Prison for Bernanke in WSJ

Jim Grant also points out that The Bernank could, alternatively, be hanged under U.S. statute:

Ben S. Bernanke doesn't know how lucky he is. Tongue-lashings from Bernie Sanders, the populist senator from Vermont, are one thing. The hangman's noose is another. Section 19 of this country's founding monetary legislation, the Coinage Act of 1792, prescribed the death penalty for any official who fraudulently debased the people's money. Was the massive printing of dollar bills to lift Wall Street (and the rest of us, too) off the rocks last year a kind of fraud? If the U.S. Senate so determines, it may send Mr. Bernanke back home to Princeton. But not even Ron Paul, the Texas Republican sponsor of a bill to subject the Fed to periodic congressional audits, is calling for the Federal Reserve chairman's head. 

FEDbuster's picture

This is what Ron Paul has been saying for years, but the media ignores "Crazy Uncle Ron".  I think Perry's campaign may be piggybacking Ron Paul's success from attacking the FED as the root of all monetary problems.  If you hear the word "malinvestment" come out of Slick Rick's mouth, you will know this is true. Watch for more of these lame wannbes following Ron Paul's lead on fiscal issues.

Pegasus Muse's picture

An enlightened discussion here of a quality and truthfulness banned on American MSM.


Lew Rockwell: Death of the Dollar

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 – by Russia Today

40 years ago today former President Nixon was fighting inflation and overwhelming war costs and with that he ended the last remnants of the gold standard. At that time Nixon claimed he was defending the dollar but his critics said it was one of the most damaging decisions in modern economic history. Are we feeling the effects of this decision four decades later? Lew Rockwell, chairman of Ludwig von Mises Institute, tells RT who's to blame for the death of the dollar.

Lew commented, "Well there is a reason that Nixon is known as "Tricky Dick." …

"What this inaugurated was for the first time in the history of the world, money that was purely discretionary could be printed up by the central bank, in our case the Federal Reserve, just ad infinitum. That is exactly what has happened. That is what Richard Nixon intended. He wanted a lot of inflation to reelect himself. ... What he did was he brought about the death of the dollar. ... This is probably the most long-lasting terrible thing he did and we are all now suffering from it – the whole world is suffering from it.

"What we need is a free-market gold standard. … You cannot trust the politicians. A government gold standard is not the answer. … Ron Paul I think very correctly suggests as a baby-step toward a sound money system by allowing competing currencies. … I think there is no question that gold would out compete everything else as money – just as it has for thousands of years."


Moe Howard's picture

The debt ceiling was another vaudeville act that was much thunder and no lightining. WH "spokesmen" even said before the end of the "debate" that S&P would have to downgrade the USA because of all the smack they talked. It's public record, search for it. No suprises at all. The only suprise to TPTB is that the people aren't "rolling over", meaning about 70% still oppose the debt ceiling raise. Hence Rick Perry. Snake oil salesmen for the tribe.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

I just can't take ANY of these clowns seriously anymore.

It's like a stale, threadbare, cliche'd-out Vegas lounge-act - might have been somewhat entertaining when it first opened all those years ago in The Tropicana  - but now the star-quailty, orignal acts have long since left the stage.  

Today's trio - Barry, Rick & Mit - are all that remains: cheap-looking, stuffed-shirt parodies, mouthing meaningless platitudes... leaving one to cringe and - for an ever-so-fleeting moment - feel slightly sorry for. They don't realise the show has moved on.

The "girls" - Sweet Michelle, Sour Hillary and Saucy Sarah, - are equally as ludicrous - all big mouths and bad make-up,  full of passion & bluster, signifying nothing.  The hoods that run the joint - Bruiser Benny & Terrible Timmy - only allow them to parade around since they figure they might be able to, one last time, shake a sheckel or two outta the pockets of the beer-goggled, slobbering drunks at the dimly-lit bar with a flash-of-thigh or toothsome grin.

This charade is just too painfully embarrassing to go on, just too tawdry, too ridiculous - only thing left is to close the joint down for good... just like the old Tropicana. 

