Friday, January 29, 2010

What Does The Extraordinary Effort On Behalf Of Bernanke Say About Obama's Commitment To Reforming Wall Street?


Obama's quasi-populist rhetoric about banksters was OK-- as far as it went-- but a stretch to fully believe. I mean in the last two weeks the entire White House crew has been manning the phones on behalf of reconfirming notorious Wall Street shill Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Fed-- not just the usual suspects like Emanuel, Geithner and Summers; supposedly they even had Hillary Clinton calling senators! That didn't happen when Dick Durbin was trying to pass cramdown anti-foreclosure legislation last year, and it sure didn't happen for the public option either.

Yesterday Bernanke won reconfirmation-- rewarding, in effect, colossal failure-- with the closest vote in the history of the Fed.
While Bernanke's predecessor has been rightly condemned for his loose monetary polices and dogmatic conviction that unregulated market fundamentalism is always correct, the current Fed chairman has demonstrated continuity with those now discredited policies, along with a numbing myopia in failing to see a train wreck coming, despite ample warning.

In October 2005, Ben Bernanke appeared before Congress, only days before being nominated to succeed Alan Greenspan. Growing concern had already emerged regarding the unsustainability of what was obviously a massive housing asset bubble, in large part facilitated by the Fed's easy monetary policies, fully supported by Bernanke. When questioned on the perception that the residential housing market was a growing danger to the nation's economic health, the supposedly brilliant and perceptive Ben Bernanke stated that the escalation in U.S. housing prices did not constitute an asset bubble, and was in fact based on sound economic fundamentals.

...The justification for reappointing Ben Bernanke rests on a flimsy pretext. He supposedly saved the world from a global financial meltdown after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008. This ignores his conspicuous role as a principle architect of the global financial and economic crisis. In effect, he is glorified for indebting generations of Americans yet unborn for covering the costs of his colossal errors in judgment. Furthermore, the Senate has failed to take cognizance that the very debt load they salute Bernanke for creating as part of his "heroic" rescue mission has laid the seeds for a far more dangerous phase of the global economic crisis. The risk of a paralyzing sovereign debt crisis is growing, raising the threat of national insolvency. The current fiscal crisis in Greece, and the economic purgatory being experienced by the people of Iceland, are clear warning signs on the economic horizon of what lies in wait for the American people. Maintaining Bernanke as Fed chairman magnifies the risk that a sovereign debt explosion will occur, creating a whole new level of economic devastation across the United States.

The lopsided vote by the U.S. Senate in favor of reappointing Ben Bernanke was a clear triumph for the disaster-prone Ben Bernanke. As for the American people, this result is nothing less than a total, unmitigated defeat.

The thirty who voted against reconfirmation was an odd mix of teabagger-aware Republicans-- from their extremist heroes like DeMint, Sessions and Inhofe to their likely victims like McCain, Vitter and Cornyn-- to progressive-populist type Democrats who have had it up to here (visualize "here" any way you'd like) such as Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold, Jeff Merkley, Sheldon Whitehouse, Barbara Boxer, Al Franken, Byron Dorgan, Tom Harkin and Maria Cantwell. I guess Obama got to Durbin this time.

Six months ago Alan Grayson interrogated Bernanke at a House Financial Services Committee session. Bernanke wasn't expecting to be treated without the deference mere elected officials are supposed to offer the Masters of the Universe. I think this line of questioning is what helped people see that this particular emperor had no clothes on. Grayson isn't a senator, and congressmen don't get a vote on confirmation, but as you can probably surmise from the way Grayson laughs in Bernanke's face, he probably wouldn't have voted for him if he were sitting in the Florida seat held by DLC hack Bill Nelson.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home