This must read Paul Farrell piece has to be recreated in its entirety.
Fed Dictator Bernanke Needs To Be Toppled
Fed boss Ben Bernanke is the most dangerous human on earth, far more dangerous than Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s 30-year dictator, ever was. Bernanke rules a monetary dictatorship that will trigger the coming third meltdown of the 21st century.
But this reign of economic terror will end.
Just as Mubarak was blind to the economic needs of the masses and democratic reforms, Bernanke is blind to the easy-money legacy that’s set the stage for revolution, turning the rich into super rich while the middle class stagnates and peanuts trickle down to the poor.
Warning, Egypt also had a huge wealth gap before its revolution. Bernanke is the final egomaniac in America’s bubbling 30-year wealth gap, where the top 1% went from owning 9% of America’s wealth to owning 23% during this dictatorship.
Bernanke’s ruling ideology is the culmination of a 30-year economic war that has forged together Reaganomics for the super rich, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan’s toxic allegiance to Wall Street, the extreme Ayn Rand’s capitalist dogma, culminating in the toxic bailouts of Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, two Wall Street Trojan Horses corrupting government from within.
Since 1981 this monetary dictatorship has caused enormous collateral damage, systematically sabotaging democracy, capitalism and the American dream while fueling the rise of our most dangerous new enemy, China. See “Secret China war plan: trillions in U.S. debt.”
When Obama reappointed Bernanke a couple years ago, “Black Swan’s” Nicholas Taleb was “stunned.” Bernanke “doesn’t even know that he doesn’t understand how things work,” that Bernanke’s economic methods are so inadequate they make “homeopath and alternative healers look empirical and scientific.”
We called Bernanke, the “Captain of the Titanic,” warning that he was setting up the third meltdown of the 21st century, predicted by “Irrational Exuberance’s” Robert Shiller, a coming crash worse than the 2000 dot-com crash and the subprime credit meltdown of 2008 combined. See “Capt. Bernanke sinks the U.S.S. Titanic.”
Inside the Fed: Cassandras, Chicken Littles, governors crying wolf
Unfortunately, as with Egypt’s dictator, the 30-year dictatorship now headed by Bernanke must end soon: And this class war will not be pretty. But it is no black swan; no one can claim they didn’t see a new crash coming.
For several years before the 2008 meltdown we reported on money managers, economists and financial gurus warning of a coming meltdown. They included two Fed governors who warned Greenspan in the early Bush years. And yet, as late as summer 2008 Bernanke, Paulson and Greenspan were systematically dismissing mounting evidence of a mega crash dead ahead.
That’s why Time magazine’s cover story about Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, grabbed me. David Von Drehle’s “The Man Who Said No to Easy Money” is a warning to all America.
Like Ed Gramlich and William Poole, the two Fed Governors who warned Greenspan during the Bush years, Hoenig regularly dissented from Bernanke’s easy-money policies that have been favored by Wall Street throughout this 30-year dictatorship.
We’re paraphrasing Drehle’s interview with Hoenig as 10 warnings because it brilliantly reveals the broader historical tragedy of the Fed’s 30-year monetary dictatorship driving America to the edge of another 1930s economic revolution, one that will be triggered by a repeat of the 1929 wake-up call.
1. Commodity price inflation will soon end the Fed dictatorship
Hoenig consistently “cast his lonely ballot against the indefinite reign of easy money. Eight meetings, eight no votes … an unyielding point of view, one that has become ever more relevant now that rising commodity prices have put inflation worries back on the economic radar screen.”
In short, global commodity inflation may soon do what Hoenig could not, put an end to America’s self-destructive easy money reign of economic terror, and more importantly finally end the Fed’s 30-year “monetary dictatorship.”
2. Central bank dictatorship destroying America’s democracy
Hoenig was America’s lone voice against the Bernanke monetary dictatorship, says Drehle: “For all the headlines over the past quarter-century about the death of American manufacturing and the twilight of community banks and the vanishing farmer, those humble building blocks of a sound economy still figure significantly in Hoenig’s perspective. The way to strengthen them … is not by pumping money into a financial system that encourages megabanks to engage in high-risk speculation. You build them up by encouraging savings, which form capital for investment, which builds stronger businesses, which hire workers and pay dividends, which leads to more savings and more investment.”
