Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
Our April Fool's wish: someone in the inner circle of power would finally tell the truth.
In an unprecedented abandonment of his carefully scripted responses to Congressional questions, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke unleashed what appeared to be a heart-felt and spontaneous disavowal of the financial and political systems of the United States.
Asked a question about the wealth effect, Bernanke paused and said, "The wealth effect. Ah, right." He then smiled faintly and shook his head. "You want to know about the wealth effect? Well, I'll be candid with you. This whole thing is a kleptocracy--the financial system, the political system, it's one big kleptocracy. That's the real wealth effect."
Seeming to find his footing, Bernanke continued with a passion that startled the audience. "You know, I told myself to just repeat the party line for another year so I could step down quietly and let Yellen or another of the toadies take over, but I realized that I can no longer stomach the lies, the obfuscation and the plundering."
"Yes, I have a plum position lined up at Goldman Sachs after my retirement. You know, give a few speeches and pocket a couple of million dollars, but I am tired of the dirtiness of all this money."
Leaning into the microphone, Bernanke asked, "Aren't you tired of the dirtiness of all the money you take? Aren't you tired of the lies we're all living?"
"I am supposed to be an expert in economics. So I'll tell you how the system works in very simple terms. It's no different from the late Roman Empire, actually. The trick is to get close to the seat of Imperial power, which in our country is the Federal government. You bribe those on the make--there's always an abundance of them--to grant you special privileges, subsidies, contracts or a monopoly. You skim a great fortune off this proximity to political and financial power, and then you take this fortune and buy a rentier income--you know, thousands of rental homes, farmland, buildings in Manhattan, tax-free municipal bonds, and so on."
"This is how we ended up with cartels running everything: national defense, healthcare, higher education, the financial sector. You--the elected nobility--enable this vast skimming operation in the name of democracy and capitalism. But we all know those are facades. Democracy is a fraud at the national level, but we're all too cowardly to confess it."
Taking a sip of water, Bernanke said, "Let me tell you a little secret about all our policies based on Keynesian principles. Paul Krugman and I put on witch doctor masks and we dance around a campfire waving dead chickens and chanting nonsense. That's Keynesianism."
"It's hopelessly flawed, a disaster, for one simple reason: the Keynesians think all investment is productive, when the truth is most investment is unproductive and has to be written off. But that isn't allowed to happen any more, because those close to power would lose."
"As a result, everything we do and say here in Washington and in New York is a travesty of a mockery of a sham, an endless parade of lies, half-truths and spin. President Bush, in his own homespun way, spoke the truth when he said, 'This sucker's going down.' He meant the kleptocracy, the whole fraud we're living to enrich ourselves and keep power. I have had enough, ladies and gentleman, and this is my last public appearance as an employee of the Federal Reserve."
Fed officials explained the chairman's spontaneous comments as "the unfortunate result of a mix-up in the chairman's medication," triggering speculation that Mr. Bernanke had stopped taking Ibogaine. Sudden bursts of truth-telling are one side-effect of withdrawal, according to those familiar with the psychotropic medication.
According to sources within the Federal Reserve and Treasury, those supporting Janet Yellen as the new chair of the Fed are battling another faction who believe it would better serve the interests of the economy to install a high-frequency trading machine at the helm of the Fed. "There is a growing sense that it's time to cut out the middleman, so to speak, and just let the HFT computers openly trade the Fed's accounts," said one unnamed source.
Alas, April Fools. Sadly, no one in power has the courage to tell the truth.
Wait a minute--one former insider is willing to tell the truth--David Stockman: