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Sizing Up Ben Bernanke

The economy’s getting traction. How’s the Fed chief done? How’s he doing?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, before the House Budget Committee.  (AP)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, before the House Budget Committee. (AP)

Everybody’s hoping the economy’s coming back.  Nobody knows for sure.  And the biggest foot on the pedals is the foot of Ben Bernanke.  The Federal Reserve Chairman with the trim beard and long view has been at the very heart of the economic crisis and the effort to claw back.

The fact that we’re not in a Great Depression right now owes no small debt to him.  But the Left rages that he hasn’t done enough.  The Right rages that he’s hell-bent on inflation.  Ron Paul wants to pull the Fed’s plug.  Rick Perry said don’t come down to Texas.

This hour, On Point:  the American economy and Ben Bernanke.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Roger Lowenstein, a financial journalist, his latest cover story on Ben Bernanke in the Atlantic magazine is here.

Charles Calomiris, a professor of financial institutions at Columbia University Business School.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic “Over the past four and a half years, Bernanke, 58, has presided over the most sustained period of crisis of any civilian official in recent history, with the fate of millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans hanging in the balance.”

ABC News “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sat down with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer Tuesday to discuss the state of the U.S. economy and the challenges we still face on the road to recovery. Bernanke and Sawyer spoke on a wide range of issues including gas prices, the housing market and where the national unemployment rate is heading. ”

Time “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that U.S. government intervention during the financial crisis prevented a “total meltdown” in the U.S. economy that could have rivaled the Great Depression.”

  • You can find a time-line of the recent recession here.
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  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Perhaps Mr. Bernanke is responsible for high gas prices because of his weak dollar policy.

    • Drew You Too

      Couldn’t be, he’s a Professor or something now isn’t he? lol

      Thanks for that

  • U.S. Vet.

    Thanks to Ben Bernanke and the for profit, privately owned Federal Reserve taking interest rates down to nearly zero for banks, my certificate of deposit (CD) in my bank earns a little over 1% interest which is less than the rate of inflation. 

    Ben Bernanke works on behalf of the speculators, not for people on a fixed income like myself who have seen their standard of living fall significantly.

    • denis

      I, like you, live on a fixed income. in my opinion your comments are short sighted and lacking analysis. I am thankful Mr. Bernanke has done what he has done… I could be in the streets with a paupers cup asking for handouts. 

      1] without the actions of the Fed your CD would very well be worth zero getting zero interest.

      2] shop around, good solid community banks give much higher interest rates. In my local community bank I get approx 3% on my checking account with no minimum balance.

      3] As much as we the public like to bet up wall street and the big banks [and I do my share of that] we need them to survise as our economy has evolved.

      4] In my opinion, it is the ethics of corporate CEO’s and Republican Congresspersons that lead to our collapse, not Mr. Bernanke – he is just the clean-up man doing the best he can with what he has.  

  • Anonymous

    When it comes to unemployment it’s been a tale of two recessions, with level of education playing an unprecedented role in whether you’ve been pink slipped or not. Getting a degree from High Speed Universities is the only solution

    • Patrik

      Surprisingly a lot of common discussions ignore a lot of the on the ground facts of the basic economic principle that improved technology will negatively affect employment.  When a whole factory can be self automated to produce autos, with a couple of human eyes for QC, expect a spike in unemployment.  We have moved from a hands on/physical labor economy to a thinking/service economy.  Some how we, as a general populous, were slow to react.  e.g. Lacking educational progress, shifting vocational skills etc…  There is no financial scheme or number moving that can change that for the better.

    • Drew You Too

      Education is not as much a determining factor as is the bottom line when it comes to loss of employment. Several hundred thousand degree holders that currently find themselves unable to gain employment would likely disagree with your analysis. The Admins keep their jobs, the educated backbone? Not so much…

      • Patrik

        Weeell, it’s the TYPE of education/degree you pursue.  Specialization is still relevant and is still the core parts of this economy. 

  • Gregg

    Bernake could use a little help from Obama who is not serious about fiscal responsibility. Last night the House voted on his budget. It went down 414-0. Harry Reid refuses to bring t up in the Senate. The last Obama budget voted on in the Senate was defeated 97-0. It’s outrageous and looks like he will go through his entire term without a budget. It’s an astonishing lack of leadership and no one seems to care.

    • Anonymous

      More distortions and half-truths from the resident FoxSnooz shill.

      The Rethuglicons forced a tactical vote on the Obama budget, then rejected a Bowles-Simpson-ish version written by two Republicans.

      http://news.yahoo.com/gop-run-house-easily-rejects-bipartisan-budget-015402181.html

      But according to Rush worshipper Greggg, it’s all Obama’s fault.

      • Gregg

        Oh those wascally Republicans tactically and deviously brought Obama’s budget to a vote and it went down 414-0. Such a scandal. Rush was probably was behind it.

        I told you no one seems to care.

    • denis

      even Fox News gives covers this story with more honesty and clarity than your little sound bite: 

      WASHINGTON –  Before taking up their own budget plan for next year, House Republicans pushed a version of President Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget to the floor for a vote, and it was it was unanimously defeated, 414-0.
      Republicans have opposed Obama’s budget all year, criticizing its tax increases on the wealthy and saying it lacks sufficient spending cuts.
      The vote came as the House debated a GOP budget that contains far more deficit reduction than Obama has proposed.
      GOP lawmakers forced the vote on Obama’s plan as a tactical move aiming at embarrassing Democrats. The Democrats have defended Obama’s budget priorities, but they largely voted “no” Wednesday night.
      Republicans said Democrats were afraid to vote for Obama’s proposed tax increases and extra spending for energy and welfare. Democrats said Republicans had forced a vote on a version of Obama’s budget that contained only its numbers, not the policies he would use to achieve them.
      The budget was offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to show how few votes the president’s budget might get.
      House Republicans last tried this same tactic in 2000 on President Clinton’s budget.
      House Democrats floated three of President Reagan’s budgets in the 1980s. Those budgets collected 28, 15 and one votes, respectively.
      Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report
      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/28/gop-run-house-easily-rejects-obama-budget/#ixzz1qWPMHxv6

      • Gregg

        Was Obama’s budget unanimously defeated or not? Has he ever had a budget
        passed or not? Has any budget he’s offered ever gotten a single
        affirmative vote by any Republican or Democrat in either the House or
        Senate? Are you one who criticizes Bush for 2 wars off-budget (Bogus
        BTW) but has no problem with Obama conducting his entire Presidency
        off-budget?

        Please keep defending this as it shines light on the absolute hypocrisy of the left.

  • Hidan

    Bernanke pretty much gave billions to the banks at a quarter of 1% who some than went and used that money to buy T bill at around 3%. Left the fed window open like it was monopoly. The allowed the taxpayers to be on the hook for “trillions” of dollar of the Banks bad assets and investments. QE1 and QE2 gave even more billions to the banks. A normal person is told you can lose there bet and lose there money in the market yet banks were given the ability to loss and still win and get there money back.

    Our government allowed Goldman Sach’s to switch over to avoid massive losses and just so happens many Former Goldman employees work for the Fed, the WH and the government.

    Roger Lowenstein piece is so out there. It reminds me of all the praise Greenspan got of course before the complete collapse of our economy. Too Big to fail is even greater and next time it happen it will be like a Greece type deal.  Where all the middle-class and poor suffer so the Bankers can be whole.  The guy claims the second Reserved bank was a great sucess and blames Andrew Jackson for it’s downfall but if one where to watch the history channel the Second Reserved bank was corrupt as ever and by Andrew Jackson taking on that bank was able to balance the American budget.
     
    The Bank of the United States 3:00 in Lowenstein is trying to rewrite history (like most do) History Channel
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jm42AS9tko&feature=relmfu

    • Anonymous

      I hope Tom destroys Roger. I read that article, made me sick to my stomach. It’s easy to pay the bills when you’re not the one paying, and the proceeds are going to people who will probably hire you for a ridiculous salary when you retire from the public sector. Paulson hired Greenspan, after all.

      And say what you will about Jackson, but he’s one of the only presidents to ever stand up to the financial charlatans that seems to love promoting bubbles to profit from every few decades:Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!
      From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834)

      • Anonymous

        There’s more information in the comments section of the Atlantic article than there is in the article.

  • Hidan

    Check out 6:45 in the below video and what Nicholas Biddle did. Sounds familiar ? except obama caved in

  • Anonymous

    Another On Point program dealing with the economy, yet another apparent failure to question overarching assumptions built into the current system, and to address alternative concepts like steady state.

    What’s the deal? Is this too upsetting to NPR’s corporate underwriters?

    Heck, i’ll even provide a reading list…

    http://richardheinberg.com/bookshelf/the-end-of-growth-book

    Economists insist that recovery is at hand. Yet, unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in our economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.

    http://steadystate.org/

    Economic growth, with all of its downsides, is clearly unsustainable in the 21st century.  Long-term recession is no panacea either. 

    A steady state economy is the sustainable alternative to perpetual economic growth.Economic growth was never a magic bullet; it is simply an increase in the production and consumption of goods and services — it can’t possibly lead to a sustainable outcome.  In contrast the steady state economy provides the means for present and future generations to achieve a high quality of life.

    http://www.upne.com/1584654953.html

    In this compelling and cogently argued book, Tom Wessels demonstrates how our current path toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and inefficient use of resources, runs absolutely contrary to three foundational scientific laws that govern all complex natural systems. It is a myth, he contends, that progress depends on a growing economy.

    • LastGasp

      Taking away the Fed power to print money and manipulate our economy, as well as re-examining the Fractional Reserve Banking system would go a long way to constraining the economy to sustainable, at least limited to reality of scarcity, levels.

      Pricing, Supply and Demand if let to work, act to keep us honest, but the Centrally-manipulated banking system allows the charade of endless growth to continue, and the corrupt bubble economy to repeat itself, with the elite skimming off the cycles over and over.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry, LeatherDave, your fantasy Libertarian, free-marketeering isn’t the solution. Your fantasies fail to deal with externalities, worker exploitation, environmental damage, and a host of other problems.

        • LastGasp

          bring externalities into pricing with transparency and private property.

          Soviet Union was oh so green, worker friendly and sustainable.

          • Anonymous

            There he goes, phony dichotomies, no real answers to specific failings of his Libertarian fantasies. 

            Same s**t, different day.

  • leftofcenter

    Fire Bernanke. Why? Because the total debt (federal and personal) can never be paid back.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The debt is the fault of Congress and the President, not the Federal Reserve.

      • LastGasp

        Fed needs to print the money that Congress spends to pander for our votes.

  • Sam

    BOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    Just watched the “Inside Job”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645089/

    the other day and this dude sucks!

    FIRE HIM!!!
    And the rest of the people who were at fault for causing the economic crisis. They are all still in power!!! Which is why I am so disheartened with our current president.

    I’ll be voting for Bugs Bunny this November, because ALL candidates are horrible.

  • LastGasp

    Bernanke is part of the same cabal that delivered our greatest financial swindle/crises ever. All the Central Bankers and Financial Academics and Wall St Elites who rig the system, play academic games, and skim off the scheme, are the ones who took us to the precipice, and are trying to “save us” by inflating our way to a destroyed currency.

    If they destroy the dollar, no worry for them, they and there international cohorts will invent a new currency, and consolidate more power, to start all over again.We don’t buy it any more.

  • Dave Gwatkin, Lyndonville, VT

    Debasing the dollar, monetizing nat’l debt, synthetically
    inflating equities and commodities via ZIRP & QE, and not only providing
    safe harbor but enriching the “robber bankers” post crisis, has done
    nothing to benefit Main St and the economy as a whole. It has done one thing:
    expanded the gap between the few “haves” and the many “have
    nots”.  History will not be kind.

  • LastGasp

    The Fed was ostensibly created to save us from the business cycle and booms and busts (Ha!). Now that the story of how it was central in creating the greatest bubble and crisis in our history (Greenspan + Wall St + Washington Central Planning) is so clear, what on earth is the excuse for it’s existence now??

  • LastGasp

    “Meltdown”.

    Sounds like “Weapons of Mass Destruction”.

    Good old Fear for Power Consolidation.

  • Laura in VT

    Please explain to me WHO runs the Fed reserve??

    • Adks12020

      the Federal Reserve Board of Governors runs the Federal Reserve….just like any other bank it is run by a board of directors.  The board members are appointed by the President and affirmed by the Senate.

  • LastGasp

    How can your guest say that with all this money printing and debt we can never pay, we a largely “doing fine”?

    Who does inflation hurt?

    Who does it help?

  • Ddunn45

    The critical fact, that no one mentions, is that China is in control of the economic future of the United States as well as the rest of the world. The dollar will soon loose its reserve currency status. Everyone should hold on for the hughe inflationary ride that is coming. Chairman Bernanke is well aware that this country is on the verge of economic servitude.

  • LastGasp

    The Fed management of our economy is Central Planning as much as any totalitarian regime.

