Skip to comments.Say What? 30 Ben Bernanke Quotes That Are So Stupid That You Won’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry
Posted on 07/13/2011 1:32:14 PM PDT by Qbert
Did you see Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes the other night? Bernanke portrayed the Federal Reserve as the great protector of the U.S. economy, he claimed that unemployment would be 15 percent higher if the Federal Reserve had sat back and done nothing during the financial crisis and he even started laying the groundwork for a third round of quantitative easing. Unfortunately, 60 Minutes did not ask Bernanke any hard questions and did not challenge him on his past record. It was almost as if they considered Bernanke to be above criticism. But someone in the mainstream media should be taking a closer look at this guy and his record. The truth is that the incompetence that Bernanke has displayed over the past few years makes the Cincinnati Bengals look like a model of excellence. Bernanke kept insisting that the housing market was stable even while it was falling apart, he had absolutely no idea the financial crisis was coming, he declared that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in no danger of failing just before they failed, his policies have created asset bubble after asset bubble and the world financial system is now inherently unstable. But even with such horrific job performance, Barack Obama and leaders of both political parties continue to publicly praise Bernanke at every opportunity. What in the world is going on here?
Not that Bernanke is solely responsible. His predecessor, Alan Greenspan, was responsible for many of the policies that have brought us to this point. In addition, most of the other presidents of the individual Federal Reserve banks across the United States seem just as clueless as Bernanke.
But you would think at some point someone in authority would be calling for Bernanke to resign. Accountability has to begin somewhere.
The Bernanke quotes that you will read below reveal a pattern of incompetence and mismanagement that is absolutely mind blowing. Looking back now, we can see that Bernanke was wrong about almost everything.
But the mainstream media and our top politicians keep insisting that Bernanke is the man to lead our economy into a bright future.
It is almost as if we have been transported into some bizarre episode of "The Twilight Zone" where the more incompetence someone exhibits the more they are to be praised.
The following are 30 Ben Bernanke quotes that are so stupid that you won't know whether to laugh or cry....
#1 (October 20, 2005) "House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals."
#2 (On 60 Minutes in response to a question about what would have happened if the Federal Reserve had not "bailed out" the U.S. economy) "Unemployment would be much, much higher. It might be something like it was in the Depression. Twenty-five percent."
#3 (February 15, 2006) "Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise."
#4 (January 10, 2008) "The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession."
#5 (When asked directly during a congressional hearing if the Federal Reserve would monetize U.S. government debt) "The Federal Reserve will not monetize the debt."
#6 "One myth thats out there is that what were doing is printing money. Were not printing money."
#7 "The money supply is not changing in any significant way. What were doing is lowering interest rates by buying Treasury securities."
#8 (November 21, 2002) "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."
#9 (March 28, 2007) "At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained. In particular, mortgages to prime borrowers and fixed-rate mortgages to all classes of borrowers continue to perform well, with low rates of delinquency."
#10 (July, 2005) "Weve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I dont think its gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though."
#11 "Although low inflation is generally good, inflation that is too low can pose risks to the economy - especially when the economy is struggling."
#12 (February 15, 2007) "Despite the ongoing adjustments in the housing sector, overall economic prospects for households remain good. Household finances appear generally solid, and delinquency rates on most types of consumer loans and residential mortgages remain low."
#13 (October 31, 2007) "It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve nor would it be appropriate to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions."
#14 (On the possibility that the Fed might launch QE3) "Oh, it's certainly possible. And again, it depends on the efficacy of the program. It depends on inflation. And finally it depends on how the economy looks."
#15 (November 15, 2005) "With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly."
#16 (January 18, 2008) "[The U.S. economy] has a strong labor force, excellent productivity and technology, and a deep and liquid financial market that is in the process of repairing itself."
#17 "I wish I'd been omniscient and seen the crisis coming."
#18 (May 17, 2007) "All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system. The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well. Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable."
#19 "The GSEs are adequately capitalized. They are in no danger of failing."
#20 (Two months before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed and were nationalized) "They will make it through the storm."
#21 (September 23rd, 2008) "My interest is solely for the strength and recovery of the U.S. economy."
#22 "Economics has many substantive areas of knowledge where there is agreement but also contains areas of controversy. That's inescapable."
#23 "I don't think that Chinese ownership of U.S. assets is so large as to put our country at risk economically."
#24 "Weve been very, very clear that we will not allow inflation to rise above 2 percent."
#25 "...inflation is running at rates that are too low relative to the levels that the Committee judges to be most consistent with the Federal Reserve's dual mandate in the longer run."
#26 (June 10, 2008) "The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so."
#27 "Not all information is beneficial."
#28 "The financial crisis appears to be mostly behind us, and the economy seems to have stabilized and is expanding again."
#29 "Similarly, the mandate-consistent inflation rate--the inflation rate that best promotes our dual objectives in the long run--is not necessarily zero; indeed, Committee participants have generally judged that a modestly positive inflation rate over the longer run is most consistent with the dual mandate."
