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Cashin On Bernanke's 'Assumed' Tactical Genius

Tyler Durden's picture


Just as Patton surveyed Rommel's battlefield of Panzers and assumed he knew his plan (since he had 'read the book'), so UBS' Art Cashin reminds us that traders trust implicitly that Bernanke is an assumed tactical genius - capable of deploying his monetary troops at will and in a perfectly timed manner. This trust (and hope) is based on Bernanke's early speeches and one in particular - “Deflation: Making Sure 'It' Doesn’t Happen Here” (here). It was delivered back at the National Economists Club in November 2002 (Before Bernanke became Fed Chair). As Wall Street ponders what form or format the next level of quantitative easing might take, Cashin is taking time off from the fermentation committee to sift through the speech, looking for clues to the next Fed move. The primary complication is the turmoil in the European banking system. That may force Mr. B to include things like currency swap facilities in any new comprehensive easing effort. While QEx is certainly coming, we remain highly cognizant of the reflexive market reaction to any 'decent' dip as hope remaining too alive-and-well that the Bernanke-Put strike is considerably higher than it is in reality.


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Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:17 | 2518543 Squishi
Squishi's picture

Bernanke is going to wear slippers to the next meating... #baller 

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:39 | 2518631 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Who would presume he knows what he's doing?

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:51 | 2518676 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I would. But that's just because I believe he only does what he's told.

The idea that he is making the decisions is just silly.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:37 | 2518880 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 "Bernanke you magnificent bastard... I READ YOUR BOOK!"


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:54 | 2518969 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

From Bernankes 2002 speech linked above in Tylers' post, the last sentence was the only one that stood out for me:

Nevertheless, I hope to have persuaded you that the Federal Reserve and other economic policymakers would be far from helpless in the face of deflation, even should the federal funds rate hit its zero bound.

LMFAO.  "Persuasion"?  You gotta be kidding me!


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 15:54 | 2519215 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

You can win battles and still lose the war. The Bernank is the economic Yammamoto of the western financial world.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 16:05 | 2519264 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

His 2002 speech is indeed unpersuasive, except perhaps to those who have an uncritical faith in the quantity theory of money, especially of the elementary version BB espouses.  His logic seems to be, if inflation is an increase in the money supply such that prices rise, then deflation must be its opposite.  Therefore, increasing the money supply will check deflation.  This reasoning is false if for no other reason than some variables in his own crude version of QTM are not under his control (velocity for example and real output).

Empirically, some might be inclined to argue that the fall in asset prices has indeed been checked to some degree.  And there is a kernel of truth in that assertion, but the kernel is covered by a husk of falsehoods.  First, the price discovery mechanism in asset markets has been horribly distorted by BB's own machinations.  So the signals provided by that market are false.

Second it took more than $26 trillion in assorted bailouts (or roughly 2 years of real US GDP) to do that checking.  (As an aside, one wonders what the effects would have been had that $26 trillion been doled out to ordinary Joes and Janes, rather than the irrespondible banksters who put us in this mess...hmmm.)

Third, to the extent asset (stock) prices have any correlation w/underlying fundamentals, that relationship too has been irretrievably broken by deliberately falsified financial statements (falsified with the blessing I might add of regulators including the Fed itself and the Financial Acctg Stds Board).  There is no way to accurately gauge the accuracy of financial statements and thus no way to correlate asset prices with said fundamentals.

Lastly, the Fed's own ZIRP is actually aggravating the very deflation in asset prices it supposed to prevent--that is, ZIRP does not allow prices to recover because the previous bad investments have yet to be written off (and irresponsible managements fired) to any significant degree.  Moreover, as discussed in other posts,  ZIRP actually depletes financial capital and is thus deflationary to that extent.

BB's speech is thus unpersuasive because it fails on its own logical terms, and because the empirical evidence also contradicts it.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:40 | 2518639 WALLST8MY8BALL
WALLST8MY8BALL's picture


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:54 | 2518679 poor fella
poor fella's picture

He's envisioned as mysterious and powerful - The Magus.

When in fact he's John Wayne Gacy dressed up as a happy-go-lucky and popular clown. You don't want to be around to see his darker side.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:06 | 2518735 WALLST8MY8BALL
WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

Sufjan Stephens has an excellent song about John Wayne Gacy on his alblum "Come on and feel the Illinoise!"