    The Fed/Wall St/Washington nexus, is a corrupt juggernaut that we are essentially serfs to.

  • Drew You Too

    The crisis is over? I feel so much better now…

  • Chris

    Everything’s great. Aside from:

    tens of thousands of small businesses failing.

    over 25 million people unemployed or underemployed.

    millions of people thrown out of their homes.

    millions of people on food stamps and without any health insurance.

    Yeah, everything’s fine for the criminal rich.

    • denis

      And republican Supreme Court justices do not cite law in their questions (and seemingly opinions – Citizens United] but rather republican talking points.
      I am not sure who you are trying to blame for your list of inequities but I would say look hard at tea party / republicans. It will not get better unless the liberal / progressive [both dem and republican] vote and take control of the political process.
      ] vote and take control of the political process.  ] vote and take control of the political process. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

      Unemployment has fallen to 8% though! Pay no mind to the  15+% poverty rate, 22% poverty in New York City, 26% in Chicago, 33% in Detroit.

      Until a new labor movement emerges and forces employers to pay the millions of low wage Americans enough money not to live in poverty while working full time, all the trends we’ve seen will get worse and worse. Thankfully I think we’re going to see the rumblings of this new movement coming together in the nation wide labor/Wall St. protests planned for this May Day. 

  • LastGasp

    The crisis is over.  Who is this guy?  Debt? Coming Inflation?

    Crisis is over for Wall St. Period.

    Could have given all the Bailout money to US Citizens, and let them stimulate the economy organically, not give it back to the crooks.

  • LastGasp

    Loans>Credit>Money

    Same old same old.

    Money as Debt

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5352106773770802849#

  • PaulCJr

    He saved our butts. Had he not acted with such quickness as he did, we might have had a depression. 

    • Drew You Too

      I’m depressed…

    • Chris

      He made sure the financial sector was saved. The middle class and poor and having their earning power decreased and the little bit of wealth they had stolen.

    • LastGasp

      Yeah, all the bankers and Wall St. Crooks would have been depressed that their corrupt and predatory sector had been allowed to fail in the marketplace.

      The rest of us on the other hand, while it would have been tough, could have celebrated a cleaner, more organic system, and taken back a bit of power.

  • jim

    He save our butt from a great depression. but many of our ungrateful citizens still complaint about the Fed’s QE1. i don’t about you fellow citizens.. but i certain do NOT want to join you and live a life in old soviet times. i want to maintain my standard of living. if you do care to live in such wretched condition please move to North Korea or the Congo.

    But i do agree with some analysts… we do not need QE3.

    • PaulCJr

      When you listen to what people are complaining about, is that they can’t find good jobs, but that is due to a lot not having the propper skills for those jobs. 

    • Anonymous

      Our “standard of living” is is house of cards supported and accompanied by  subjugation of developing countries, environmental degradation, and corporate hegemony over our political system.

      But i got my iPhone, so everything’s cool…

  • Jay

    A question for your guest: Has the FOMC ever outvoted the chairman? In other words, have the wishes of the chairman ever not been carried out and, if not, could it happen?

  • Guest

    How does getting rid of the Federal Reserve help anything?  Yeah I know, they will stop printing money.  Look, if they get rid congress will make another entity that effectively acts like the Feds.

    Go to a gold standard then?  That doesn’t solve the money dilution problem.  Government still has the power to set the value of the dollar vs. gold.

    Go back to circulating gold coins?  Just look at history, feudal governments still diluted circulated coins by adding other metals to the gold coin.

    Nothing will had by hating Bernanke and the Feds.  Give the guy a break.  If you have anger, don’t direct it toward the symptom.  Go after your representatives.

    • LastGasp

      Geithner, Paulson, Bernanke, Summers, Rubin etc. all the guys who made Dictatorial Bailout decisions. Last I checked they weren’t my Representatives.

  • Pete Demers

    The problem with the economy is that there are too many people collecting very high salaries for adding very little value to the economy. I’m not talking about the Mitt Romney’s or Warren Buffets, but your high paid CEO’s , pro athletes, TV personalities etc. Their wages come from the receipts from distributing goods and services to cover costs which whether paid directly by the employer, is paid through distribution cost, advertizing etc. and the those enterprises that do pay big salaries have bee able to keep business up at the expense that the money spent for their high priced services (entertainment) reduces the money avaiable for other goods and services. Money paid to the very wealthy does not get circulated fast enough to support the market place which is what creates jobs thus a vigorous economy. Very high salaries must be abolished and taxing them to the hilt is the only way to make them not worth  obtaining.

    Pete Demers

    • Gregg

      That’s scary.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, the truth sometimes is very frightening to a lot of people..

    • LastGasp

      Stop printing the money that makes the illusion possible.

      • LastGasp

        Taxing Printed Money is insanity.

  • Pete Demers

    OOPs. I forgot to mention, no one is even discussing this aspect of the economy which all the data points to be the main problem.

  • Drew You Too

    He single handedly brought unemployment down. This show is just full of Revelations…

    • LastGasp

      How do we get vomit out of our keyboards?

      • Drew You Too

        Simple, buy another keyboard and save the economy at the same time. Don’t have the money for a new keyboard? Too bad…

  • LastGasp

    Discretionary Monetary Policy LEVERAGES the “business cycle”.

    We all know that central bankers in fact DRIVE the business cycle as their way of “managing” our economy, ostensibly for our own good.

    What happens, is they can’t predict the future, and chaos aspects of human behavior and action any better than the rest of us, so they get it wrong, BUT THEIR MISTAKES ARE LEVERAGED.

    Add Washingtons desires to piggyback on the leverage to enact social and economic engineering, and we get huge, difficult to reverse manipulated markets that lead to failure.

    The Banking/Wall St. sector makes money off the manipulated business cycle, and they love it. Its that simple.

  • Alexniez1

    I have an honest question having not lived through the inflation of the 70′s nor knowing too much about the general mechanics of economic stimulus: is it possible to have a positive inflation temporarily boast an economy and then be brought back down if properly implemented?

    • LastGasp

      That’s what they want you to believe. They are not omniscient Gods, just corrupt Bankers supporting the financial elite.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      During the Progressive Era, there was a push for adopting silver as the basis of our money to create inflation.  That would have made it easier for farmers to pay back their loans, since the value of the original loan would decrease–or so was the belief.  It was nonsense, of course.  Look at what happened in the Weimar Republic in Germany during the 20s.

  • Chris

    Called stagflation.

  • corginate

    in all crises the the person who leads the nation through the pitfalls of pitch black reality is always deemed the hero in hindsight. 

