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Ben Bernanke - $672K Mortgage Holder, Basketballer, Sebring Driver, Kindle Reader, WWII Expert

Tyler Durden's picture


Just in case the general population was getting accustomed to the image of a demonic creature from the depths of hell every time the name "Chairsatan" was invoked in impolite conversation, here comes Jon Hilsenrath via the WSJ's blog, to attempt to humanize the man who together with 9 other academics who have no real world experience, runs the world out of a private (and locked) conference room in the Marriner Eccles building. So lest someone expect pentagrams to accompany today's FOMC statement, coupled with Bernanke breathing fire and smelling of sulfur at the next Fed conference, here is WSJ's Jon to put a humanly halo around the printer operator himself...

From the WSJ Blog:

Ben Bernanke lives in a three-bedroom, 2,100-square-foot, attached town house near the Capitol. It has an appraised value of roughly $850,000, not far from the $839,000 he paid for it in 2004. A public record search shows he owes $672,000 on the home, after refinancing his mortgage twice.


One refinancing was in late 2009. The other was in late September, shortly after the Fed announced a new program, known as "Operation Twist," which aimed to drive down long-term interest rates.


Mr. Bernanke holds a 30-year mortgage. He was required to send proof of employment, including pay stubs, before the bank approved the loan, according to a person familiar with the matter.


After a decade in Washington, Mr. Bernanke doesn't seem to have been swept up by the nation's capital.


He occasionally shoots baskets in the Fed's dreary, underground gym. The closest he came to showing a wild side was when he was a professor at Princeton: He bought a Chrysler Sebring convertible, according to someone who knows him.


On most nights he's home with his wife, Anna, reading on his Kindle after dinner, say people who know him. In the past 18 months, he has told others, he has read 200 books on the Kindle.

As to what he is reading now...

Lately he's read about pre-World War II Germany, "In the Garden of the Beast," and a room-by-room guide to a 19th-century British home, Bill Bryson's "At Home."

Oddly convenient reading that one would say. We can only hope Benny and the Inkjets do not want to see if they have change history this time around by recreating the identical conditions.


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Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:51 | 1973711 agent default
agent default's picture

You left out moneyprinting champion.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:54 | 1973738 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

you forgot anti-christ

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:11 | 1973857 Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

Hilsenrath: Grand Scribe of the Bernanke Dynasty, and personal biographer of the Imperial Chairman himself.


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:28 | 1973993 Precious
Precious's picture

He refinanced twice because he had no fucking idea how interest rates are set by the banks. 

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:07 | 1974532 Clark Bent
Clark Bent's picture

That comment is the summit. 

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:58 | 1974761 derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

whats the spread and over/under on obama-bernanke game?

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:55 | 1973749 HedgeAccordingly
HedgeAccordingly's picture

CRUDE OIL. Hormuz closed -

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:15 | 1973862 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Good time to short to go short soon then. I'll capitulate when the bombs drop on Tehran.

On another note, I found it amusing that in Battlefield 3, the Americans invade Tehran.  Also two multiplayer maps takes place in an oil refinery.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:14 | 1973889 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

Hitler was nice to his dog. The bird man of Alcatraz was a manslaughter, but he treated his  birds all right.


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:52 | 1973718 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Goebbels would be jealous!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:53 | 1973721 qussl3
qussl3's picture

Are we are supposed to believe this tripe?

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:53 | 1973722 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

isn't that sweet.......

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:53 | 1973725 AngryGerman
AngryGerman's picture


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:54 | 1973735 midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

The bernank will be sucking dimon and blankfein eternally in hell as it is on earth.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:54 | 1973737 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

"pre-World War II Germany"????  He should check out "When Money Dies"... SPOILER ALERT!!!!  It'll happen again fairly soon.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:56 | 1973739 DormRoom
DormRoom's picture

why u hate on Bernanke.  He extended the collapse timeframe so smart people could get out of the markets somewhat whole, before it sinks.  If u no get out now, why blame him, when it sinks, and u drown.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 14:06 | 1974792 margaris
margaris's picture

never thought about it this way.