 May  The Lord have Mercy Upon Us.


Joshua Falken's picture

wake up America


The Fed is a privately owned entity whose interests are not the same as the nation and wider world.


You have to abolish the Fed and get a Central bank that is part of the government and works for the people.


It will be interesting to see which of the Fed owning foreign banks puts Obama on its payroll when he is out of office

Clowns on Acid's picture

Ok so...Ron Paul, Gov Perry, and James Grant call for Bernanke to be somehow punished for his irresponsible (at least) monetary / printing policies.

Who'll be next ? Indeed it probably is the biggest issue for the past 3 years, certainly one with the largest impact on the socio-economic health of the US in the coming decade.

No QE 3, cut Fed spending ...and let US asset markets take the pain? Citi, BOA, at a minimum would probably go bankrupt. I have no problem with that. I guess Ron Paul, Gov Perry, and James Grant don't have a problem with that either.

But a lot of other people do....thus Romney will sneak in for the Reps and probably beat Obama. If Ron Paul or Perry win the REP nomination, then Obama 's chances (or Hillary's) will be improved.

Either is $3000 by NOv 2012.

myne's picture

Why is everyone misspelling Parry?

It's PARRY - with an A. For IowAah. For America.



Mediocritas's picture

All kidding aside, the Perry Development has tied Bernanke’s hands. Those hands won’t come untied again unless there is a significant “emergency”. What we have today, we will have for the next 18-months. There will be no more from the Fed.

It's highly likely that we *do* see a significant "emergency". It's quite probable that Europe will fail to keep a lid on the banking and sovereign crisis they have to deal with. When they fail, there will be a run on Eurodollar reserves which will force the Fed to act (as it did last time with QE2).

There are two courses of action. The first that will be pursued is to make the most of the Fed->ECB swap line which was recently extended and does not define an upper limit (unlike the reverse which is capped). Both banks will likely create money out of thin air to facilitate this the justification being that the process is sterilized when the swap is unwound, never mind that the position can be rolled indefinitely and I'm sure the ECB will seek rate relief on the swap (and get it).

If that fails (for whatever reason), the most likely reason being that the ECB does not have sufficient resolution to provide eurodollar liquidity where needed rapidly enough (in response to, for example, cascading CDS triggers), then the Fed will have to repeat QE2, opening up asset swaps with European Primary Dealers. While fresh swap operations might fly under the radar (I am watching them), QE2 2.0 will not and the Fed will take some heat over it.

To support the political case, a significant crisis will have to be allowed to develop before the Fed can get away with it fully clean in the media. Given recent history, Bernanke won't really give a crap what people think and will act first, then make it legal / justify it later.

barliman's picture



   I agree with your overall surmise that the Fed was trying to establish a "neutral" position with their "ZIRP! Two More Years!" platform. It was interesting that President O'but..but had nothing to say publicly on the subject.

Absent a major distraction (Why is there never a good crisis when Obama needs one?), someone in the Democratic Party is going to announce they are running for President in 2012. My money is on Hillary. She can just edit her 3:00 AM phone call ad;

Phone rings twice. Woman in a power businees suit takes two steps tothe phone. "This is President Clinton. What's the situation?"




Moe Howard's picture

Yes, Cliton is positioning now for the "Savior of the Progressives" position for the election. I guess the real popularity of Obama is much worse than the polls are reporting or they wouldn't be warming up that hag in the background.

tip e. canoe's picture

Bruce, you obviously did not watch any WWF growing up.

best political science education an Americon child could ever have.

amanfromMars's picture

Perry is just a sad spoiler puppet being used to split the Ron Paul vote, which is what the corrupt system is really worried about ......

dolly madison's picture

That is my initial thought too.

jg's picture

I think Perry is just another iteration of Bush/Shrub.

Maybe Perry has an 'okay' from the higher ups (Bilderbergers) to go after The Fed.  Maybe the NWO types are ready to move from national central banks to the IMF running things.  Maybe they think that all they need is the IMF to run their soon-to-be-resurrected Bancor.

