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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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Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:33 | 3199309 GNWT
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...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:35 | 3199310 GNWT
Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:37 | 3199321 vmromk
vmromk's picture

A monkey ?

His criminality would make Al Capone blush.

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:50 | 3199369 aint no fortuna...
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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:53 | 3199384 Big Slick
Big Slick's picture

Liebe mein affe-monkey!!

(Now is ze time on Sprockets ven vee dance)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:54 | 3199391 Freddie
Freddie's picture

"Molon Labe monkey"

Come take my monkey.


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:02 | 3199418 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

He has the best beard monkey can buy

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:19 | 3199431 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Unquantifiable, bitchez!

(Oh, and Fuck You, Keynes!)

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:20 | 3199467 AnonymousCitizen
AnonymousCitizen's picture

Time to spank the monkey.

I don't even know what that means.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:31 | 3199500 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

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

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:36 | 3199526 krispkritter
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...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:53 | 3199590 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:36 | 3200343 espirit
espirit's picture

He flings poo?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:59 | 3199629 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:20 | 3199713 Jake88
Jake88's picture

LOL. Bad monkey

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:50 | 3199371 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:52 | 3199378 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Go chemistry!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:29 | 3199495 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Fuck you too pal!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:35 | 3199809 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:58 | 3199619 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

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

Bennie and the Boyz:

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:43 | 3199844 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:52 | 3199589 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Spank the Monkey!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:35 | 3199314 unrulian
unrulian's picture

i've never seen a bald monkey



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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:51 | 3199579 randomdrift
randomdrift's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:27 | 3199768 XitSam
XitSam's picture

I didn't know Ben had a brother!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 16:47 | 3200161 randomdrift
randomdrift's picture


There is a marked resemblance, too.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:35 | 3199315 GNWT
GNWT's picture

wait let me guess...


all the time?



Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:36 | 3199318 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:37 | 3199322 Ham-bone
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.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:39 | 3199332 sdmjake
sdmjake's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:59 | 3199406 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Nice dumper.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:55 | 3199395 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Which result in a Banana  Republic.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:09 | 3199440 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:39 | 3199819 XitSam
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."

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:15 | 3199456 centerline
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).

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:36 | 3199323 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:40 | 3199341 Water Is Wet
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.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:25 | 3199753 Jake88
Jake88's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:38 | 3199330 Iam Yue2
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.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:41 | 3199333 caimen garou
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!

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:40 | 3199538 Apostate2
Apostate2's picture

Who's the organ grinder?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:01 | 3199632 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:26 | 3199761 Jake88
Jake88's picture

organ grinder is the guy who spanks his monkey

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:40 | 3199336 markar
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.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:45 | 3199337 Cult_of_Reason
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.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:10 | 3199684 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

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

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 23:12 | 3201238 Hi Ho Silver
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.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:46 | 3199361 1000yrdstare
1000yrdstare's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:48 | 3199365 dot_bust
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:

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:03 | 3199423 DavidC
DavidC's picture

I've been thinking about this as well over the last month or two, very little seems to have been said about it.


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:30 | 3199499 helping_friendl...
helping_friendly_book's picture


I don't see any provision in the federal Reserve Act of 1913 which outlines an end to their charter.

The article gave no basis in fact that the FRBS will expire.

Show me the money. Please provide a link substantiating your claim that the Federal Reserve Charter expires after 100 years.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:21 | 3199726 dot_bust
dot_bust's picture

It seems that you're correct. The article whose link I posted was incorrect. Sorry about that.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:49 | 3199368 1000yrdstare
1000yrdstare's picture

not ....gonna...happen....


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:54 | 3199387 yogibear
yogibear's picture

How appropriate, Bubble Bernanke, the Federal Reserve and a Banana Republic.

Monkeys like Bernanke like bananas. 

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:55 | 3199392 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

Huge fucking insult to monkeys.

Monkeys don't destroy the fucking wealth of an entire middle class civilization. He's a fucking financial rapist.

Fuck you Bernanke, you fucking pile of shit.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:04 | 3199426 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

Soup - thats my guy....

stuck the landing yet again.....................

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:56 | 3199399 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

The 5th Amendment states: " nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation"

So when Bernake destroys the value of our private property on behalf of the Federal Government, I contend that they are violating the U.S. Constitution.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:43 | 3199853 XitSam
XitSam's picture

With the US Congress and President as co-conspirators.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 13:57 | 3199401 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

An insult to monkeys.

Berspanke knows exactly what he is doing - stealing everything I have worked and saved for my entire life through currency debasement and ZIRP, and giving it to his asshole buddies on Wall Street.

He will get what is coming to him in the next life, not this one.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:03 | 3199420 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

"why is Bernanke like a monkey...."


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:13 | 3199447 de Cosmos
de Cosmos's picture

Our algorithm may not be perfect, but it's bigger, quicker and slicker than your algorithm.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:21 | 3199468 janus
janus's picture

did i ever tell you bitchez that janus once met seth klarman's son?  well, i'm a' tellin ya right now.  i believe i have mentioned my high regard for mr. klarman before; and i must confess that i got something of a kick from meeting his son.

to my way of thinking, a man is ultimately judged by his library and the people circling about the more intimate orbits of his life -- his wife, children, lieutenents...etc.  if you've ever read klarman, you know he has that rare dexterity with words and ideas; and so i'm left to assume he's done some serious reading (on matters not specifically (or even tangentially) related to finance or markets) and that his library is therefore well-stocked with good stuff.  what is more, his son is an upstanding and highly intelligent young man.  he seems to understand music in a profound and philosophical way.  never met seth's wife; so i can't speak to that.

anyway, i was taking the kid from one place to another...which is sorta what i do in a profound and philosophical way -- literally, too.  it was a nice cab ride.  we chatted about the Bible and whatnot.

i'll tell you bitchez this does feel oddly exilerating holding the credit card of a billionaire.  and it felt even better when they delivered the new jag i ordered with it.  i figure very few days go by in which a billionaire is not off buying a luxury automobile...he probably didn't bat an eyelash at it.  what's new jag among friends, anyway?

it was probably taking things too far when i bought that new mega-yacht; and having the thing retro-fit to accomdate a battery of patriot missles was where things got messy.  who knew billionaires were so pissy about such things?  you live and you learn.

i won't say anything more about our meeting; as i believe mr. klarman is a very private man. 

that's some good thinking and dandy writin, m. klarman -- you get a gold star.

it was twenty years ago today/

sgt. pepper taught the band to play/

they've been goin in and out of style/

but they're guarenteed to raise a smile/

so may i introduce to you/

the act you've known for all these years,


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:22 | 3199475 Zen Bernanke
Zen Bernanke's picture

Reality on one side, politics on the other, and bernanke's story book land right in the middle.   I have watched him speak on numerous occasions and imho, he truly believes what he's saying and what he's doing will lead to the betterment of the economy or he's a better actor than Daniel Day-Lewis. 

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:25 | 3199484 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

"Modern economies are too complex to be reliably modeled"

One may ask why that is the case and I would propose that the reason is that we are applying non-economic, non-optimal and non-free market inputs for social and personal goals. The system is corrupted. How can one model something that purports to be based on the free market but obviously is not. The  base assumption is wrong.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:42 | 3199539 randomdrift
randomdrift's picture

"Modern economies are too complex to be reliably modeled" ---  This is a property of large overly-interconnected systems. You'll find it under "chaos theory." These systems have no closed-form solutions. However, you can analyse and predict their behavior in a neighborhood using sensitivity analysis. That was what Greenspan did to set the rates. What he did was transparent, if, you knew that statistical method. Unfortunately, what Breneke is doing, isn't. 

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:21 | 3199711 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

But if the goal is global domination of a certain group of people or moving money from the lower classes to the upper classes (for example), the set of input are not random, are predictable, just not what one would expect if one's base assumption is that there is a free market at work.

One is not trying to model economics, but a social effect of certain inputs. Of course the result appears wrong and therefore too complex... but really they would not be if the base assumptions were correct.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 16:59 | 3200221 randomdrift
randomdrift's picture

I agree that their goal is domination. They have repeatedly stated that they want a totalitarian Fascist theocracy. However, both the inputs and system are economic and so long as the system remains too large and too interconnected, its behavior will continue to have no general solution but will be predictable locally using sensitivity analysis. From their comments it is clear that they continue to use that method, I just don't see how they're doing the testing. That is what is opaque to me.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:26 | 3200290 randomdrift
randomdrift's picture

Perhaps, I've been looking at the wrong output or measure of the system. They could be testing the socio-political response, instead of the economic response. ...  Hmmm.  That is exactly what the Hoover Administration did, as they were causing the Great Depression. They'd introduce an economic policy and, then, observe its impact on social trends. 

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:25 | 3199486 mudduck
Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:38 | 3199775 Jake88
Jake88's picture

"minkey" you said, "minkey" "how can an idiot be a policeman?" How can an idiot be the Fed Chairman?

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:32 | 3199502 janus
janus's picture


mrs. bernake is lovely, no?

but geithner's momma really stole the show!

chickie-chic-boom, indeed!  madame, you are too much!

wasn't that wonderful, folks?

de nada,


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:37 | 3199528 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Generally I use this feature to depict Obama. Since they share the same banana peel, let them redistribute the power of ownership.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 14:41 | 3199543 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

This monkey has 535 stooges working for him...

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:07 | 3199663 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

I'll take the monkey over the Bernank any day.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:25 | 3199678 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

"Modern economies are too complex to be reliably modeled; their connections and correlations are loose and imprecise"

I beg to differ. On the macro scale, it can be modeled much like an electric circuit. For electric circuit modeling, given a fixed energy source and just knowing how much load there is, you can predict exactly how much work is done. Now if you allow your energy source to slowly decrease, you can precisely predict that the amount of work performed by the circuit will also be decreasing.

The same concept applies to the economy. If our energy inputs start decreasing then less physical work will get done (and most work involves kinetic energy stages) . The majority of GDP contributions involve kinetic energy stages and some very important ones are almost exclusively characterized by kinetic energy stages. So therefore if our energy sources start dropping then less GDP can be expected.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 16:15 | 3199986 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Nice try, but over simplified. You are still quoting from a hard science perspective.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:29 | 3199787 Jake88
Jake88's picture

Bernanke is the organ grinder. Obama is the minkey.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 16:01 | 3199939 YouAreBliss
YouAreBliss's picture

More a trained pet monkey of the Banksters - they crank the organ and he dances!


He gets a peanut and they get to pocket the loot.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 16:16 | 3200002 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Monkeys just eat low hanging fruit, they don't eat away at the foundation of your house like termites.
Much more difficult to eradicate a termite problem than a monkey problem.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:10 | 3200633 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:10 | 3200634 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture


Thu, 01/31/2013 - 00:47 | 3201502 deebee
deebee's picture

an insult to monkeys. At least monkeys have redeeming features

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