Why Ben Bernanke Is Like A Monkey

Tyler Durden's picture

Excerpted from Seth Klarman's Baupost 2012 Letter to investors,

If economics were a hard science like chemistry, you’d mix a little of this with a bit of that and the concoction would lead to strong economic growth, full employment, rising home prices, buoyant financial markets, and low inflation every time. But economics is a soft science, and real life simply doesn’t work so predictably. Though economists might wish otherwise, economics is, at its core, behavioral.


Modern economies are too complex to be reliably modeled; their connections and correlations are loose and imprecise, the second- and third-order effects largely immeasurable, the fickle vagaries of individual and aggregate human behavior utterly unknowable. Put an economist in a powerful government job and provide levers that can be pulled to start the printing presses, set reserve requirements, fiddle with the Fed funds rate, expand the Fed’s balance sheet, and deliver indecipherable communiqués, and that economist will feel compelled to pull those levers.


He or she, like a monkey with a typewriter, might even give us Shakespeare (or Adam Smith) on occasion. But mostly that economist will spout gibberish, a mélange of untested and potentially counterproductive measures that unleash all manner of unintended consequences.


Were the meddling to actually remedy the targeted deficiency, it might well be at the cost of dangerous feedback loops and unexpected ripples growing beneath the surface into the incipient waves of tomorrow’s much larger problems.

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GNWT's picture

If every banker had a notion... Like Ben Bernank-i-a... Then every country'd be ZIPR-in'... Just like the USA...

vmromk's picture

A monkey ?

His criminality would make Al Capone blush.

Bernie Madoff keeps a poster of Bernanke in his jail cell.

aint no fortunate son's picture

The other way he's like a monkey is they both hurl their feces at anything that will stick

Big Slick's picture

Liebe mein affe-monkey!!

(Now is ze time on Sprockets ven vee dance)

Freddie's picture

"Molon Labe monkey"

Come take my monkey.


TerminalDebt's picture

He has the best beard monkey can buy

NotApplicable's picture

Unquantifiable, bitchez!

(Oh, and Fuck You, Keynes!)

AnonymousCitizen's picture

Time to spank the monkey.

I don't even know what that means.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Someone........Shock the Monkey..........please.

<Hmmmm.......now where do you suppose I should attach the electrodes.>

krispkritter's picture

I'm severely disheartened by all the anti-monkey sentiment in this post.  Especially when we all know it's Banananke's fault...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


So where do you think we should attach the electrodes? :)

Pegasus Muse's picture

"I just wanted to let you guys know GDP was down, not up ...."

Bennie and the Boyz:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRrMu7B1L2I

Bunga Bunga's picture

To the monkey's defense, law applies to humans only.

unrulian's picture

i've never seen a bald monkey



edit: ummm ..i...mean.....i've never seen a bald primate

randomdrift's picture

The Koran says that his kind are brothers of apes and pigs. --- I've seen a bald pig. 

XitSam's picture

I didn't know Ben had a brother!

randomdrift's picture


There is a marked resemblance, too.

GNWT's picture

wait let me guess...


all the time?



ebworthen's picture

Most monkeys would be smart enough to not reward banana hoarding.

Ham-bone's picture

Disagree - Ben's actions are not causing "unintended consequences"...the consequences of higher inflation and asset prices are fully intended...the ultimate hyperinflationary policies to destroy unpayable debts are also Fed policy...not unintended.

yogibear's picture

Which result in a Banana  Republic.

NotApplicable's picture

Fully intended, as the actions are inescapable without the regime collapsing even sooner.

XitSam's picture

I don't think they are unintended, they are, however, forseen as a natural result of Ben's actions, but regarded as irrelevant because they think they can save the economy before collapse. Inflation may hurt some people, but it is necessary. They have models that tell them so. 

They are wrong about this but will never admit it. Even in collapse, they will be saying, "Oh, if we had flipped that lever it would have been fine. Sorry your country was destroyed. We will do better next time. We promise."

centerline's picture

Exactly.  Unintended consequences are managed along the way, as long as possible.  The reality is that the Fed cannot stop the inevitable in 15 minutes.  What can be done in 15 minutes is to terminate the system (pull the plug per se).

101 years and counting's picture

a monkey is smarter than bernanke.  eventually, the monkey will stop doing what doesnt work. 

Water Is Wet's picture

It's working pretty nicely for him.  He has the power to debauch the currency and he gets to sit around all day thinking of justifications for printing more money.

Jake88's picture

Bernanke is just like a monkey. he will never stop spanking his monkey.

Iam Yue2's picture

Yes, and they will all follow each other on twitter, competing to see who can tweet some second hand information, slapping each other on the back, puffing chests, adopting superior air on account of their 2000 followers.

caimen garou's picture

what do you mean like a monkey, he is a little trained monkey that gets a peanut for every dollar printed!

ShrNfr's picture

let's not go there. bobbit comes to mind.

Jake88's picture

organ grinder is the guy who spanks his monkey

markar's picture

Why is Bernanke like a monkey?


Because he sits in his cage in the Marriner Eccles bldg. flinging feces at us on a regular basis.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

You are insulting the monkeys.

Contrary to Bernanke, the monkeys learn from their mistakes and do not keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

TWSceptic's picture

Unless those aren't mistakes but deliberate choices to enrich certain people...

Hi Ho Silver's picture

Ever seen the monkey and cocaine testing? The monkey will keep pressing the button long after the cocaine is withheld or until he dies of overdose if it's not.

dot_bust's picture

If you hate the Fed, spread the word about this:


In December of 2013, the Federal Reserve Charter will come to an end. The monetary enslavement created by Woodrow Wilson and the Central Bankers will come to a close. In order for the Federal Reserve to retain control over the United States money supply, this charter will have to be resigned by Congress.

Read more: