Well, maybe this audience will be more informed:

After his semi-annual testimony in front of Congress — with notably uninformed commentary from House and Senate members — the Fed chief tries a new tact, taking it to the public.


“The Federal Reserve chairman is in Kansas City, Mo., for a town-hall forum hosted by The NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer. The taped program will appear this week on PBS stations. But we’re here at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to bring it to you live on Real Time Economics.

It’s pretty good timing for Mr. Bernanke. He has six months and five days left in his four-year term as chairman. In the coming months, President Obama will decide whether to reappoint Mr. Bernanke or choose someone else (that is, someone with Democratic credentials) to lead the central bank.

The Fed chairman’s public standing is bruised from the deep recession and his decisions ahead of it. At the same time, the Fed is under attack from a growing number of lawmakers who want the central bank’s power reined in after its extraordinary actions to keep the economy from falling into another depression. So the former professor has spent this year moving beyond the Fed’s usual forums. He appeared before the National Press Club in February, sat down for a lengthy “60 Minutes” piece in March and lectured at Morehouse College in April to explain his actions and show he’s not afraid to take on public criticism.”

This is obviously part of his re-election campaign.

The full forum will be aired on the PBS NewsHour during the week of July 27.


Bernanke Live: Fed Chairman Faces PBS Viewers
Sudeep Reddy
Real Time Economics   JULY 26, 2009


Bernanke on the Record


Category: Federal Reserve, Television

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

25 Responses to “Bernanke Meets His Public”

  1. Pat G. says:

    “Well, maybe this audience will be more informed:”

    Perhaps. But Bernanke is a politician. He’ll do what they do best; wiggle. He will come out of this fine, Obama will reappoint him and we’ll be off to the races again until….reality rears its ugly head….again.

  2. kblasi says:

    Town Hall = Dog and Pony show for the politicians
    (It ain’t got nothin’ to do with the public. Nothin’…)

    If Bernanke was truly a cheerleader of disclosure and transparency, he’d pull up a bar stool next to me with a large martini in front of him:

    1 hour/2 martini’s later….

    Me: So, Dr. Bernanke, give it to me straight, if you would – is the Fed’s dual mandate in conflict with open, free markets? …and what do you REALLY think about your predecessor?”

  3. alfred e says:

    Is Ben pinned down between Summers, Geithner and GS? Seems Paulson has taken himself out of the picture. But good. Is that the plan to push Ben under the bus with Hank?

  4. contrabandista13 says:

    I honestly don’t know about Bernanke, I don’t know if he’s a good Fed Chairman or a bad one. For that matter, I couldn’t tell you what makes a good or bad Fed Chairman or if we’ve ever had one of “those”. If I were Obama, I would reappoint him, why not, Obama doesn’t seem to know the difference either….? If anyone can answer that question, I would appreciate the enlightenment……

    Best regards,


  5. some_guy_in_a_cube says:

    Corporate Media outlets such as NewsHour and the rest of the establishment is rallying around Bernanke, clearly signaling some desperation among the Sidwell Friends crowd. You hoople heads out there need only nod your heads up and down at the appropriate time. Oh, and do remember to keep your hand off your wallet so they can continue to help themselves to it.

  6. km4 says:

    Bernanke bristled with emotion when asked about assaults on the Fed’s independence — notably, a proposal in Congress for the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to be able to “audit” the Fed’s interest rate decisions.

    I don’t think that’s consistent with independence. I don’t think the American people want Congress running monetary policy. That’s exactly what (the bill) would do,” he said.

    Sure hope that bill S604 to Audit the Federal Reserve gets passed so this assclown can be kicked to the curb!

  7. some_guy_in_a_cube says:

    “I don’t think that’s consistent with independence. I don’t think the American people want Congress running monetary policy. That’s exactly what (the bill) would do,” he said.”

    I don’t think the American people want a cabal of bankers in the guise of an “independent” Fed to pick their pockets.

    Independent of whom, Benny boy?

    Oh, I see. Better a group of bankers operating in secret than a group of elected representatives who must face the people from time to time.

    With this statement, Bernanke clearly demonstrates his extreme hostility towards democracy. In this, he is not alone. Let him and his ilk go to Iran and run the banks there.

  8. km4 says:

    Dismantling the Temple ( the Fed )


    By William Greider

    July 15, 2009

    six key points

    1. It rewards failure. Like the largest banks that have been bailed out, the Fed was a co-author of the destruction. During the past twenty-five years, it failed to protect the country against reckless banking and finance adventures. It also failed in its most basic function–moderating the expansion of credit to keep it in balance with economic growth.

