Source: Acting-Man.com, by MN Gordon
Somehow, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke found time from his busy hedge fund advisory duties last week to tell his ex-employer how to do its job. Namely, he recommended to his former cohorts at the Fed how much they should reduce the Fed’s balance sheet by. In other words, he told them how to go about cleaning up his mess.
Praise the Lord! The Hero is back to tell us what to do! Why, oh why have you ever left, oh greatest central planner of all time. We are not worthy.
We couldn’t recall the last time we’d seen or heard from Bernanke. But soon it all came back to us. There he was, in the flesh, babbling on Bloomberg and Squawk Box, pushing the new paperback version of his mis-titled memoir “The Courage to Act.” Incidentally, the last time we’d heard much out of the guy was when the hard copy was released in late 2015.
With respect to the Fed’s balance sheet, Bernanke remarked that the Fed should cut it from $4.5 trillion to “something in the vicinity of $2.3 to $2.8 trillion.” What exactly this would achieve Bernanke didn’t say. As far as we can tell, a balance sheet of $2.8 trillion would still be about 300 percent higher than it was prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
Bernanke, by all measures, is an absolute lunatic. He, more than anyone else, is responsible for the utter mess that radical monetary policies have made of the U.S. economy. He’s the one who dropped the federal funds rate to near zero and inflated the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet by over 450 percent.
Yet Bernanke walks and talks with no remorse. He even believes his actions somehow saved the economy. In truth, his actions impeded the economy’s ability to self-correct and provoked today’s asset and debt bubbles. However, with the exception of Lehman Brothers, his efforts did succeed in saving the banker’s bacon.
Well, at least someone was happy…
Remember, it was Bernanke who goaded Alan Greenspan to drop the federal funds rate to 1 percent and leave it there for 12 months in 2003-04 following the dot com crash. This single act contributed to the mortgage lending bubble and bust more than anything else.
Bernanke even delivered a fearful speech on the subject in late 2002 auspiciously titled, Deflation: Making Sure “It” Doesn’t Happen Here. There he outlined his approach with uncompromising assurance:
“[T]he 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 essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services.”
Later, as Fed Chair, Bernanke’s big dream came true. Following the mortgage lending bubble and bust that he’d helped Greenspan orchestrate, Bernanke was granted the opportunity to execute his mad ideas of mass money supply expansion.