Bernanke the saviour of last resort?





Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:54 | 1973742 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

"Lately he's read about pre-World War II Germany"

Good to know and duly noted.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:55 | 1973744 Paul Thomason
Paul Thomason's picture

 'benny and the inkjets' 'chrysler sebring convertible' - both equally very funny.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:55 | 1973747 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

Wow...Is Mr. Bernanke studying for what comes next?

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:25 | 1973965 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

"how to prepare man" - it's a cook book. Now on Kindle.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:55 | 1973750 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

What's next, a BBQ pulled pork recipe?

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:55 | 1973751 g speed
g speed's picture

does this mean he is "one of us"?  It sounds a lot like Hitler in his little bunker with Ms Braun living the simple life---

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:56 | 1973756 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Underwater probably. No wonder be buys up MBS...

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 14:32 | 1974922 Matt
Matt's picture

$850K assesed value, $672K mortgage. As long as home values don't drop, he's fine.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:57 | 1973766 K_I_T_T_Y
K_I_T_T_Y's picture

Just read an old articlen in german on the , did not know that the Fed was privately owned!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:26 | 1973974 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

great start!
Might as well look at other sites such as
und interviews from Prof. Hans Bocker on youtube

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:20 | 1974290 K_I_T_T_Y
K_I_T_T_Y's picture

so the shareholders are the private banks... means only banks that theoretically they cannot fail.... just print the money you need!

Even more schocking that they let fail Lehman Brothers because they did not like the arrogance of the CEO....

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:02 | 1974508 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

actually printing money out of thin air, literally. Watch money as debt with german subtitles.


Lehman was compared to the Goldman Sachs gang a fun company with somewhat "nice" sharks. Lehman was the biggest competitor of GS. They could have easily been saved. This was not in the interest of the big ex- Goldman money junkies working in high government positions, Corzine, Tim Geithner, Robert Rubin, Henry Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein, etc.

Here some more corruption handled by the Exchange Stabilisation Fund (ESF)

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:58 | 1973774 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

It's his goddamn birthday you mean, mean bloggers!

Happy Birthday Mr. Chairman

Hope you get a nice ES quote stuffing lift from your staff and a secret Bahamanian island from the Squid

We'll get back to the pitchforks tomorrow

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:02 | 1974509 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

They should change his title from Chairman of the Fed, to Janitor. He's still mopping up from Greenspan.

Kids with guns, thats the Fed and we wonder why the economy has so many fatal wounds.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:58 | 1973780 Johnny Dangereaux
Johnny Dangereaux's picture

My favorite book from "pre-WWii" era is
"The Coming Democracy" by Hermann Fernau
E.F. Dutton 1917

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 10:59 | 1973790 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

In other words Bernanke is the perfect academic. 

He is not an evil or even a bad man. He is just running an academic experiment, with very real world consequences. Unfortunatley, being an academic, he has no clue how the transmission mechanism for his experiment works.

The problem isn't ben bernanke, the problem is a political process that allows bernanke the freedom to conduct his experiments unimpeded.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:23 | 1973955 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Truly the definition of "Ivory Tower Economics";

But that's how the job was set up- flawed deal from the start....

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:24 | 1973964 Precious
Precious's picture

I'd love to see what kind of worthless shit he's reading on the Kindle while America burns.  

Probably some 10th grade economic manga about Soros:

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:25 | 1973968 unununium
unununium's picture

In the spectrum of monetary academics, Bernanke is the extreme dovish case.

Which is why he was installed.  To serve his purpose, unknowingly, in the grand heist.


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:52 | 1974118 Potemkin Villag...
Potemkin Village Idiot's picture

The problem isn't ben bernanke, the problem is a political process that allows bernanke the freedom to conduct his experiments unimpeded.