  • Drew You Too

    Economic Depression: “A period marked by low production and sales and a high rate of business failures and unemployment”

    Am I missing something? A depression by any other name…

  • LastGasp

    “Responding Aggressively to Crises”

    With what?  Their is no magic, clear “answer” to reverse the damage of previous central mismanagement.

    Chasing the tail.

    The “rate” of response is a good thing?

    Tom, please hold the guests responsible to some specific content.

  • Myself

    please bring serious NOBLE PRIZE WINNING economists who were right predicting the outcomes of the crisis to comment on this, not thinly veiled monetarists who are hiding in their closets from the WSJ manufactured bond vigilantes

    • LastGasp

      A.F. Hayek, unfortunately, is deceased.

      • LastGasp

        “NOBLE PRIZE WINNING economists who were right predicting the outcomes of the crisis to comment on this”

        While Hayek is gone, plenty of guests could have been invited:

        http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=32412

        • Anonymous

          You forgot to shill for Ron Paul, Dave.

          • LastGasp

            Why would referencing someone who speaks truth to all this madness be “shilling”? 

          • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

            Where are the democrats that predicted the financial crisis and oppose the Fed?

          • LastGasp

            They don’t see this as a crisis. They see it as an opportunity. Some by design, some by naive ignorance.

            Blame Free Markets (that never existed) and move to socialized “solutions” as the only alternative.

            The sooner people make the effort to understand Crony-Capitalism, State Capitalism, the Fed/Wall St/Washington Cabal, and realize how far that situation is than organic, free markets, within the bounds of non-dicsretionary Rule of Law, not Men (Bernanke, Summers etc), the better.

  • Chris

    We didn’t get a total meltdown in a month, what we got was a slow falling over the cliff over a decade.

    Just know this fellow Americans, the rich were saved and you will fall.

  • Sam

    “The key and most immediate takeaway from this jobs picture involves the
    Fed: Despite an unhealed labor market, the Fed’s stimulus efforts — one
    of the few things bolstering the economy right now — can’t continue.
    Fed officials will have to break their pledge to hold interest rates
    near 0% through at least 2014 or else risk fueling growth-killing
    inflation.”

    from
    http://money.msn.com/investing/are-american-workers-getting-lazy-mirhaydari.aspx?page=2

    very interesting, and I wholeheartedly agree…

  • Drew You Too

    “We want to be sure this never happens again.”

    Take the word never out of that statement and you’ll get the more realistic picture. I guess the past three decades didn’t involve any recessive periods.

    • LastGasp

      Nice to know the Fed is committed to closing its doors, to prevent it from bringing us another crisis.

  • LastGasp

    Could the genesis of our recent financial crisis, in its magnitude and reach into society, have been possible WITHOUT the Federal Reserve?

    How do your guests respond?

  • Bruce

    Thanks, On Point, for delving into what for me is a pretty arcane subject.
    As Paul Krugman has pointed out, in 2000 Bernanke offered a number of proposals aimed at preventing or remedying the Japanese malaise, an economic disaster that the U.S. seemed to be at risk of repeating in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008.
    As I understand it, he advocated purchase of long-term govt. debt, keeping short-term interest rates near zero, seeking moderate inflation in the range of 3-4% to encourage borrowing and discourage cash hoarding, and reducing the value of the Japanese currency.  It seems that he as applied the first two principles, but wavered on the latter two.
    One might reasonably ask if this agenda was good for Japan 12 years ago, why not take your own advice and implement it for the U.S. in its post-recession doldrums.

    • Myself

      they boild that frog

  • Chris

    Come one.

    The Fed saved the financial sector. They did nothing for the real economy.

  • John in Vermont

    If you think the Fed’s actions don’t really apply to you – think again.  Want to know why you aren’t getting any interest on your savings?  It’s because you are in competition with Ben Bernanke.

    The Fed is giving your bank basically free money so they don’t need yours and they don’t feel they need to pay you anything for the use of your money.

    By signally that interest rates will stay at current levels Bernanke told banks to keep doing what they are doing. So, don’t expect any return on your money for the foreseeable future.  What a guy!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      So that’s why Citizens Bank Green thing disappeared.
      I usually get $2.00 or $5.00 each month on my checking account

  • LastGasp

    Tom!

    “Fed not responsible for any of those things”?!?

    The massively leveraged Financial Bubble COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED  without the Fed! 

    Monetary policy FUELED the bubble! Is that even debatable?

    • LastGasp

      Because it was Ben’s predecessor, it makes it all ok? We have a systemic problem with this illusion of an omniscient, benevolent Fed to centrally manage our economy.

    • AmPat2

      FED bubbles are like waves on a rising tide.  They contribute to the problem and tip fortunes to misfortunes, for sure, but its the tide that is the root cause.  But you wont learn that from the media, any media.  Whether muzzled by internal “play safe” policies, social norms and taboos, or plain ignorance, or other agendas, it mostly dances around the issues   …we came, we talked… and nothing new is gleaned or advanced …kind of seem pointless waste of time …sometimes …often  …too often!

  • Eric M. Jones

    No one person on the show or on this list has a clue how much money they gave Wall Street. 750 BILLION dollars is enough to build 100 Panama Canals from scratch today.

    I’ll watch “Too big to fail” every chance I get. These guys are all crooks.

  • LastGasp

    Total power, No transparency.

    What do we have to worry about?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iFacebook:

    Ben Bernanke the unsong hero who saved the American economy from a great depression.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      correction should be iOnePoint:

      iFacebook is for my facebook wall.

  • John in Vermont

    Tom keeps referring to criticism from the right and left.  Sen Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul forced an audit of the Fed’s response to the meltdown. When he introduced the report Bernie said it contained “incredible and jaw-dropping details” but the press and Congress yawned and continued business (or non-business) as usual.

    You can read all about it at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704594804575648683678596728.html

    • LastGasp

      Exactly. Establishment Left and Right are a distraction. But it keeps the talk shows going……Heaven forbid we get to the bottom of anything and put them out of work.

  • LastGasp

    Alan Greenspan should have stuck to his Austrian/Libertarian roots and REFUSED to LEAD the Central Banking and Monetary manipulation that is anathema to sound money.

    Instead Greenspan left his principles at the door, and joined the banking cabal, fueling the largest malinvestment bubble in our history.

    People who smear the Austrian/Libertarian perspective which warned of and predicted this mess, with Alan Greenspan, fail to realize he turned his back on that when he joined the Fed.

    • LastGasp
      • Nevropatholog

        umm, i think that krugman noted that we had a housing bubble but did not approve of it; ditto, Robert Shiller.

