Ben Bernanke Just Told A Massive Lie About Milton Friedman

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Libertyblitzkrieg

Ben Bernanke Just Told A Massive Lie About Milton Friedman And I Can Prove It

Ben Bernanke is so desperate to find support regarding his steal from the poor and give to the 0.01% policies he is now telling blatant lies about famous, dead economists that can’t refute what he says.  In this case Milton Friedman.  In his Q&A today, The Bernank claimed:


Well I suppose it’s easy to make things up about people that can’t claim otherwise, but he made a big mistake this time.  Why?  Because Anna Schwartz, who co-wrote the famous work “A Monetary History of the United States” with Milton Friedman in 1963, actually came on the record on several occasions calling out The Bernank and saying there’s no way Friedman would agree.  The sad part about this is it seems Bernanke waited until Schwartz died to really start spewing the lies.  This guy is not only dangerous he is despicable and increasingly desperate…

Don’t take it from me though, back in October 2008 Anna Schwartz had this to say in the Wall Street Journal:

Ms. Schwartz thinks that our central bankers and our Treasury Department are getting it wrong again.

This is not due to a lack of money available to lend, Ms. Schwartz says, but to a lack of faith in the ability of borrowers to repay their debts. “The Fed,” she argues, “has gone about as if the problem is a shortage of liquidity. That is not the basic problem. The basic problem for the markets is that [uncertainty] that the balance sheets of financial firms are credible.”

Rather, “firms that made wrong decisions should fail,” she says bluntly. “You shouldn’t rescue them. And once that’s established as a principle, I think the market recognizes that it makes sense. Everything works much better when wrong decisions are punished and good decisions make you rich.” The trouble is, “that’s not the way the world has been going in recent years.”

In 2002, Mr. Bernanke, then a Federal Reserve Board governor, said in a speech in honor of Mr. Friedman’s 90th birthday, “I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

“This was [his] claim to be worthy of running the Fed,” she says. He was “familiar with history. He knew what had been done.” But perhaps this is actually Mr. Bernanke’s biggest problem. Today’s crisis isn’t a replay of the problem in the 1930s, but our central bankers have responded by using the tools they should have used then. They are fighting the last war. The result, she argues, has been failure. “I don’t see that they’ve achieved what they should have been trying to achieve. So my verdict on this present Fed leadership is that they have not really done their job.”

Full WSJ article here.

Not enough proof for you?  Well in tribute to Anna Schwartz after she passed in June of this year, Forbes wrote:

Greenspan’s successor, Ben Bernanke, has followed the same path in confronting the current economic crisis, Schwartz charges. Instead of the steady course that the monetarists recommend, the Fed and the Treasury “try to break news on a daily basis and they look for immediate gratification,” she says. “Bernanke is looking for sensations, with new developments every day.”

Yet isn’t Bernanke a disciple of Friedman and Schwartz? He publicly refers to them as mentors, and, thanks to their scientific breakthrough, he has famously declared that “the Great Depression will not happen again.” Bernanke is right about the past, Schwartz says, “but he is fighting the wrong war today; the present crisis has nothing to do with a lack of liquidity.”

Full Forbes article here.

Ben Bernanke, I didn’t think it was possible, but you have hit a new low.  History will not be kind to you.

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nope-1004's picture

I knew Benocide was a pathological asshat when he stated in 2011:

"Current concerns and fears of inflation are largely overstated.  Increases in food prices in developing nations can be largely attributed to the citizens of those nations seeking more sophisticated diets."

Benocide, the shill.



White collar crook.


mktsrmanipulated's picture

hes the same guy that said "subprime is contained"

nope-1004's picture

Yes, I would expect most Fed cronies to say something like that to keep the masses numb and avoid rocking the markets.   But, to claim that he knows the diets of those in other nations struggling with rising food prices, is proof of a deep psychopathy.

He's a nut, and as this goes on, his lies are getting more and more child-like.

IMO, he fits each of the items from # 1-10 in this psychopathy test.