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 17:27 | 2519612 poor fella
poor fella's picture

LOVE that album! =D   and that song is quite touching.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:43 | 2518914 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Gacy was a Democratic precinct captain in the Chicago area.  He had his picture taken with Jimmy Carter and Rosalind.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:08 | 2518747 vmromk
vmromk's picture

Bernank.....haven't enough people already told you to GO AND FUCK YOURSELF ?

I got news for you my bald headed asshole friend, QE3 will lead to your downfall, you moronic asshole.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:25 | 2518561 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It is real simple folks. Either "we" believe that the powers that be (in this case Bernanke) know what they're doing or "we" reconsider everything we think we know.

Thinking one allows us to kick our own personal can down the road one more time. The other shakes us to our very core. Not hard to figure which way this will go. We are all (corruptible) cowards to some extent or another. The supreme mistake we all seem to make is to believe that "I" am different. Doing so enables us to remain within the insanity while declaring we are not a part.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:27 | 2518586 gjp
gjp's picture

+1 very well put, CD.

Even with eyes open to it all, how far are you willing to go to distance yourself from your community, all so you might theoretically be able to feed and defend yourself in a Mad Max world?

So far, I have been unable to make the leap.  We are all truly in this together for better or for worse.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:33 | 2518609 TheFineKid
TheFineKid's picture

I am in the same boat gjp. Perfectly put.


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:53 | 2518633 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Actually..........while you say that we are all in this together, in fact we all act independently............even if we are still acting as a herd.

The illusion has convinced us that we are all alone and isolated. This is the BIG LIE. So we act in what we perceive as our own best interest because......well, we are alone and thus not responsible for anyone else other than me, myself and I (and immediate family).

If we were to truly understand that we are not alone.....and then act as one, the herd instinct would subside and the inner sovereign would emerge and express. This is the last thing the slave master wants to see happen, for the slaves to become self aware. Thus the massive suppression techniques being employed by them.

The illusion promoted by TPTB is that true knowing can only come from external sources, the so-called authorities. Since we are actually sovereign beings and must be fooled into willingly handing over our sovereign power, we must be convinced we are powerless. We are not. Once we recognize this, the way forward becomes very clear.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:31 | 2518854 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

"Therefore, send not to know

For whom the bell tolls.

It tolls for thee."


John Donne, No Man is an Island

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:40 | 2518635 sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

The best weapon you have is to refuse to participate.  Get out of money as much as you can.  Maybe some of you have not made the fundamental leap, but many of us have.  I count every day that I can disconnect myself more fully as a blessing.  I do not like participating as much as I do, but it is a spiritual direction in which I can always strive.  You do not have to give up everything, but start changing your lifestyle.  Your relationships will become more genuine.  Your own self-sufficiency becomes more rewarding than gambling with the Devil.   I guarantee that once you make the fundamental leap, the cognitive dissonance dissipates. 

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:46 | 2518661 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Could not have said it better myself. Reclaim your sovereign being. Reclaim yourself.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:41 | 2518644 Thomas
Thomas's picture

I am 50% gold. I think the world would consider me quite different!

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:52 | 2518675 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Very much different from the concensus reality pack.

But as in all things in life, it is the intent behind our actions that most determines our own personal outcomes. Do you own Gold because you wish to acquire wealth and power? Or do you own Gold as an active symbol of your sovereignty?

It really does make a difference when we are properly settled deep within with our choices and decisions. Doing anything for the right reasons, reasons that a search within will reveal, is practicing, then applying, our own personal sovereignty. 

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:55 | 2518685 knukles
knukles's picture

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.  You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile. 

       ~Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 17

Do we wish to remain within the sanity whilst declaring ourselves apart, or do we wish to truly view the insanity within which we live from perspectives of sanity,  clarity and distance?
I care not to attempt to smash the ego, but fully embrace it, hold it close, comfort it, learn from it, understand it as I understand myself, for it is but a creation of myself, alone. 
We should neither regret the past nor shut the door upon it.
For do we wish to not repeat our past transgressions? 

I must accomplish more than merely declaring  myself apart.
Perhaps to  bring a spark to affront the darkness, to deliver a sense of civility in  an increasingly uncivil world.