You had me until there...

It's like saying, The PROBLEM with the Cleveland Browns isn't Colt McCoy... It's the fact that his coach Fritz Shurmer keeps starting him every Sunday...

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:09 | 1974537 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

It chaps my ass, being a lab rat in Professor Bernanke's insane maze.

There is no cheese only pictures of cheese printed on a shitty inkjet printer.

Fiat fucking cheese.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:02 | 1973802 daedon
daedon's picture

What is wrong with all of you hasn't anyone read the article, I nearly cried (nearly).


Wonder what Jon Hilsenrath & Nick Timiraos got in return (to keep their jobs ?)

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:07 | 1973831 Vagabond
Vagabond's picture

"Benny and the Inkjets"  Boom shakalaka!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:09 | 1973851 Paul Thomason
Paul Thomason's picture

He obviously didn't buy the premise of lower housing prices - no wonder he wants to keep rates low!  If rates rise he's screwed with that big mortgage!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:10 | 1973861 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture

"$672K Mortgage Holder"


I wondered why he was so eager to print and wanted to buy MBS using tax payer's money.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:11 | 1973867 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture

" after refinancing his mortgage twice."


He has personal motivation to keep the long term rate low.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:12 | 1973876 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture

There is a hyperinflation article, he should read that.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:13 | 1973881 Ocean22
Ocean22's picture

Why would he not pay off his mortgage ? This seems odd

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:20 | 1973923 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Because his real wealth is out of the country and in precious metals which are appreciating faster than the interest rate on this mortgage?   I mean damn, he KNOWS what is coming and what he is planning.   Mortgage rate under 10%? leave it running.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:19 | 1974587 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

That "underground gym" at the fed building is likely part of a bunker complex where he will be living when the shit hits the fan.

Why pay off the mortgage on a house that will likely be burned to the ground as a cover story surfaces that the Chairman is no longer of this realm.

The whole article on his wholesomeness reeks of mollifying the masses with his "normalness", can't say I've ever seen such a one sided story that wasn't war propaganda.

You like dogs right? Saddam Hussien fucks dog. (stolen from Bill Hicks) told in reverse, you should now love and revere the Bernanke and see him as a mild mannered grandfather type of guy, not the guy that fucked up your future and poured 7.5 trillion u.s. dollars into the too big to fail banks.

Eat your government cheese and be pleased your masters wear such human masks.

This shit is getting surreal.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:29 | 1974629 flacorps
flacorps's picture

"Our Planet prefers to know Victor Pirolo as a gentle, grey-haired enthusiast who spends his time near Foggia, inventing or creating new breeds of Spanish-Italian olive-trees; but there is another side to his nature - the manufacture of quaint inventions, of which the Victor Pirolo is perhaps, not the least surprising. She and a few score sister-craft of the same type embody his latest ideas. But she is not comfortable. An A.B.C. boat does not take the air with the level-keeled lift of a liner, but shoots up rocket-fashion like the 'aeroplane' of our ancestors, and makes her height at top-speed from the first." - As Easy As ABC, Rudyard Kipling 1912


Global domination ... democracy entombed under propaganda ... commerce replacing politics ... pacification forces skipping from one hotspot to the next ... Kipling saw it all coming a hundred years ago.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:05 | 1974522 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Academics drown themselves in theory and are notoriously bad with personal unscientific observation of the behavior of personal family members. 

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 14:21 | 1974862 Newton
Newton's picture

He just turned 58 today - he must like the idea of paying it off in his 80's. I bet he bolts and moves to a nice island somewhere in Asia sometime before then.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:14 | 1973890 distopiandreamboy
distopiandreamboy's picture

FED is probably going to announce or hint at QE3 or something big. Thats the only reason the market is up this much on negative data.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:26 | 1973892 unununium
unununium's picture

Yesterday, Fed said the economy was really picking up steam.  Today this.