        • LastGasp

          The articles speak louder than your recollections.

    • Nevropatholog

      having an Austrian/Libertarian for a Fed Chief got us into this mess.  We needed someone who would limit the ability of the banks to take on excess risk leading to a bubble. 

      • LastGasp

        You just proved my point.  Austrian/Libertarian Fed Chief is an oxymoron.

        Greenspan’s Fed pumped up the bubble, with unsound monetary policies. Thats the opposite of the Austrian/Libertarian message.

        Sorry that conflicts with your easy partisan narrative.

        If you want to limit the banks ability to speculate, stop giving them free money from the Fed, and re-evaluate the connection between Central Banking and Fractional Reserve Banking gone wild.

    • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

      Greenspan was like Bush – ran as a conservative, governed as a crony capitalist

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Our mission, as set forth by the Congress is a critical one: to preserve price stability, to foster maximum sustainable growth in output and employment, and to promote a stable and efficient financial system that serves all Americans well and fairly.

    by Ben Bernanke.

  • AmPat2

    Folks, take you political blinders off, and see that our economic engine is in China. The FED is parasitic and is helping its own kind, for sure, but it can’t fix the economy. Every time it tries to stimulate, only China’s economy roars to life. In the early 1970′s certain political/business/religious/int’l interests colluded in a dastardly power play to switch the US economy to pure play finance.  So, today, just six banks comprise 60% of US economy.  Financial industry does not/cannot create capital, it only moves money from one pocket to another, or dilutes capital by printing money; so just about every retail transaction today represents a loss of capital to the US economy.  An honest economist will tell you that today you need a 4-year degree to qualify for a $1.00 hourly wage in 1973 dollars, and only 20% are so lucky to get it.  The rub is, the minimum wage in 1973 was $1.60.  If you leave it to the myth of “free marketers” and the “labor arbitrage”, our economy will not recover on its own until it first declines sufficiently below any other suitable alternative to justify the move back – projected to be 80 years from now!!!  If that’s too long to wait, than raise hell with our “parliament of w.h.o.r.e.s” (90′s book title) and PIMPS–the US congress, to stop this insanity now.  Because, the trade arbitrage is even scarier — US loses $0.85 on every $1.00. How many times can you repeat this transaction?  Worrying about budget deficits now is like worrying about provisions on board the sinking Titanic.

  • Nevropatholog

    the FED could have prevented the property bubble if that had been a priority though the best way would have been to have the simple requirement of a 30% downpayment.  Bernake deserves our opprobium for allowing this disaster to continue on his watch without taking rapid action. 

  • Pete Demers

    While listening to the program, I could not help feeling disappointed that there was no discussion about the real problem with our economy and that Ben Bernanke with all his economic knowledge has never addressed discussed what the real implication is if the real cause of all our economic ills is not corrected. The cause of all our distress is the effect that one percenters are collecting 25% of our economic output in wages, salaries, and bonuses without contributing (it is not the rich investor) real value to the economy. This is a private sector problem not a government problem. The private sector is destroying its market place by diluting the distribution of their receipts that goes to pay good wages to the bulk of the people that create the market. The very rich can’t spend their salaries fas enough to do any good for the economy.

    The strength of our country depends mainly on the strength of economy. It is the duty of the government economic advisors to inform the people of the disaster that is forming with the continual outflow of money being paid in salaries to a very few. The government has the duty to maontain our strength and these high salaries must be abolished for the good of the country. These people can’t complain. Their wages have really been extorted as they really have not earned that money. No one can say that they provided 20 times more effort than the common worker. Where is the fairness in that? How can Americans acheive their American dream with hard work if there is no market to sell their ides to?

    The only way to correct this situation is to restrict expensing high salaries when calculating taxable income and to tax high salaries and bonuses at very high rates. This measure would be done to save capitalism from its misdeeds. They are destroying their market place with a slow death.

    All the other money problems can’t be fixed without a good economy so all the efforts to correct the economy without correcting the real cause if futile.

    • TomK in Boston

      I agree with you that our #1 problem is the massive redistribution of wealth to the top, and it may be a private sector problem, but it’s encouraged and enabled by the public sector policy of some of the lowest tax rates since 1929. The best thing we could do for the economy, which would require nothing but the stroke of a pen, is substantial tax increases at the top and on corporations. Dividend income and capital gains must be taxed as ordinary income. Tax rates should be made much more progressive and not max out at a few hundred $K: someone making $10 mil should pay a higher rate that someone making $1 mil, etc.

      Higher rates would not just fund infrastructure, the safety net, R&D etc but would encourage reinvestment as opposed to taking $ out of a business and putting them in the wall st casino.

      I strongly believe that the #1 reason for the decline of the middle class is the relentless tax cutting since 1980, closely followed by deregulation of the financial sector and union busting.

    • AmPat2

      The one percent is living high on the hog due to the situation arising from the obscenely favorable labor arbitrage initiated 2-3 decades ago between our nation, with the highest standard of living, and a nation(s) (of size) with one of the lowest standards of living, and the ensuing consequences.  Those political interests responsible for springing this piece of social engineering/political power play on the nation are guilty of an offense worthy of treason.  But that act alone would not have amounted to much without the eager multitudes putting their shoulder to the task–by obligingly bashing US made products/workers and gorging on Made in (offshore), or assembled in US with foreign parts and minimum wage US labor.  You cheered when your neighbors’ wages were shrinking and they were loosing their “high paying” jobs.  Well, little did you know that your fortunes were not far behind those of your neighbors (…”the rising tide…” and all that).  Now what? There is very little you can buy today that is made in US.  Our “retail” economy is a one leaky bucket. Every retail transaction you make leeks capital to China and elsewhere.  There is very little need for your  college degree.  Yeah, it sucks, …but you had your 5 minutes of satisfaction, …and your foreign made gadgets, and cars and …and the one percent thanks you for their good fortune.       

    • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

      “The cause of all our distress is the effect that one percenters are collecting 25% of our economic output in wages, salaries, and bonuses without contributing (it is not the rich investor) real value to the economy.” This is a symptom of the problem of big government. 

  • goFED

    Conspiracy theories about the federal reserve seem to be in on both the left and the right, but none hold water. . The federal reserve is the last thing holding this economy together as congress has utterly abdicated its responsibilities to the american people, holding the economy hostage through debt ceiling debate and budget impasse. There is always room for small improvements in transparency and the like, but its pure lunacy to talk of ending the federal reserve, returning to the gold standard, or changing the dual mandate. . 

    Ron Paul: WHERE IS THE INFLATION!?!?