If any of such  is even possible.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:20 | 2518562 Lone Deranger
Lone Deranger's picture

He's tactically destroyed the US dollar, I'll give him that.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:21 | 2518563 mrktwtch2
mrktwtch2's picture

hopefully mittens gets rid of him whne he takes office..

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 16:11 | 2519315 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

Sorry in advance for this, but do you really think there's a dime's worth of difference between O and R?  The only difference is superficial skin color.  Mitt's an empty suit just like and O, and just like O will do what he's told.  So stop "hoping" for redemption to come from politics...aint going to happen.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 16:42 | 2519473 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Please:  Planet Mitt, Obummer and the Bernank all work for the same employers.  He has no say in whether Bernank stays or goes and even then his replacement will be hired by the same paymasters. 

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:21 | 2518565 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The only thing deflating here are the house prices. Has the Bernank given any thought to the fact that by inflating everything else , and raising the cost of living, he is putting the one item he needs inflation in out of the reach of perspective buyers?

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:22 | 2518568 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Deflation: Making Sure 'It' Doesn’t Happen Here

Deflation is good, it helps the poor class and the middle class to buy stuff... but eh, Chairsatan was never a friend of the 99.9%...

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:24 | 2518569 ATG
ATG's picture

DK re BB tactics, but just took profits on SLV and SPY calls and bot SPY puts.

EUD targeting 116, SPX 1180, TNX .05%, USD 100...

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:22 | 2518571 HaroldWang
HaroldWang's picture

Why did the Euro just shoot up so quickly above 1.25? Short covering?? News??

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:26 | 2518583 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Because it is King fucking Euro! It does what it wants.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:29 | 2518594 Lone Deranger
Lone Deranger's picture

It's lunchtime in the US, and people are bored.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:34 | 2518612 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture


Nice to see people still believe in a world where causal attribution is still regarded as a thing.


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:40 | 2518637 valley chick
valley chick's picture

and why the DOW over 100?  Did i miss a rumor?

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:29 | 2518593 GolfHatesMe
GolfHatesMe's picture

Cosmo Kramer has a bottle return to Michigan Plan to save Europe

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:25 | 2518578 Jason T
Jason T's picture

When the pace of collapse out paces the pace of bailout... that's when gets interesting.  

... when cities, countries, companies start going broke everywhere..FAST.  

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:28 | 2518587 Sockeye
Sockeye's picture

Yes, and we are almost there now.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:30 | 2518598 SDRII
SDRII's picture

Surely that speech was an accident of history

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:58 | 2518700 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

"There are no accidents in history. If it happened, it was planned that way." -- FDR

In other words, it was the setup that created the "Bernanke Put," all while the "Greenspan Put" was still in effect.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:31 | 2518601 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Bernake has been wrong about everything, he is more a strategic thinker then a tactical one.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:00 | 2518708 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture


He's a PUPPET! He isn't right, wrong, or a thinker of any sort. His job is to look and sound credible in the facade of his "professional atmosphere."

I don't understand why people have such a difficult time with this obvious concept.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:18 | 2518800 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

He is not a puppet.   He is doing a balancing act that no one can do well - and he would admit it himself.   There are no good answers right now, and no one as Fed Chair can just issue a proclamation that would run against the drunks in Congress and the White House.    Any blatant maneuver against their interests would result in an immediate repudiation of that FED decision.    This is a grown-up world with snakes all around.   Polly Anna ideas won't work

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:33 | 2518608 bullandbearwise
bullandbearwise's picture

Ben already has $22 B in currency swaps on the books since December. To whom and when does this become a stealth bailout?

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:35 | 2518617 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Bank of America pledges $50 billion to combat climate change:


Maybe they should pledge $50 billion to shore up those derivatives they moved over to the bank side of the corporation.

Wed, 06/13/2012 - 00:51 | 2520466 monad
monad's picture

Climate change means us. It means, they pledged 50B to get rid of us.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:38 | 2518620 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Bernanke will go down as the most adept and capable central banker in world history.


Discussed in economics textbooks for the next 100 years:

1)  How he managed to sky the S & P 500 by 80% during the worst economy in decades and the worst economic crisis in Europe ever

2)  How he racked up unbelievable levels of debt on the Fed balance sheet yet interest rates crashed to 60-year lows

3)  How he had successfully trained "Risk On/Risk Off" Algos to sell commodities by the mere utterance or suggestion that he might do something without actually doing anything at all.  Result:  35% crash in the CRB Index via jawboning.