3. Near-zero rates, banks richer, masses poorer, meltdown
Honenig’s opposition to Bernanke dictatorship is also clear, says Drehle: “By keeping interest rates near zero indefinitely, the Fed is asking savers to continue to subsidize borrowers. What incentive is there to save and invest?”
Earlier in his long career, Hoenig was heartsick as an “irrationally exuberant Alan Greenspan kept piling so much money onto the economic bonfire that led to the Great Recession” in 2008. Now the “time’s come to start sobering up.” Except Wall Street’s addicted to easy money, won’t sober up.
4. Easy money blowing new speculation bubble … pops soon
“This is how bubbles are formed,” warns Hoenig, whose long career as president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank made him leery of the power buildup by the central banks monetary dictatorship. So again, “rocketing land and energy prices are telltale signs … too much money sloshing around. When you put this much liquidity into the system, it has to go somewhere.”
But with the Fed keeping interest rates near zero, easy money won’t go into savings. Instead, “money starts chasing assets with higher yields — like land, the once again booming stock market and energy” and “as more money joins the chase, asset prices rise and keep rising until … pop,” a new meltdown.
5. Bernanke’s narcissistic illusion of monetary power
The Fed has too much power: Hoenig “watched uncomfortably as the central bank began playing a larger and larger role in the public’s perception of the economy. Monetary policy came to be seen as the solution to more and more economic issues. It has been used to deal with one crisis after another,” stock .market crashes, recessions, the tech bubble, after the 9/11 attacks, during the Iraq war, then the 2008 meltdown.
Hoenig warns against the Fed’s power: “People came to feel that all you had to do was ease interest rates and everything would be fine. But that’s what gives us these bubbles.”
6. Easy money fueling worldwide inflation, and a new meltdown
Yes, Hoenig’s an inflation hawk: “The sequence of events that led to runaway inflation in 1979 got started back in the mid-1960s. That’s … long term.” Drehle captures the shift in Hoenig’s position: At first backing “the Fed’s dramatic actions in 2008 and 2009 to pour trillions into the staggering financial system.”
But now it is time to stop. As easy money chases higher returns across the world, in places like Brazil and China, Hoenig warns that “inflation is rising sharply. Global food prices have risen 25% in the past year, according to the U.N., and many nations are starting to hoard commodities.”
7. Fed policies favor the rich, sabotaging American Dream
In favoring Wall Street bankers, Bernanke’s monetary dictatorship is clearly feeding the conditions that, as happened in Egypt, will ignite a class war in America: “The poorest 60% of American households spend 12% of their income on energy alone, compared with the 3% spent by the richest 10% … Inflation is so unfair … it is the most regressive tax you can impose on the public … eroding the buying power of the poor and people on fixed incomes. The people who have money and are savvy come out ahead. In fact, they end up stronger than before.”
8. Unfortunately, the Fed learned nothing from the 2008 crisis
A lot more than the Fed’s toxic alliance with Wall Street bothers Hoenig: America “learned little from the crisis … government policy continues to smile on Wall Street but not on Main Street. Instead of breaking up the financial giants whose gambles crashed the economy, the government has let the biggest banks grow even bigger. Now they’re gorging on free money.”
9. Market economy? A joke, big-money lobbyists run America
Remember folks, 20 years ago in the S&L bank crisis 3,800 bankers were jailed. This time? Wall Street robbed us, got away with it, are still robbing us. Hoenig asks: “Where’s the penalty for failure? … We don’t have a market economy.” American capitalism is now “crony capitalism … who you know, how big your political donation is.”
10. America must end easy money, add new Glass-Steagall
What would Hoenig do as Fed chairman? “High savings rates, low leverage and a strong currency.” Finally, Drehle says Hoenig would bring back the Depression-era Glass-Steagall rule that barred commercial banks from taking excessive risks. He would reduce government debt and promote a manufacturing revival, but it won’t be easy, there is no painless approach.”
Unfortunately, none of this will happen until America gets hit over the head by brutal wake-up call, like 1929 and the Great Depression 2. Until then, the 30-year monetary dictatorship now headed by Bernanke will keep pushing its self-destructive easy-money policies, ignoring the warnings of Thomas Hoenig and all of the other Cassandras, Chicken Littles and Americans Crying Wolf, over and over again.