    2. Cumulatively, Fed policy was a central force in destabilizing the US economy. Its extreme swings in monetary policy, combined with utter disregard for timely regulatory enforcement, steadily shifted economic rewards away from the real economy of production, work and wages and toward the financial realm, where profits and incomes were wildly inflated by false valuations. Abandoning its role as neutral arbitrator, the Fed tilted in favor of capital over labor.

    3. The Fed cannot possibly examine “systemic risk” objectively because it helped to create the very structural flaws that led to breakdown. The Fed served as midwife to Citigroup, the failed conglomerate now on government life support. Greenspan unilaterally authorized this new financial/banking combine in the 1990s–even before Congress had repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited such mergers.

    4. The Fed can’t be trusted to defend the public in its private deal-making with bank executives. The numerous revelations of collusion have shocked the public, and more scandals are certain if Congress conducts a thorough investigation.

    5. Instead of disowning the notorious policy of “too big to fail,” the Fed will be bound to embrace the doctrine more explicitly as “systemic risk” regulator. A new superclass of forty or fifty financial giants will emerge as the born-again “money trust” that citizens railed against 100 years ago. But this time, it will be armed with a permanent line of credit from Washington.

    6. This road leads to the corporate state–a fusion of private and public power, a privileged club that dominates everything else from the top down. This will likely foster even greater concentration of financial power, since any large company left out of the protected class will want to join by growing larger and acquiring the banking elements needed to qualify.

  9. km4 says:

    Bernanke had to ‘hold his nose’ over bailouts

    By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer Jeannine Aversa, Ap Economics Writer – 21 mins ago
    WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Sunday that he had to “hold his nose” over last year’s taxpayer-financed bailouts of big financial companies but argued that the action had to be taken to avoid a major meltdown of the U.S. financial system and the broader economy.

    Bullshit !
    If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it….hmmm who did we hear this from

    6. This road leads to the corporate state–a fusion of private and public power, a privileged club that dominates everything else from the top down.

    The MSM is selling this ‘deep and hard’ because they play are accustomed to playing the the role of whores to the fusion of private and public power

  10. E says:

    Do not underestimate the effect that identity politics will play on this. San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen is a strong alternative for Obama to consider – and not really because she saw the housing meltdown coming or would be a better Fed chair. Like Sotomayer, she may benefit from being the right gender at the right time.

    That’s why Bernanke is politicking.

  11. philipat says:

    It’s a shame that the CEO’s of Wall St don’t have to get re-elected every 4 years in a public debate. Given that the Shareholders and Boards of these Companies aren’t willing to exercise any control, it could be an attractive proposition?

    I suspect that opinions on whether Bernanke should be re-appointed would also be influenced by the alternatives. If Summers were the alternative, I suspect Bernanke’s ratings might rise dramatically.

  12. philipat says:


    One Greenspan doth not a Fed make?

  13. manhattanguy says:

    Bernanke out, Paul Volker in. Bernanke will not raise interest rate. Rather he will continue with his policy of printing money. I expect double digit inflation followed by high interest rates in 2 years. It will be a rerun of 1980s. Wait and watch.

  14. Andy T says:

    I actually think it would be great for Ben B. to be renominated to the Fed head role. It will allow us all to view this Greek tragedy unfold completely.

    The “foremost authority” on the Great Depression inherits his own Depression. Totally committed in his views that these sorts of things are “preventable,” he goes to the Chicago Econ school playbook and prints a bunch of money (hubris). All of it yields little fruit, because the credit bubble is simply too large to stop and people behave in ways “not predicted by the models.” Long term interest rates and deficits move higher, causing angst across the societal spectrum. Ben is unable to print as much money as is actually required and the country continues to stagnate under the weight of massive debt. The next Depression cannot be averted (hamartia).

    Bernanke will be seen many years from now mumbling about “would’a, should’a, could’a…” on the inevitable retrospectives that will be produced from this era…..

    With that said, I really do hope that things work out OK, and I would suggest that Ben B. is probably the best person for the role at this point. My worry is that he doesn’t have the spine to hold firm to his own game plan of printing trillions and trillions of dollars. “Plan your trade; trade your plan.”

  15. karen says:

    Plan your trade; trade your plan.. i do that all the time and it is reminiscent of “no pain, no gain” or is that childbirth…

  16. lz says:

    Bottom line, Bernanke and his reflation theory is a complete failure. But he accomplished two things that had never been done before.
    1. He engineered the greatest wealth transfer in human history.
    2. He extinguished american middle class.