    • LastGasp

      Who needs conspiracies? The reality of the Central Mismanagement and Corruption by revolving door Financial elites who play academic games with our economy while they enrich themselves on the fees, debt payments, and speculative bubbles speaks for itself.

      The Fed is a tool of the financial elite plain and simple. They pumped up our latest bubble, not saved us from it. Most Americans are not afraid of a real, organic, supply and demand, work and produce economy of real goods and services.  The financial elite learned long ago that to be able to amass the kind of overwhelming wealth/power to really be in charge, competing in a real, organic market of real goods and services based on scarcity and value, won’t cut it.

      Why people defend the financial manipulation class, and buy the nonsense of “the world is complicated today” is beyond me.

      We need to grow food, stay out of the elements, stay healthy, get reasonably educated and have a bit of fun.

      Complex derivative schemes and debt spending to oblivion are far from necessary to achieve those things.

      Cries of “conspiracy theories” just keeps the BS rolling.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      you will be a fool if you drive your car off the cliff. The feds will just laugh at you. Why burden yourself for the incompetent doing of other people?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      The Chinese Government actually controls the American company and the Arab nations who invest on the almighty dollar.

      • Tmajor7

        In what way do the Chinese control U.S. and the Arabs?

  • Mitch – Columbus OH

    I was successful in not driving my car off a cliff on my way into work this morning, but don’t believe that I should be congratulated for this feat.  If the measure of success for the Fed (or government in general) is the ability to not cause a complete and catastrophic collapse of our economy, we might as well not have these institutions.

  • Sandra

    Here’s what matters to me as a retiree.  My husband saved for our retirement and the income we hoped to enjoy with a mere 3% on savings has been effectively erased …. where in Bernanke’s policy are those who didn’t overspend and thank God got out of the market

    • TomK in Boston

      Follow the money. The Fed is supporting the big banks with their zero interest rate policy, so they don’t have to pay you to encourage you to lend to them. The net result is a flow of $ from small savers to the big banks.

      Just about everything about our current economic policies can be summarized in two words, class warfare.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Long/1071272091 Michael Long

    It is an insult to great Fed chiefs like Paul Volcker to even call Bernanke a Fed chief. 
    Bernanke  is the chief PR man for Goldman Sachs. Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Citi and several other too-big-to-fail banks received trillions in interest free loans from the fed. They took this money and loaned it back to the government through the Treasury Department (T-bills). Any idiot could make money on this type of arbitrage. I would like one of you Bernanke backers to tell me how the too-big-to-fail banks produced 41% of all corporate profits in years like 2009, 2010 etc. Remember the problem was that the banks were not lending??? So what were they doing??? Remember when the banks needed all these bailouts only a year before??? The banks had huge backlogs of foreclosures and short sales, yet magically they report amazing profits and hand out astounding bonuses the next year through their entrepreneurial genius?

    Jamie Dimon, Loyd Blankfein and Brian Moynehan give the orders to Bernanke. Everyone knows it but the financial press. Under the Bernanke-Bush-Obama junta, the derivatives market has expanded every year. Mark-to-market accounting standards have changed to mark-to-make-believe. The only innovation has been in corporate reporting where fictional profits, leverage and offbook entities (SIVs, conduit accounting, and Enron style structures) have become the norm. We live in the greatest cotton candy economy ever created and we will be living in the French Revolution when it collapses. 

    • AmPat2

      All that is true, but why blame Bernanke.  He did not create the system.  The banks sole purpose in an economy is “efficient allocation of capital” … and that used to mean juicing up growth industries, factories, processing plants, etc.   Today, all we have left is finance… so whom are you going to allocate capital?   Well, …who is left, but financial institutions.  With all due respect,  you are standing too close to the economy.  Stand back and look at the big picture.

      • mikey

        Allocate Capital? Ten years ago they allocated capital. How much of Goldman’s ballance sheet are investments and how much are CDS contracts??? I would love to have a banking system again that allocated capital and invested in business. I’m just having a hard time understanding how a CDS contract on an underlying asset that the bank doesn’t even own is allocating capital? Do you know what are in those algorithms? Banks are not hedging because the numbers are too large. If I insure a $10,000 dollar car with a million dollar insurance policy then I’m betting not hedging. The efficient allocation of Capital is impossible since the repeal of Glass Steagall. Why would you invest in a basketball team when you can just bet on the outcome of the game? The most efficient business plan in the world is fraud. The seller provides nothing and still collects the same amount of money. We have let Wall Street create the same kickback structures that kill third would countries every day. Wall Street has become a secondary tax systems that creates a series of fees on housing, student loan debt, municiple debt, innovation, pension funds, sovereign wealth and any other area of the economy that touches finance. Wall Street competes on misinformation, graft, kickbacks, lobbying money and bought politicians. They don’t allocate capital and they never compete on price, quality or service like the real business. 

        OCCUPY WALL STREET! It is already occupying your government. 

        • AmPat2

          I was being polite earlier, but lets get real.  The whole system is a farce.  The here is no real economy, or government, for that matter.  Its a service economy with nothing to service.  First went offshore the rust belt industries, then light manufacturing, then the rest of manufacturing, then IT/technical support/billing and item processing, then pharma services and physical sciences services, and its still going on.  The only meaningful sector left is the financial sector.  They are “it” and they have the “gold” which they know is fading fast, so they rule, for a time being–a joy ride, if you will.  The so called businesses are essentially shell corporations using the services of our government to further their offshore interests which are mostly/totally disconnected from our “economy.”  The 545 people empowered by the constitution to govern, ceded their powers for careers and are selling what’s left of their influence to the highest bidders.   And don’t wait for the next president so save the day because he will be just as effective prompter reading puppet and one before him, and the one after him.  Heck, the two places where you can still get rich quick are Wall Street banks and the US Congress. 

          Our nation took roots with only 3 percent of citizens taking issue with the status quo and with 5 percent to set it right.  I don’t know that Occupy Wall Street can muster that kind of support.  Most of our citizens too dumbed down to figure out where their self-interest lies.

        • Tmajor7

          Nice summary mikey!

          And if you dig a little deeper,  because (our) U.S. gov’t is a monopoly of our currency (not select corporations, banks, or wall street) and they regulate our free markets, they control our U.S. economy 100%

          Although the U.S. federal gov’t is obligated to represent We The People, they”choose” to believe they only work for the above mentioned cartels. Wall street (believes) they are the principle majority owner of the U.S. congress, federal gov’t, and supreme court!

          The only clear alternative for repairing situation is to replace the criminal congress!