I think the NWO types will fail miserably with their Bancor.  But, they may be ready to 'sacrifice' The Fed, and gave their latest Texas lapdog, Perry, the thumbs up to do it.

More prescripted theater, for the folks not taken in with baseball and American Idol.

TruthInSunshine's picture

What Perry said absolutely pales in comparison to what the very intelligent, reserved and scholarly Jim Grant has said regarding Bernanke's potential fate -

James Grant Suggests Life In Prison for Bernanke in WSJ


Jim Grant also points out that The Bernank could, slternatively, be hsnged under U.S. statute:

Ben S. Bernanke doesn't know how lucky he is. Tongue-lashings from Bernie Sanders, the populist senator from Vermont, are one thing. The hangman's noose is another. Section 19 of this country's founding monetary legislation, the Coinage Act of 1792, prescribed the death penalty for any official who fraudulently debased the people's money. Was the massive printing of dollar bills to lift Wall Street (and the rest of us, too) off the rocks last year a kind of fraud? If the U.S. Senate so determines, it may send Mr. Bernanke back home to Princeton. But not even Ron Paul, the Texas Republican sponsor of a bill to subject the Fed to periodic congressional audits, is calling for the Federal Reserve chairman's head.

VegasBob's picture

I think Bernokio should be indicted for fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, grand theft, perjury and treason.  He should be tried, convicted and executed by hanging.  Who cares if it's the 21st century?  A criminal with Bernanke's record deserves to be hanged.

ToNYC's picture


Why not show some milk of human kindness? Promote the Bernank to work in an inner city bank for a 10 year term taking deposits, paying at 3% and loaning longer at 6%. Justice works in a republic.

Translational Lift's picture

He makes Bernie Madoff look like a piker!!

I_Rowboat's picture

You mean Rick "Pray-for-Rain" Perry?

Puh-lease.  It's gonna take more than lovin' some Jeebus and a sincere belief in Bronze Age magic to fix this pickle we find ourselves in. 


This guy's got attention right now simply cuz' we love watching a snake-handling, tongue speaking, religious freak work his clown-craft on a national scale.  And that's all there is to it.


RockyRacoon's picture

I do NOT trust anyone who would even want a "public office", anyone whose first words are, "I'm a Christian...", or anyone who is touted as coming from dirt poor beginnings.   They can only be up to no good.   There are good individual  people in those circumstances, but when you combine ALL the ingredients all hell will break loose.

gmj's picture

"My father shoveled snow in the coal mines of California."

Vaughn Meader impersonating Richard Nixon.

Mactheknife's picture

True that.  All I see is an ego the size of Texas.

Widowmaker's picture

All I see is George W Bush's 3rd term on fascist police state steroids.

You like the Nazi secret police you will love Rick Perry.

This guy is 100% big business fraud on the public dime, and the worst thing that could possibly happen to the US.

Elmer Fudd's picture

Oh yeah, BK, we should always believe what they say to get their asses elected and "hope" they actually follow through afterwards with some "change"


moonstears's picture

So Bennie's scared of Jeether and Some-mers? If not, and I suspect not, they'll keep Perry in line. They build burgers, Perry too, so I understand from the interwebs. QE3 WILL come. P.S. The only way to keep up with "bi-stag-flations" is tangible assets: maybe some metal and extra dry rice and beans in the cupboard. For you gun guys, they'll get those one day, President Perry WILL be onboard, but fret not 'cause the Gangstas, to trade for some rice, will have plenty o' weapons, it'll be bullets that're a bitch to source. JMOs

dumpster's picture

what did perry really say

dont  print money before the election.. .. give time for us who make clowns look wonderful and time to spill bull all over the place, 

after the election we can do the printing  ,, all is fair in politics and slime... spit  

Sp00ky's picture

The only thing Perry will do is cut out all of the middle men and send the money straight to Wall St. with his sig attached, with a note saying 'and with this free trillion, it would be nice if you could create a couple jobs in the good ole US of Me.  I'd 'preciate it, and you know who's your daddy!'