Sounds like we are in for a surprise tightening.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:23 | 1974604 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

I thought the surprise tightening was just my sphincter getting ready for more government probing.

TSA meets Federal Reserve.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:15 | 1973897 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture



Holy shit, what a f'ing disgusting display of WSJ propaganda puke.

It reads like an f'ing online singles dating website bio!

"Ben enjoys long walks on the beach and often brings his harpoon to stick passing endangered whales for their raw blubber used in printer ink production."


Fed pickle gagging Hilsenrath...what a self-important fuktard shill.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 23:58 | 1977359 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"So, what you're saying is that I write poetry because deep down inside, I just want to be loved, is that it?" -- Prostechnic Vogon Gelts

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:16 | 1973903 madcuban
madcuban's picture

But the door isn't locked.  Paulson has a key, Goldman has a key, etc etc......

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:18 | 1973912 bania
bania's picture

Seriously big mortgage on a home for someone his age and with a (likely) large salary.


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:45 | 1974082 thunderchief
thunderchief's picture

A six hundred+ K 30 year, backed by his very own $6 million 30 Year T bill.

If that is not true, I am sure his big book deal with make it come true.

Does anyone think this shill worries about paying his mortage?

Give me a break!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:20 | 1973914 swani
swani's picture

Bernanke's a lackey. We can hate him for doing as instructed, but he's not pulling the strings. If he had any of his own convictions, or the balls to act on them, he wouldn't have gotten appointed.  


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:20 | 1973931 Precious
Precious's picture

Takeaway.  Avoid residential real estate.  Go long on

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:22 | 1973947 PY-129-20
PY-129-20's picture

"pre-World War II Germany"

Is that an official term? And I thought we had agreed that Germany only had 12 years of history.

Other than that...

Did you know that Hitler was very nice to his dog "Blondie"? That he always enjoyed to have kids around and treated them very well? That he was a gentleman around ladies? That he loved to paint nature?

I mean - he wasn't that bad, was he? Ah, wait - you mean the other thing...ehm...the thing about that Holocaust, World War 2 and the millions and millions of dead people, including the people of Germany. Oh no, I would never try to compare Big Ben with Adolf. But maybe....maybe his money printing will have a desastrous effect...and could result in pain for millions of people. But other than that - isn't he a nice boy?
LOL But I love the thought that he reads on his Kindle. That will kill those book printing devils. Spare the paper! So that the real printing may begin soon ...

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:13 | 1974240 machineh
machineh's picture

To paraphrase the late thousand-pound man ... "The serious printing begins after midnight."

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:23 | 1973949 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

jews dont play basketball !

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:32 | 1974019 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

With the NBA season "delayed", a local sports network here carried a Haifa vs. Tel Aviv game the other night.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:05 | 1974176 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



jews dont play basketball !

Sure they do.  However, as a tribe, they are just not very good.

He averaged 7.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in his career.

Danny Schayes, who is Jewish, is a member of the New York Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

He currently runs No Limits Investing in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:10 | 1974221 Capt Tripps
Capt Tripps's picture

Correct me if I am wrong, I believe the shortest book ever published is titled "Famous Jewish Sports Heroes and the Moms that Love Them"...

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:16 | 1974260 machineh
machineh's picture

Doesn't anybody remember Sandy Koufax?

Come to think of it, Koufax prolly knows more about real-world economics than all the eggheads on the FOMC board put together!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 14:14 | 1974816 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

 Woody Allen, circa 1960's standup act, likely the Tonight Show with Johhny Carson.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 19:35 | 1976486 indio007
indio007's picture

Uhm... Troy Aikman

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:23 | 1974311 Animal Cracker
Animal Cracker's picture

Hi Danny!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:27 | 1973982 vegas
vegas's picture

Forgot one: destroyer.