      • mikey

        Check out Matt Taibi’s articles in Rolling Stone. The Fed even handed out loans to the wives of Wall Street banks. That is as funny as it gets.  

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      It was “Greenspan” who kissed the banks’ behind not Bernanke. Bernanke even hated to bail out the banks but he has to - to avoid another Great Depression.

      • mikey

        Bernanke made the banks 100% whole on every junk derivative the government bought. He overpaid for CDO contracts by 99%. How is that not a huge gift to the banks?
        Bernanke   allowed the banks to pay back TARP with money he knew they were arbitraging from the zero interest rate loans. He publicly lobbied to gut the regulation of derivatives or even put them on an exchange. When Roosevelt originally created Glass Steagall he had public hearings. Roosevelt saved the economy but he also corrected the problem. Bernanke saved the economy by a huge injection of fraud. He turned too-big-to-fail into too-stupid-to-survive. I’m glad he injected money into the economy, but it is criminal that way he put government money straight into the pay check of Jamie Dimon, Loyd Blankfein and Brian Moynehan. Obama and Bush are to blame for this. Obama has the lowest number of SEC prosecutions of any president in US history. Even Bush did better and that is when Bush had Christopher Cox as head of the SEC. Obama is owned by the banks. His current chief of staff Jack Lew is from J.P Morgan. His last chief of staff was from Goldman. Obama could not get away from real regulation fast enough. Look at his largest donors? It is also a list of bailed out banks. Wake up.

      • Fredlinskip

         Yeah, but after the collapse, Bernanke, testifying before congress admitted, “Oops! I was wrong all that time about the ‘letting the markets regulate themselves’ thing- and the whole economy collapsed”.

        That counts for something. No?

    • Fredlinskip

       Speaking of Volcker, can you explain why Volcker kept prime rate in the 20′s % under Carter, pretty much screwing the economy- and dooming Carter and then plummeted the rates down to 7.5% under Reagan, thereby inflating Reagan economy?
      If not for Volcker, Reagan economy woud have died of natural causes. Instead we’ve had to endure with 30+ years of deluded “trickle-up” policies, severely damaging the “American Dream” for millions of Americans.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    The list of people that should be blamed for the Great Recession.Angelo Mozilo Phil Gramm Alan Greenspan Chris Cox American Consumers Hank Paulson Joe Cassano Ian McCarthy Frank Raines Kathleen Corbet Dick Fuld Marion and Herb Sandler Bill Clinton George W. Bush Stan O’Neal Wen Jiabao David Lereah John Devaney Bernie Madoff Lew Ranieri Burton Jablin Fred Goodwin Sandy Weill David Oddsson Jimmy Cayne

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Bernanke is not on the list sorry.

    • mikey

      Sorry but your drinking Dem cool aid. The Securities Modernization Act passed under Clinton, Glass Steagall was repealed under Clinton. Phil Gramm sponsored the mess. Christopher Cox was awful but Obama’s SEC has FEWER prosecutions than even an idiot like Cox. Look it up. The Office of Thrift Supervision put 1000 executives in jail for the Savings and Loan crisis. Obama refused to allow William Black to do any prosecutions and the OTS has become a cheerleader not a regulator. Obama’s economic team was Ben Bernanke (who he reconfirmed), Larry Summers (father of the derivatives market) and Tim Geithnar (former chair of the New York fed). Obama’s appointed the most corrupt Wall Street stooges he could find (Jack Lew, William Daily). He killed off  real regulators – Sheila Bair, Elizabeth Warren, and Paul Volcker. Obama even publicly stated that the banks did not commit any crime. Maybe he should have the attorney general actually investigate the banks before he made such a claim. Every bank executive on Wall Street could be prosecuted for control fraud – similar to RICO statutes but that will never happen. 

      • Tmajor7

        Some obvious true facts here mikey! Let’s not forget that bush could’ve prosecuted the very same criminals old blue gums neglected to! Bush and our U.S. gov’t could have regulated to avert the scam that has placed millions of American’s (who have lost everything, been forced into unemployment, underemployment, underpaid employment, onto the largest welfare roll in history) into an actual DEPRESSION!

        Although the U.S. gov’t is obligated to work for We The People, the reason bush, blue gums, and both of their administrations refuse to prosecute is because they truly believe they only work for select corporations, banks, and wall street!

        Until We The People Take over congress, the whit house, and the supreme court it will only continue to worsen! There are absolutely no other alternatives!

        • mikey

          Glass Steagall worked for 60 years and all of Wall Street’s current activity would be illegal under it. Why is no one talking about this. CDS contracts would be illegal. Banks were prohibited from underwriting insurance – so no crazy bets! We have been through this mess during the depression and we found a solution – Glass Steagall. Every president from the 40s through the 90s was able to avoid depressions because they kept leverage, segregated accounts, FDIC insurance and a million other common sense measures in place. Now if you even mention that a bank should be forced to hold reserves for losses, or not take outrageous bets with your saving account it is treated like some kind of socialist conspiracy by Fox News. Glass Steagall is the elephant in the room that no politician will talk about because they know it will kill any chance of Wall Street money for campaign contributions. 

          • Tmajor7

            Exactly Right!

            This country has been through 7 Depressions, not just the “one” great depression!

            This is all common sense. The only people who can make it all stop are We The People!

            Unfortunately the majority are to brainwashed to learn how to think and form opinions on their own. Even the people who understand bits and pieces of the truth can’t figure out what has to be done or who must be held accountable!

          • Tmajor7

            In addition if it weren’t for FDR awarding American citizens with rights like unemployment compensation, etc America would have endured more of what happened in the abtly named great depression during the additional 6 depressions here. Right now because of what FDR accomplished only approximately 14 million are living in a full blown depression. Those citizens should not be living this way and Americans must snap out of the trance and insure every single criminal in congress, U.S. gov’t, wall street, select corporations, and financial institutions are prosecuted, locked up in  prison, and every penny returned to people!

          • Tmajor7

            Wall Street Owns The White House, PERIOD!

      • Full Spectrum Dominance

         I liked your comment but you have flaws in your reasoning.  The Fax guy does mention Bill Clinton and dems as well as Bush–so ‘dem kool aid
         is nonsense and suggests you are a soundbyte Republican drinking your own kool aid.  Probably offended by the bush comment.  Sooner or later you will figure out bush is a criminal, a lunatic, an evil s.o.b–but mostly he is a retard. 