    Now he and his fellow don’t admit defeat and try to practice that failed theory once again, he will certainly make other two great achievements
    1. He will make his Fed powerless.
    2. He will turn this country to banana republic.

    This guy still being in charge is telling how stupid and numb public is. Looks they wanted to fooled all the time.

  17. Bruce in Tn says:


    “Nothing made me more frustrated, more angry, than having to intervene” when companies were “taking wild bets,” Bernanke said. But not acting would have had grave consequences for the economy, he added

    …It wasn’t my fault I’ve indebted generations…I had to do it…

  18. [...] Jim Lehrer, which will be shown tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday during the news hour. As Barry Ritholtz observes, this is his re-election campaign, and he’s taking it straight out of the Obama [...]

  19. dead hobo says:

    Why wait until next year. Send him home today.

  20. ToNYC says:

    Helicopter Ben will be the man who history will note as the one who brought down the Fed. His desire for transparency will expose the rotting corpse of a Wizard of Oz trade group determined to game the economy for the survival of the biggest banks. Alas the banks got too big and the games too absurd with way-too leveraged and securitized junk with a bow on it. The quadrillion obligations they have contracted are patently absurd and no future generation will stand for the yoke necessary to pay them down as stated. All the bigs GS, JPM , Citadel, et al. have to make “profits” now are computerized video game HFT tricks and spinning CDS stories in the brokered OTC space.
    Ben will hold more than his nose, more like his ankles as he didn’t bring the Second Great Depression,
    but did bring on the Death of the Fed. Almost a hundred years of playing with fire ended badly. Back to Princeton, Ben, for a life of apologies. You couldn’t, now you can teach.

  21. OkieLawyer says:

    A little off topic:

    Despair.com has come up with a new poster: Bailouts!

    I think most here will get as big a laugh out of it as I did.

  22. bruerr says:

    [A small-business owner expressed concern to Bernanke that such actions were "hard to swallow," saying he felt like small businesses — also struggling to survive the recession and all the financial fallout — were being shortchanged....the same small-business owner, expresses frustration with “billions and billions of dollars” going to large firms and calls the government approach “too big to fail, too small to save.”

    "Nothing made me more frustrated, more angry, than having to intervene" when companies were "taking wild bets," Bernanke said. But not acting would have had grave consequences for the economy, he added.

    "I was not going to be the Federal Reserve chairman who presided over the second Great Depression," he said. "I had to hold my nose. ... I'm as disgusted as you are. ... I absolutely understand your frustration."]

    “Nothing made me more frustrated, more angry, than having to intervene” when companies were “taking wild bets,” Bernanke said.

    Apparently not angry enough to say banking executives merit nothing more than a turkey for bonuses in 2008 and would have to make due with that. A perfect opportunity to make a statement and preserve decorum in society. Mr. Bernanke does not have a sense of how to regulate or discipline bankers. He is too busy trying to please them and kick the can down the road, than stop them from making foolish spectacle of themselves.

    He did not want to be seen as the chairman who presided over the second Great Depression … Meanwhile, Merill Lynch paid out over 5 billion dollars in bonus awards (accolades and medals to people who engineered the problems and whose business was failing) under the careful and glassed over eyes of Ben Bernanke – more concerned about his reputation than about whether or not the American people were being treated fairly.

    He put down contract law as a basis for unloading their debt on us, and then a few months later, was standing in their number, summarily invoking contract law as a basis for paying them “glory year” type bonuses.

    I am sure he was “holding his nose” over the indulgence, but the banks had to get permission of the Federal reserve board of governors to pay out those bonus. Bernanke is the Chairman of that board, which with Treasury Geithner, helped authorized the bonus awards to Merrill and all bonuses paid during the economic crisis.

    He also authorized pass through operations at many banks receiving TARP money, that those banks would continue to pay dividends and take cash off their balance sheet, to do so. This is opposed to stopping that practice, since it was a crisis. A common sense solution, that would have been easy to order during an economic emergency and he went the opposite way.

  23. bruerr says:

    Given two funds: Fund produced from cash dividends of large banks vs. funds taken from tax payers…

    Which cash pool is the more responsible fund to exhaust first?

  24. bruerr says:

    correction: that was the Honorable Treasury, Henry Paulson (not Geithner) who help authorize capital distributions, pass through operations paying more dividends that making loans in 3rd and 4th quarter of 08 and bonus pay during economic emergency, seeking approval from Federal board of governors and Mr. Bernanke, did vote to approve the activities. Mr. Geithner was there with Mr. Paulson at that time, and has since acted to continually stone wall and overlook the dishonorable practices of his mentor.