Nothing To See Here's picture

Glad that ZH has called the Bernank's lies here, but it should not be lost that the Great Depression was misdiagnosed by Friedman. Milton Friedman's suggestion that the Fed should have pumped more back then has given all the tools the money lunatics needed to pretend that their state intervention theories were backed by any intellectual credibility.

Friedman was a great freedom thinker, but a poor money economist.

Surly Bear's picture




AldousHuxley's picture

The classic bring up the dead guy defense


How can you form a rebuttal against the dead guy?

Mentaliusanything's picture

So the World's largest printer person says I can eat concrete and shingles and pay my medicals with kitchen tiles.

Judassssss priest the mans got absoulutely NO IDEA

His lips keep moving but there is no connection to the 2 brain cells he commands ( one of which has been hypothicated).

Fuck it your done for

economics9698's picture

I think Freidman wrote his “Monetary History” to get where he wanted to get.  If he had a do over he might change, but we can see his contemporary, Rothbard, languish for decades in obscurity while Freidman went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1976.

That Nobel Prize propelled Freidman to where he wanted to be, in the spotlight.  When he was in the spotlight he did a lot of free market promotion on Donahue, Free to Choose, and other media outlets.  In the statist 70’s and 80’s the ONLY vice of freedom and liberty was Freidman’s.  He woke me up as a young man to the concept government does not know what is best.

It takes the edge off his monumental blunder in “Monetary History” but it is still a blunder, and Bernanke’s playbook.

What Bernanke is doing is evil, killing the economy, printing, buying assets cheap, concentrating wealth into the hands of the 0.01%, and preparing the USA for dictatorship.  If Freidman were alive he would fight this bull shit with every fiber of his being.  Freidman, most likely, would condemn in the severest terms what Bernanke is doing.

solgundy's picture

the Noble Prize is worthless POS....Barack Hussain Obama received one

AldousHuxley's picture

I wouldn't say noble is worthless in fields of science....


but to say nobel prize winners are authority in all manners outside their realm of expertise is wrong.


I wouldn't trust a nobel winner to fix my car versus experienced mechanic.

MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

Bernanke is ensuring that history won't blame him for a tight liquidity market.

Just as Greenspan doesn't accept blame for the housing bubble, neither will Bernanke accept blame for the hyperinflation that's to come.  

His ego wouldn't allow for that.


NewWorldOrange's picture

"His ego wouldn't allow for that."

A fragile ego at that. David Stockman issued a verbal full frontal assault on The Bernank a few days ago in his presentation to the Mises Institute in which he said this Financial WMD slinger will destroy the world. Stockman has often said that even Friedman would condemn Bernanke's actions. So it struck me that Bernanke's comment today with regard to Friedman was a sort of jab at Stockman...that is, his ego was bruised and he was feeling vindictive. It's as if Bernanke was thinking, "Oh, okay, you want to call me a dangerous monster by speaking truth...well, I can hit back with Big Lies." That's about all he's good at after all.

eatthebanksters's picture

Bernanke looks at his choices and projects their outcomes.  He is less concerned by the 'adjustments' that will be required by the middle and lower classes as inflation reduces their living standards than he is by the by the adjustments to our entire society that would result from hitting the 'reset' button.  The former will eat away at society like a slow cancer...we have already seen its affects in a two tiered legal system and in our wealth distribution (I have no problem with rich people but I do have a problem with corrupt people, even rich ones).  The latter would most likely result in rioting, lots of undesireable death and destruction, and massive wipeout of wealth (including the super wealthy) and in the end a new society emerging from the ashes (hopefully wiser). The question is; what would emerge?  A smarter and better system, or a system like Russia?  Would the playing field be level and would everyone start from the same place, or would there be advantages to some that would be exploited?  To be sure, human nature will never allow a level playing field or one starting point for all.  People who support Bernanke support the doom of the days of opportunity for all, especially for the little guy.  People who are against him support destruction and anarchy most likely followed by dictatorial oppression.  You can bitch at me for telling the truth, but in either event the midde and lower classes are fucked.  Kyle Bass put it best when he said that if we manage our restructuring it will be painful, if we allow an involuntary restructuring it will be VERY painful.  Think carefully about your choices, they may become reality.

MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

News Flash; Hyperinflation will lead to a reset.

Pladizow's picture

"The last duty of a central banker is to tell the public the truth" - Alan Binder Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman, Nightly Business Report 1994

lunaticfringe's picture

Luke, the bullshit is strong with this one.

LMAOLORI's picture



Here's another good one how he can say this with a straight face or without the room bursting out in laughter is beyond me...

Bernanke: Stimulus helps savers, too

Blankenstein's picture





Pretty unlikely that house prices will decline on a nation wide basis .....

Confident that bank regulators will make sure underwriting is done right ...

Not going to affect the national economy ..........


Has he gotten anything right??

IrritableBowels's picture

replace sophisticated with synthetic.

Grinder74's picture

Sounds like you're trying to slander a prophet.  I shall now burn down your embassy.

km4's picture

Microsoft today is valued at half what it was 10 years ago.


MSFT needs a bailout like TBTF the Ben Bernank

centerline's picture

And, on the plus side, we can actually eat kittens.  Not sure if you serve white wine or red with kittens though.  Hmmm...

knukles's picture

sparkling rose (as per the new whitehoose food pyramid chart)

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

In the bubble that is the bernank, there are no lies as long as he's the one spewing them.

I couldn't watch after 5 min, the ass-kissing was just too much.

MiltonFriedmansNightmare's picture

I believe I'm on record for advocating abolishment of the Fed back in the 80's.

Oh, and one more thing; fuck your Ben.

mktsrmanipulated's picture


1. Bernanke has been repeatedly wrong on the economy.

February of 2006: Ben Bernanke, as President Bush's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, was responsible for drafting the Economic Report of the President which claimed the following: "The economy has shifted from recovery to sustained expansion … The U.S. economy continues to be well positioned for long-term growth." In this report, Bernanke projected the unemployment rate to be 5 percent from 2008 through 2011.

July 20, 2006: Bernanke referred to the economy as "robust" and "strong".

February 15, 2007: Bernanke said: "Overall economic prospects for households remain good. The labor market is expected to stay healthy. And real incomes should continue to rise. The business sector remains in excellent financial condition."

July 18, 2007: Bernanke said: "Employment should continue to expand … The global economy continues to be strong … financial markets have remained supportive of economic growth."

February 27, 2008: Bernanke said: "The nonfinancial business sector remains in good financial condition with strong profits, liquid balance sheets, and corporate leverage near historic lows … Projections for the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2008 have a central tendency of 5.2 percent to 5.3 percent, up from the level of about 4.75 percent projected last July for the same period. By 2010, our most recent projections show output growth picking up to rates close to or a little above its longer-term trend, and the unemployment rate edging lower. The improvement reflects … an anticipated moderation of the contraction in housing and the strains in financial and credit markets."

June 9, 2008: Bernanke said: “The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.”

May 5, 2009: In front of the Joint Economic Committee, Chairman Bernanke said: "Currently, we don’t think [the unemployment rate] will get to 10 percent." In November the unemployment rate hit 10.2 percent.

2. Bernanke has been repeatedly wrong on the housing market.

July 1, 2005: Bernanke, then President Bush's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers had the following exchange with

CNBC: CNBC INTERVIEWER: "Ben, there's been a lot of talk about a housing bubble, particularly, you know from all sorts of places. Can you give us your view as to whether or not there is a housing bubble out there?"

BERNANKE: "Well, unquestionably, housing prices are up quite a bit; I think it's important to note that fundamentals are also very strong. We've got a growing economy, jobs, incomes. We've got very low mortgage rates. We've got demographics supporting housing growth. We've got restricted supply in some places. So it's certainly understandable that prices would go up some. I don't know whether prices are exactly where they should be, but I think it's fair to say that much of what's happened is supported by the strength of the economy.