4)  How he sat back and let Europe burn, in order to push U.S. interest rates down to rock bottom levels where increasing amounts of Federal debt can be infinitely financed at zero cost.

5)  How he was able to overrun the physical market for PM's and destroy the confidence of most PM investors, to the extent that "Paper" now rules over "Physical", any time, any day

6)  How he coined the term "Green Shoots", which kicked off the greatest rally in Consumer Discretionary stocks ever recorded, producing huge wealth gains for those who stuck with names like SBUX, WFM, ULTA, ROST, etc., and discrediting the "Endgamers" in the process.


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:08 | 2518649 Village Smithy
Village Smithy's picture

I think our time horizons differ, as do our opinions on the scale of the problems that the U.S. economy faces. Thoughtfully presented nonetheless.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:44 | 2518655 gjp
gjp's picture

All achieved with the limitless use and abuse of the US dollar, the 'global reserve currency'.  He's a one-trick pony, no different than Easy Al before him.  When is banker masters are in distress, he hits print, in ever greater quantities.  Not a lot of genius in that.

The US dollar won't survive the bursting of the next bubble.  No-one seems to believe it possible, but there is an end game eventually to this reductio ad absurdem.  And Bernanke won't look too good in the history books then.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:58 | 2518696 theTribster
theTribster's picture

That's good but I added a few...


7) How he destroyed the emerging markets by stealing growth thru currency manipulation.

8) How he single handedly in his infinite arrogance absolutely destroyed the American economy and currency.

9) How he enabled the biggest wealth transfer in the history of the world.

10) How he helped the Government destroy itself by enabling financial corruption on a massive scale.

11) Ultimately responsible for the next round of global war, the inevitable outcome of such a situation.

12) Had the best facial hair of any fed chief before him. (best achievement)

13) Responsible for the final destruction of the federal reserve banking system, he true best achievement.

So, if we come out of this unscathed than your 6 items may well be the way he is remembered. If however we go tits up, which is very likely, then item 8-13 will be more applicable. The winners write history, I don't think he'll be considered a winner when this is all said and done. Its more likely that he is skinned alive once everyone realizes that his attempts to "fix" things only made them worse and in the meantime stole all of their wealth (house, returement funds, etc).

That said, I guess there is a remote possibility that in the end it all works out for him and us...

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 16:25 | 2519393 Count de Money
Count de Money's picture

Some more:


14) How he drove people on fixed incomes into poverty because of ZIRP.

15) How he encouraged financial institutions to take on huge risks because all safe investments are paying no returns.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:06 | 2518736 asteroids
asteroids's picture

Robo: Sad but true. He'll be known as the CB that juiced coffee while the rest of the world starved or burned. Cleaverly ignoring his mandates of prices and employment. The FED should hang its head in shame and do NOTHING. The aircraft will correct itself, eventually.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 18:11 | 2519734 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

Milburn Drysdale would donkey punch that tool.



Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:39 | 2518630 JackT
JackT's picture

Dear Art,

Here you go buddy:

From FED speech:

I am confident that the Fed would take whatever means necessary to prevent significant deflation in the United States and, moreover, that the U.S. central bank, in cooperation with other parts of the government as needed, has sufficient policy instruments to ensure that any deflation that might occur would be both mild and brief.


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:44 | 2518660 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Problem is: deflation is not a significant problem right now. Thus: there will be no QE announcement in June.  

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:49 | 2518670 JackT
JackT's picture

I almost think hyper-deflation would would have to occur in order to actually "appear" on the books due to the sheer firepower that stands at the ready to destroy it.  

Blitzkrieg Deflation

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:59 | 2518642 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

good stuff, rt :-)) 

only caveat is late thursday, and friday, when 'Iliad's D-day' opens the 7th seal. there... the blood of the sacrificed she-goats spattered upon the money temples as forbearance, will be of no avail! thus the mighty bernak will have his cross to bear, crossing the rubicon of waterloo-fall's?


Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:55 | 2518687 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

The slobbering trader dogs carefully eye their master as he loosely juggles the worn out QE tennis ball before rearing back and slinging it with a mighty throw and hearty bellow.