        And then you will figure out it has nothing to do with dem or repub–both parties are the same–fascists controlled by the same oligarchy of corporate-aristocrats–FASCISTS-the same fascist who engineered WW2 and the 20c, if not the last fe hundred years.  American democracy is a sham.  They are all muppets–including Bernanke–and you are being terrortained!  The sooner we stop listening to this kabookie theatre the sooner we can ge ton with reality.  Dont give these neo-nazis power.  Dont play the game.  Create your economy.  Create co-operatives and put our TV on the curb.  And take ONpoint for what is–fiction to be delighted with, but not serious–its more like children’s literature–poorly written–scripted.

        the economy is what they say it is.  dont rely on these monsters for jobs.  make your own.  Burn the money.  Burn the flag.  its meaningless.  What matters is relationships. family, local community, equality, education, health, nature… but if you feel you cant get that with these demons crapping on everything-in our water, on your head and then forcing it down ur throat and making you ask for more–then remove them –with force and brute power–numbers!  They all belong in prison–never to be released.–hell!–they want to kill you and claim the executive right–the military has the power to abduct you without trial–you have NO right to property or effects–the constitution was shredded–its nothing–its dead!  and you are not a citizen–you are a product, a mope, a drone, a beast of burden, not even human to them.  And NPR is the mouth of your tyrant-king.  Everyone should just go out and vote third party–see what happens!  they will declare it fraudulent and install a CEO sponsored by the dem-repub fascist party–and they will burn the hall of congress.  And they will do with a smile and a story–sying its for security!  They regret their actions and so forth but its necessary–and then soft fascism will officially be open hardcore deep throat fascism!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    The 99% movement will be back next month for another wake up call.

    • aj

      Give em’ Hell FAX.

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    It’s disappointing to see On Point helping the Fed with its  campaign to clean up its image after its disastrous actions to bail out bankers and screw savers, the poor and the middle class. Yves Smith shreds Lowenstein’s shilling for  Bernanke effectively here - http://goo.gl/cISxg.

    The Federal Reserve system itself is hopelessly flawed, so perhaps it’s not fair to really blame Bernanke personally for the Fed’s failures. That said, this whitewashing completely ignores that Bernanke was FABULOUSLY wrong about virtually everything leading up to the financial crisis - http://goo.gl/ze20K

    Instead of listening to Bernanke and his cheerleaders like Lowenstein, I suggest On Point listeners start listening to those that saw the crisis coming and are explaining how the Fed’s loose monetary policy was the primary cause - http://goo.gl/mA2w

    • LastGasp

      In that last link, I like the comment below the clip…

      “These idiots where literally laughing at him and he was completely right.
      Guess what? The same idiots are laughing at Ron Paul right now.”

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    Hearing Lowenstein defend the Fed as “not responsible for the increasing gab between rich and poor” demonstrates that he has no idea what he’s talking about. The main beneficiaries of the Federal Reserve system are the bankers at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup etc. – Wall Street. The Fed acts as a great vampire squid (cr Matt Taibbi) sucking the life blood out of the American people and transferring it to politically connected insiders. Don’t take my word for it; do your own research, and you’ll find confirmation from mainstream sources, including the Federal Reserves own website. Question – who profits when the Federal government issues debt? A: Goldman Sachs etc.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MJKLOC3UJTEKHR2NXQ7NE6MPDA deaston22

    This is a very interesting topic since I just got done watching “The Secret of Oz” a couple of days ago.  It’s a 2 hour documentary that can be found on youtube that explains how the Federal Reserve is ripping us ALL off.  It explains the history of banking and how it all works.  

  • twenty-niner

    Punkanomics does about a good a job as any one explaining why trying to solve a world-wide debt crisis with exponentially growing piles of debt, may keep the Everclear with crack chasers flowing for a few more hours into the wee night, eventually, the hangover is coming; and we’re going to wake up with more than a missing finger:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JrFX28Xq9Jw

  • Wbsurfver

    the game is over, the public no longer believes the nonsense about the Federal reserve

  • Fredlinskip

    Whether you agree with the fed’s policies and Bernake’s role in it, it’s clear by what seems to be the gist of the comments below, Bernanke’s job is a thankless one.
         Whether we agree with the Fed’s actions before and after the recent financial/economic meltdown, we can also be sure that the decisions were made not made “in a vacuum”; that is politicians in both parties had a hand in the decisions made.
        Whether the actions taken did or did not avert a Depression, we will never know.

    It’s sort of like asking the question: If the majority of electorate’s vote had been honored and Gorr been elected over W: would there have been War in Iraq?, would global climate change been addressed more appropriately?, would he have more properly united (instead have divided) the country and the World after 9/11?, would alternative sources of energy been more aggressively pursued?, would more oversight been provided to more properly regulate housing industry?, would deficit been more adequately addressed through more sane revenue policy?:

    in short would the world and America be in a much better position today than it is?-

    I guess we’ll never know.

    Personally, looking back, it all seems like a bad science fiction movie to me.

  • Tmajor7

    The truth and solution are actually very simple to define. Because (our) U.S. gov’t is a monopoly of our currency (not select corporations, banks, or wall street) and they regulate our free markets, they control our U.S. economy 100%

    Although the U.S. federal gov’t is obligated to represent We The People, they”choose” to believe they only work for the above mentioned cartels. Wall street (believes) they are the principle majority owner of the U.S. congress, federal gov’t, and supreme court! The only way to repair this country and stop the disastrous class warfare is to get rid of the criminal congress!

    I received my degree with honors in Economics because I was on athletic scholarship and they refused to allow me to play football and not attend classes. My argument was that I was contributing to the institutions financial assets, as an employee who customers paid to see play, through gate receipts, tv contracts, bowl payouts, etc. I lost the argument and chose the easiest course that I could complete my degree in less than 4 years and move onto the NFL! I graduated in 3 years but never made it to the big game! I attended a school in the SE and I coach at the collegiate level today.

    I learned exactly how our U.S. gov’t and our monetary system operates in middle school! The only advice I would love for anyone to accept from me would be to stop regurgitating what you are being told. In fact from this day forward don’t believe anything you are told from the U.S. gov’t or so called economists without verifying its validity. And I’m not referring to what is written on the dollar bill or in the history books. Don’t stop until you can verify it! And if you can’t verify it, don’t regurgitate, continue to investigate! I promise you will find the truth if you truly desire to!

    We are sovereign nation like the U.K., Japan, China, and Canada to name a few. We can never be compared financially to the 17 members of the E.U. who surrendered their sovereignty when they decided to borrow the Euro from a central bank instead of creating their own currency. Why do you think the U.K., a member of the E.U., opted to remain with their own currency. We don’t fund our gov’t or country with taxes or loans!

    Good luck students!

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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