CNBC: Tell me, what is the worst-case scenario? We have so many economists coming on our air saying ‘Oh, this is a bubble, and it’s going to burst, and this is going to be a real issue for the economy.’ Some say it could even cause a recession at some point. What is the worst-case scenario if in fact we were to see prices come down substantially across the country?

BERNANKE: Well, I guess I don’t buy your premise. It’s a pretty unlikely possibility. We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.

February 15, 2006: Bernanke said: "The housing market has been very strong for the past few years … It seems to be the case, there are some straws in the wind, that housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise, but not at the pace that they had been rising. So we expect the housing market to cool, but not to change very sharply … The weakness in housing market activity and the slower appreciation of house prices do not seem to have spilled over to any significant extent to other sectors of the economy."

March 28, 2007: Bernanke said: “The impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained.”

May 17, 2007: Bernanke said: “We do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.”

February 27, 2008: Bernanke said: "By later this year, housing will stop being such a big drag directly on GDP … I am satisfied with the general approach that we’re currently taking."

3. Bernanke failed to warn us about the financial crisis until it was too late.

February 15, 2007: Bernanke said: "The Federal Reserve takes financial crisis management extremely seriously, and we have made a number of efforts to improve our monitoring of the financial markets to study and assess vulnerabilities, and to strengthen our own crisis management procedures and our business continuity plans."

February 28, 2008: Bernanke said: “Among the largest banks, the capital ratios remain good and I don’t expect any serious problems … among the large, internationally active banks that make up a very substantial part of our banking system.”

July 16, 2008: Bernanke said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are “adequately capitalized” and “in no danger of failing.” Since then, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received a $200 billion bailout and have been taken over by the federal government.

4. Bernanke supported the deregulation of derivatives.

November of 2005: Bernanke was questioned by then-Senate Banking Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.):

SARBANES: “Warren Buffett has warned us that derivatives are time bombs, both for the parties that deal in them and the economic system. The Financial Times has said so far, there has been no explosion, but the risks of this fast growing market remain real. How do you respond to these concerns?”

BERNANKE: I am more sanguine about derivatives than the position you have just suggested. I think, generally speaking, they are very valuable. They provide methods by which risks can be shared, sliced, and diced, and given to those most willing to bear them. They add, I believe, to the flexibility of the financial system in many different ways. With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly. The Federal Reserve’s responsibility is to make sure that the institutions it regulates have good systems and good procedures for ensuring that their derivatives portfolios are well managed and do not create excessive risk in their institutions.

February 27, 2008: Bernanke said: "If you have two investment banks doing an over-the-counter derivatives transaction, presumably they both are well-informed and they can inform that transaction without necessarily any government intervention."

July 10, 2008: Bernanke said: "Since September 2005, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been leading a major joint initiative by both the public and private sectors to improve arrangements for clearing and settling credit default swaps and other OTC derivatives … I don’t think the system is broken, but it does need some improvement in execution.

eatthebanksters's picture

What is clear is that as the financial world has imploded TPTB have lied about it all along the way. Anyone who beieved the government, the Fed or the NAR 4 years ago when they said a recovery in home sales was starting has lost their ass with NO opportunity to recover anything.  Relying on govenrment facts and figures has cost people trillions.  Why did TPTB lie?  Two reasons, the government says they wanted to keep the ecoomy from imploding further  and theTBTF banks used the goverment's fear to their own financial advantage and profited immensely while Main Street took it in the ass.  My takeaway?  Don't rely on any govenrmental agency for accurate info and do your homework before choosing your invesments.  So why do we need regulations and regulators when all they do is lie to us and cost us trillions of dollars?? BWAAAHHHAAHHHHAAAA!  

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Mike Krieger hearts Friedman lol....

