Comparing The Bernank on 60 Minutes 3/09 vs 12/10

My darling daughter.  All the other 10yr old girls, with their crappy Justice shirts, will envy you like there is no tomorrow.  Speaking of there being no tomorrow, you will be doing your part by wearing that shirt to school every day for the rest of the year. By advocating for the Stopping of the Bernank’s Printing, you will be doing your part to insure that there is a tomorrow. So chin up. And Black goes with everything.

The Bernank was interviewed by 60 Minutes’s last night. This is the second time he appeared on 60 Minutes in two years, the first time being 630 days prior in March 2009. Witness direct quotes from the two 60 Minutes interviews:

March 2009:

–       I do think we will get the economy stabilized, and we’ll see the recession come to an end probably this year.

–       I’ve never been on Wall Street. And I care about Wall Street for one reason and one reason only – because what happens on Wall Street matters to Main Street.

–       I just have every confidence that as we get through this crisis, that our economy will begin to grow again, and it will remain the most powerful and dynamic economy in the world.

–       The Fed: It manages monetary policy for the country. It’s one of the main tools we have for stabilizing our economy and keeping prices stable.

–       It’s not tax money. The banks have– accounts with the Fed, much the same way that you have an account in a commercial bank. So, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of
the account that they have with the Fed. So it’s much more akin to printing money than it is to borrowing.

–       Let me give you an analogy, if I might. If you have a
neighbor, who smokes in bed. And he’s a risk to everybody. If suppose he sets fire to his– to his house, and you might say to yourself, you know, “I’m not going to call the fire department. Let his house burn down. It’s fine with me.” But then, of course, but what if your house is made of wood? And it’s right next door to his house? What if the whole town is made of wood? Well, I think we’d all agree that the right thing to do is put out that fire first, and then say, “What punishment is appropriate?”


December 2010:

–       At the rate we’re going, it could be four, five years before we are back to a more normal unemployment rate.

–       40 percent of the unemployed have been unemployed for six months or more. And that’s unusually high. And people who are unemployed for such a long time, their skills erode.

–       A lot of small businesses are not seeking credit, because, you know, because their business is not doing well, because the economy is slow. Others are not qualifying for credit, maybe because the value of their property has gone down. But some also can’t meet the terms and conditions that banks are setting.

–       He says long-term inflation fears are “way overstated,” and the Fed is not just “printing money.” One myth that’s out there is that what we’re doing is printing money. We’re not printing money.

–       On the possibility of additional quantitative easing, Bernanke said: “Oh, it’s certainly possible.”

–       Cleaning up the tax code, for example. The tax code is very inefficient. Both the personal tax code and the    corporate tax code. By closing loopholes and lowering rates, you could increase the efficiency of the tax code and create more incentives for people to invest.

What’s notable when we compare last night’s interview with 2009’s? First in March 2009 he says outright that the Fed is not using taxpayer money to save the economy; it is printing money to achieve the bailouts. Yes you read correctly. And last night he denied that the Fed was printing money. Which Bernank to believe? Sigh. Second, he stated in the 2009 interview that the bailouts were needed to stop a spreading fire, and that the time would come for punishment of the banks later. Have you seen the bonus payments being paid out this year-end? What punishment? Free money to leverage up prop trading? But hey, it’s ok; some folks MUST be buying the Bentleys that are parked in the Short Hills Mall.