WoD – Gentle Ben

Ben Bernanke took over as Fed Chairman in February, 2006.  I happen to think he is doing a solid and quite good job through this mess, and I like him as a person (here is a very good and revealing speech he gave at BC Law School Commencement, if interested in him: http://www.businessinsider.com/dealing-with-uncertainty-in-your-career-2009-5. Worth a read).

I think the Fed’s willingness, albeit late, to do all sorts of things to reflate and increase the supply and velocity of money have been good.  Some were quite creative (i.e. beyond just putting the Fed Funds rate at 0.25%), and I think the Fed is in a decent position with the economy somewhat back on track to now slow their initiatives of buying treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, and begin to let the market set price again (price for interest rates).  At least I hope they ease off the pedal and take this less-heavy-handed approach.

But here is a question to think about.  For someone who literally is THE expert and THE student on the Great Depression, how did we end up so close to it repeating during his tenure in the first place?!  It is an amazing coincidence, isn’t it?

Yes, he inherited almost everything (lax regulations, crazy Wall St. money-making set-ups like CDO’s, the big bubble in housing, loose credit and buyouts gone wild, etc.)  But here’s a subtle point to remember – he did take over as long ago as Feb. 2006.  That’s three years ago now.  I know one man can’t stop (or start) something as big as this credit crunch and whole recession, but could he have done more in 2006 and 2007 to perhaps avert, or maybe shallow out, the hole we’re now in?  Should he and the Fed have been more prescient and attuned to the situation, back when they could have done more things to prevent or lessen it?

Again, I like him.  But perhaps he is somewhat to blame, after all…?

Thursday:

MEKHULE (m’KHOOLeh)

Ended unhappily, spoiled

Their marriage went mekhule after she had that affair.

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