As in the man responsible for setting up the worst inflation and destruction of a currency the world has ever seen.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:27 | 1973983 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture

Ben Bernanke  Happy B day .. you zionest sphincter licker

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:27 | 1973984 chinaboy
chinaboy's picture

Since Ben became a depression scholar, the U.S. has printed trillions to cover a financially induced recession. Now Ben has become a WWII expert, I wonder what does this mean to God's green earth?

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:31 | 1973991 Council of Econ...
Council of Economic Terrorists's picture

Reading about pre WWII Germany eh?  Well that's just perfect.  He's reading up on how to play his Weimar hyperinflation scenario.  I'll give him props for being a baller though.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:34 | 1974037 DavidJ
DavidJ's picture

It is a conflict of interests,  his lowering of interest rates affected his mortgage.  He took advantage of that.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:54 | 1974136 Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

Boil the rope.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 11:59 | 1974162 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Why doesn't he simply read Dmitry Orlov  Reinventing Collapse ?   It is cheaper in paperback than on Kindle but that is probably Sales Tax.............anyway he might as well read the script

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:02 | 1974174 jefe95
jefe95's picture

Maximizing the mortgage interest deduction on his tax return!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 12:37 | 1974395 Triple A
Triple A's picture

so the head of JPmorgue and other large banks gets you a cool 50 mil a year and huge bonuses and the head of the fed you make about 100,000. That doesnt seem right haha


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:03 | 1974513 besnook
besnook's picture

so benny is reviewing what hitler did to piss off the banks by restoring the german economy with state printed money and not bank debt money. the rest is history....

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 13:38 | 1974664 JR
JR's picture

Yeah. Just a middle-class guy suffering along with the rest of us.

Is Bernanke one of the kettle minders for the Salvation Army, or a recipient?

What I want to know is what does Bernanke get in the Secret Account, in addition to his book royalties?

A non-story for the sheeple.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 14:23 | 1974882 DavidC
DavidC's picture

If Benny's had time to read 200 books in 18 (about a book every 2.7 days) months he's either 1) a very fast reader, 2) not taking time to take in the contents of said books or 3) not devoting enough time to his job.


Tue, 12/13/2011 - 14:50 | 1975017 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

He sticks to titles like "Italian War Heroes" and "Jewish Sports Legends" so he can consume them faster than he can download them to his Kindle.

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 17:46 | 1975974 Cadavre
Cadavre's picture

" .. with 9 other academics who have no real world experience .."

Now hold on there a minute hoss. Ben, during the summer, while he was recovering from intermiitent bouts of a "rubbed raw cloaca syndrome", courtesy his Princeton MBA advisor, worked as a bookkeepper for a North Corolinian porn king. The vids he viewed during his smoke break went a long way in helping him assuage his advisor's zipper dragon's rage - got him a C-.  The Porn King soon bellied up for accounting errors and the Ben, eventually, "backed" into his employment at the FED by reciting, in his very bestest alto, "8 inches or less", more than once during his preemployment interviews. Needless to say, Ben's well known acquired fondness for "man tuna sauce" greased the wheels that glided his career down the path that delivered him to this very moment!

Tue, 12/13/2011 - 18:48 | 1976331 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture

"In 2002, following coverage of concerns about deflation in the business news, Bernanke gave a speech about the topic.[49] In that speech, he mentioned that the government in a fiat money system owns the physical means of creating money. Control of the means of production for money implies that the government can always avoid deflation by simply issuing more money. He said "The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at no cost." (He referred to a statement made by Milton Friedman about using a "helicopter drop" of money into the economy to fight deflation.) Bernanke's critics have since referred to him as "Helicopter Ben" or to his "helicopter printing press." "

Wed, 12/14/2011 - 00:03 | 1977383 CrisisMaven
CrisisMaven's picture

Hey, no liar loans for the Bernank? Transparency International will rate the US a notch higher from now on!

Sun, 12/18/2011 - 20:44 | 1992452 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture


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