#30 (October 4, 2006) "If current trends continue, the typical U.S. worker will be considerably more productive several decades from now. Thus, one might argue that letting future generations bear the burden of population aging is appropriate, as they will likely be richer than we are even taking that burden into account."
So your view would be that if Milton Friedman were running the Fed today, you would demand he resign. Forget what Bernanke has said, concentrate on what he has done. He learned the lessons of the 1930s from Friedman and is doing a great job with monetary policy.
Still say Obama should Pardon Maddoff and replace Bernake or Geitner with him. He is a proven Master of the Ponzi Scheme and will make it last twice as long.
“So your view would be that if Milton Friedman were running the Fed today, you would demand he resign. Forget what Bernanke has said, concentrate on what he has done. He learned the lessons of the 1930s from Friedman and is doing a great job with monetary policy.”
Sadly, true. At least Maddoff ultimately admitted what he was doing, unlike these guys.
It was all so “unexpected”
Its also unexpected every week.
You are the one demanding that a guy who has studied Friedman and Schwart “A Monetary History of the US” and done an excellent job conducting monetary policy though a panic and a recession resign as a condition to for raising the debt ceiling. I just want to get you on record as saying Milton Friedman was wrong.
“You are the one demanding that a guy who has studied Friedman and Schwart A Monetary History of the US and done an excellent job conducting monetary policy though a panic and a recession resign as a condition to for raising the debt ceiling. I just want to get you on record as saying Milton Friedman was wrong.”
—Is this satire?
If you are being serious then, no- I am not going to go on record saying “Milton Friedman was wrong” because of Bernanke’s colossal mistakes. Just because somebody “studies” under somebody else doesn’t mean they have incorporated all of their wisdom and expertise. Bernanke has gone off the rails...
I said he studied and learned from what Friedman found about the 1930s. FED policy under Bernanke has led to a stable US price level.
That is what any central bank can do. So you are clearly an anti Friedman, Keynesian, I guess or you would as Friedman did understand what a central bank can do.
So go ahead and say Friedman is wrong and you are in the Keynesian camp that believes a central bank has some kind of magic wand to undo real shocks like Obamacare or oil prices or just plain Obama?
That’s some really odd thinking there. Helpful advice: you might want to go in and get checked out...
In the meantime, I’ll defer to Anna Schwartz, Milton Friedman’s long-time collaborator for her assessment of Helicopter Ben:
“...Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, of all people, should understand this, Ms. Schwartz says. In 2002, Mr. Bernanke, then a Federal Reserve Board governor, said in a speech in honor of Mr. Friedman’s 90th birthday, “I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”
“This was [his] claim to be worthy of running the Fed,” she says. He was “familiar with history. He knew what had been done.” But perhaps this is actually Mr. Bernanke’s biggest problem. Today’s crisis isn’t a replay of the problem in the 1930s, but our central bankers have responded by using the tools they should have used then. They are fighting the last war. The result, she argues, has been failure. “I don’t see that they’ve achieved what they should have been trying to achieve. So my verdict on this present Fed leadership is that they have not really done their job.”
1. Do you really think Bernanke was running the FED in the 1930s? He is again saying he learned the lessons of the 1930s.
2. What has money growth been for the past 12 months?
3. What has happened to the price level over the last 12 months?
As with any situation, you would do well to figure out what is being done well, monetary policy in this case, what is being done poorly, fiscal policy and regulatory policy uncertainty, and who is responsible for what, monetary policy: the FED under Bernanke’s leadership, fiscal and regulatory policy: the former Dim Congress and the administration unders Obama’s “leadership” rather than just throwng the baby out with the bath water.
“1. Do you really think Bernanke was running the FED in the 1930s? He is again saying he learned the lessons of the 1930s.”
What the h-ll are you talking about? Bernanke wasn’t even alive in the 1930’s...
He can say he “learned the lessons”, but as Schwartz ably pointed out, he’s fighting the wrong war.
If he'd done what Bernanke has, hell yes!
Friedman was a great and wonderful defender of free enterprise. His books, videos and documentaries are must-see for anyone learning about capitalism.
His fatal flaw was his view that money can and should be manipulated by government. He got that part really, really wrong.
“His fatal flaw was his view that money can and should be manipulated by government. He got that part really, really wrong.”
Perhaps you need to google Monetarism or stable money growth rules. Friedman certainly got somethings wrong, ie negative income taxes v. “skin in the game,” but as I asked the prior poster:
1. What has been money growth over the last 12 months.
2. What has been the change in the price level over the last 12 months.
3. Do you imagine that the FED has some magic wand that can control anything other than the rate of growth of the money supply?
30 lies from a paid professional liar. Nothing more or less. He’s not stupid. He is a paid liar. Everything out of his mouth is a lie. I wouldn’t believe him if he said the sky was blue.
I know how old Bernanke is. I am not the one ranting about this or that statement of his. Actions are what matter in a crisis. So we are back to has the FED under his leadership given us a stable price level? Well?