Makes sense.

kito's picture

milton only approved of his chicago boys model.....the model where you install a dictator, claim free market (for multinationals) and then proceed with the raping and pillaging of vital commodities and assets, leaving the 99 percent of the populace too scared to speak, lest they disappear in the middle of the night........

centerline's picture

ZH mentioned on Yahoo Finance.  World must be coming to an end soon.  lol.

Zap Powerz's picture

Also mentioned at RealClearMarkets.

Straw Dog's picture

Also mentioned on Hussman funds weekly newsletter today.

Grinder74's picture

Also mentioned on




Abraxas's picture

Milton Friedman would support anything that takes money from the working class and give it to the super rich. He's another Nobel prize winner, you know. One for peace goes to the warlord and one for the economy goes to the neo-con

Abraxas's picture

It can be clearly seen that when it comes to brainwashing, Stalin and Goebels combined have not even come close to the West.

LULZBank's picture

OHhhh... so Milton Friedman, the Chicago Boy's fame, was a good guy now.

Hmmmm... okay.

Abraxas's picture

Not on your life. I can’t get over the fact that the majority of the people here can see through the current BS and manipulation, but can’t seem to be able to shake off what was served in the fifties. Miltonianism and anti-working class dogma was mixed with the milk for these babies…

Totentänzerlied's picture

Meanwhile in reality, Milton, while by no means a capitalist, was in fact more pro-working class than anyone you can name. He was no great champion of liberty in absolute terms, but relative to the 20th century's offering of intellectuals, well, there's a wide gap between him and modern Neo-Keynesians/Marxists/Neo-Liberals (no point distinguishing between such homogenized forms of statist apologetics). Of course Rothbard deconstructed Friedman and between them too there is an expansive gap.

Now then, perhaps you can "get over the fact" of your own foolish class dogma and (Young) Hegelian orthodoxy; it was conceived in error by a man who had this to say of the relation between state and individual, "All worth which the human being possesses -- all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State" (G.W.F Hegel, The Philosophy of History); " 'The Universal is to be found in the State', Hegel writes. 'The State is the Divine Idea as it exists on earth... We must therefore worship the State as the manifestation of the Divine on earth, and consider that, if it is difficult to comprehend Nature, it is infinitely harder to grasp the Essence of the State... The State is the march of God through the world... The state must be comprehended as an organism... To the complete State belongs, essentially, consciousness, and thought. The State knows what it wills... The State is real; and .. true reality is necessary. What is real is eternally necessary... The State .. exists for is own sake... The State is the actually existing, realized moral life.'" (Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies: Hegel and Marx).


PS: For those who wish to know more, and can muster a few brain cells for reading comprehension:

Abraxas's picture

"Milton ... was pro-working class..."

Wow! What had they put in with your milk when you were little?

kito's picture

friedman was pinochets main financial advisor, plugging all of his protege into pinochets circle of brutality......pinochets great minds from chicago were utimately responsible for massive corruption, massive unemployment (22%), a decline in real wages by 40%, doubling of poverty, massive debt-- which forced him into a bailout of chiles large financial institutions (where have we heard that recently?....anyone....anyone?????--too ironic)? what fucking miracle of chile does the hero friedman speak of???? friedman was a fucking shill for the same globalists in this country who are NOW : responsible for massive corruption, massive unemployment, decline in real wages, doubling of poverty, massive debt, and AND THE BAILOUT OF PRIVATE BANKS......

kennard's picture

Thanks to Pinochet, Chile now has the highest GDP per capita of any Latin American nation.

His military killed 338 people, a drop in the bucket compared to international Socialism.

Heyoka Bianco's picture

Who besides philosophy students who never graduate gives a rat fuck what Hegel has to say about anything? The only philosophy the venal dregs in power now have is expediency and preservation of their own positions. They  sure as fuck aren't quoting Hegel, in any context.

Besides, Kierkegaard already gave Hegel the big boot to the bollocksa century and a half ago.

DavidC's picture

I actually feel sorry for people like him and Krugman - they really cannot see what's in front of them.