"Go Fetch It Lads!"

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:57 | 2518698 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

yeah, but Patton won.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:06 | 2518731 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

Election year ties Bernanke's hands lest he appear partisian and risk the independence of the Central Banks.  Others will need to step to the plate or nothing will be done before November.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:09 | 2518749 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture

Print a truckload of money everytime someone hiccups.  Some genius.

Bernanke is on track to be remembered forever as the asswipe that released the HyperInflation Genie.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:13 | 2518772 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Hitler was thought a strategic genius as well, up until Stalingrad.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:28 | 2518840 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Bernanke is just another word for putz.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:52 | 2518958 onebir
onebir's picture

But how to

Cash in On Bernanke's 'Assumed' Tactical Genius

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 15:07 | 2519029 Centurion9.41
Centurion9.41's picture

Agree with the Bernank assumption premise.  However think the more appropriate metaphor would be:

The Bernank is a deity who can and does re-create the battle field.  At least unitl the US loses reserve status of the fiat system. 

The armies/Pattons are the pros/hedgies, TBTF desks, and retail pawns.   If one can read the deity's bible, they can theoretically get to the most advantageous part of the terrain.  Which is to say the future high ground, before it becomes the high ground, from which they can yield, ie sell, to the Sheeple shortly before The Bernank shifts the terrain again. 

In a Keynesian fiat world, the shifting of terrain, the redrawing of the battle field is a never ending process.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 15:15 | 2519053 MrPoopypants
MrPoopypants's picture

The Fed can inject money into the economy in still other ways. For example, the Fed has the authority to buy foreign government debt, as well as domestic government debt. Potentially, this class of assets offers huge scope for Fed operations, as the quantity of foreign assets eligible for purchase by the Fed is several times the stock of U.S. government debt. - Dr. Bernanke

Uh, could it be any plainer?  Ben has to wait for Europe to blow up a bit more, because the US gov just isn't spending fast enough.  He'll buy European debt and bring the market back from the brink when the timing is right.  All is going according to plan, it seems.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 15:49 | 2519188 el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

Suppose hypothetically that Rommel was secretly a British agent and his plan was to lose North Africa to the Allied forces without being personally found out.  Suppose Patton was not cleared to know this important piece of data.  You think he could have psyched out Rommel's strategy?

My point is that one should not take any of the Fed's apparent "mandates" as the real objective of his manipulations.  Other end game agendas can make him look less of an idiot.

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 16:50 | 2519501 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Agree the mandates are phony window dressing and at best lip service is paid to them.  The real service is to the Fed's owners, the banks, and that means global banks.  The Fed's next move will be to assist the Euro area bnaks, and I agree that move may very well be the acquisition of Eurodebt outright and also indirectly via vastly ramped up repos/swaps (same as sales, but disguised as loans).  The US is the ultimate sovereign - the "super sovereign" if you will in this game.   We kid about Alpha Centauris bailing us out, I think we are set up to play that role in Euroland.  It's all about the banks and preserving, at any and all costs, the fractional reserve banking system, people. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 17:34 | 2519633 strangeglove
strangeglove's picture

Bernanke The Fuckin Dip BTFD

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 18:50 | 2519838 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

When conjuring Patton, many envision Geroge C. Scott's portrayal (and it was and is an excellent movie, but a movie just the same).

It is useful to look back to pre WWII, to get an idea of who are heroes and who are yes men, eager & willing to do the government's bidding, blindly.

Whether they (later) voiced regret or not is immaterial, at the time, the obeyed orders, as all good soldiers do.

Fast forward to a post-economic apocalypse America, and ask whether the troops will follow their hearts or their orders.

"Will you open fire on your fellow citizens if ordered to do so?" is a question frequently bandied about. Most say no. In practice, history says most will.


Nothing much to do with Bernanke, aside from dutifully following orders, and consequences be damned. He'll be well taken care of. To hell with the rest of the world.





Tue, 06/12/2012 - 19:28 | 2519930 They Tried to S...
They Tried to Steal My Gold's picture

This next QE will be known as QE Fade - as the markets go up 400 points only to be faded. In other words, the QE Jig is up......

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 20:36 | 2520041 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

does art also consider the awesome new powers granted the FED under dodd/frank to be "assumed"?  L0L!!!

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