Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

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machinehead's picture
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Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

 

News flash -- the NY Times reports that Bernanke's nomination to be reappointed as Fed chairman may FAIL, since the Senate majority leader currently is incapable of rounding up the needed 60 votes:

The confirmation of Ben S. Bernanke to a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve ran into further trouble on Friday, as two more Democratic senators said they would vote against him. The White House came to Mr. Bernanke’s defense Friday, but the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is believed to be struggling to come up with the 60 votes necessary to confirm Mr. Bernanke before his term as chairman expires on Jan. 31.

In a statement Friday morning, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, came out against Mr. Bernanke, who was named to his post during the Bush administration. She said she had “a lot of respect” for him and praised him for preventing the economic crisis from getting even worse. “However, it is time for a change,” she said. “It is time for Main Street to have a champion at the Fed.”

“Our next Federal Reserve chairman must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past,” Ms. Boxer said.

Another Democratic senator, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, also announced Friday that he would vote against Mr. Bernanke. “Under the watch of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve permitted grossly irresponsible financial activities that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,” Mr. Feingold said in a statement.

Because several senators are using procedural methods to try to block Mr. Bernanke from serving another term, it will require 60 votes for him to be confirmed. Congressional Democrats said they do not have a firm sense of how many votes Mr. Bernanke can count on, and Mr. Reid has not scheduled a vote.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/23/business/economy/23fed.html?hp

Well, we all know the drill, don't we? It's the same procedure as when a broker is spotted, teetering on the window ledge of a skyscraper. We all gather in the street below, raise our fists in enthusiasm, and holler, 'JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!' Soon the falafel carts and pretzel vendors appear, turning the scene into a gala, impromptu street festival. And buzzards lurk on neighbouring buildings, hoping for a hot meal of their own.

Thanks for the memories, Benny. Wow ... that was weird!

LaughingGO, BENNY, GO! Laughing

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

I'll bet they keep him. He knows too much about all the inside crap that is going on and if they publicaly embarras him they run the risk of him talking to shift the blame and paint himself as innocent. I bet the keep him but put him in a different roll.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

JUMP

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Re: Audit the Fed!

Unbelievably, at the same time as Bernanke's nomination teeters, the Huffpo reports that Ron Paul's 'audit the Fed' sunshine provisions may be blocked by a couple of senators:

A House-passed provision to open up the Federal Reserve to an audit by the Government Accountability Office is unlikely to be included in the Senate reform package, Barney Frank told a meeting of House Financial Services Committee members Wednesday, according to people in the room.

Frank, chairman of the committee, told the members that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) told him that he had assured Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) that it wouldn't be a part of the bill. Gregg has been a strident opponent of the effort to open the Fed to an audit.

Last November, Gregg said that "passage of the Paul Amendment by the House Financial Services Committee is a dangerous move by this Congress to pander to the populist anger currently directed against our central bank, the Federal Reserve," in a statement after the committee approved an amendment sponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/21/dodd-and-gregg-block-audi_n_431...

Wow -- these clowns don't get it, do they? It would take an unprecedented level of popular anger to derail a Fed chairman's reappointment. The president is feeling the heat too, as evcidenced by his proposal to rein in banks. But Dodd and Gregg are still carrying water to protect the arrogant secrecy of the Fed.

One might demand that they walk the plank, too. But Dodd has already announced his retirement. Cripes, you'd think the old roué could at least perform one act of genuine public service, before being pastured out to collect his multi-million dollar pension and free health care for life. Maybe Dodd realizes that without the Fed's endlessly expanding bubble of fiat credit, his lavish Congressional benefits aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

Probably so. Also, Dodd will likely wind up as some CEO of some big bank.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

We don't need musical chairs.  Replacing one vegetable with another will not make any difference.  End the music and throw all the chairs and chairmen, out the window.  Then bury them in Fort Knox.  I hear there is plenty of space.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

FB +1

They will just replace him with a different color suit, and give him a big raise at another bank.  Then they will say crisis solved -- no need to audit us now.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!
machinehead wrote:

Soon the falafel carts......

Vintage Machinehead....ROFLMAO  !!!!!

Thank you Sir for the laugh.

 

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Dump Bernanke- How You Can Help

Dump Bernanke- How You Can Help by Mish

I agree that replacing Bernanke won't help in the short-term, but it is a step towards ending the fed. If your politically minded, you should read the post by Mish linked to above.

Inquiring minds are investigating the Wall Street Journal's Tally of Senate Vote Count on Bernanke Confirmation.

The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones have compiled a tally of senators who have declared their intentions for the confirmation vote based on interviews with the senators or their offices. Currently, 17 senators (13 Democrats and 4 Republicans) have committed to support the nomination, while 12 (7 Republicans, 4 Democrats and 1 Independent) said they will vote no. Five senators have said they are undecided in interviews, while the remainder haven’t officially commented.

From the tally ...

Undecided 
LEVIN, Carl (D-MI) phone: 202-224-6221 Fax: 202-224-1388
zipcodes if asked - pick one (Lansing:48906 thru 48919 except 48914 Flint: 48501 thru 48507 Grand Rapids:49501 thru 49510 Farmington:48331 thru 48336 Holland:49422 thru 49424 Kalamazoo:49003 thru 49009 Traverse City 49684 thru 49686)

MIKULSKI, Barbara A. (D-MD) phone: 202-224-4654 Fax: 202-224-8858
zipcodes if asked - pick one (Baltimore:21209 thru 21218 Ocean City:21842-21843 Columbia:21044 thru 21046 Ellicott:21041 thru 21043 Silver Spring:20901 thru 20911)

NELSON, Ben (D-NE) phone: 202-224-6551 Fax: 202-228-0012

NELSON, Bill (D-FL)Phone: 202-224-5274 Fax: 202-228-2183
REID, Harry (D-NV)Phone: 202-224-3542 Fax: 202-224-7327

Against Confirmation
BOXER, Barbara (D-CA)
DORGAN, Byron L. (D-ND)
FEINGOLD, Russell D. (D-WI)
MERKLEY, Jeff (D-OR)
SANDERS, Bernard (I-VT)
BUNNING, Jim (R-KY)
CRAPO, Mike (R-ID)
DeMINT, Jim (R-SC)
HUTCHISON, Kay Bailey (R-TX)
McCAIN, John (R-AZ)
SHELBY, Richard C. (R-AL)
VITTER, David (R-LA)

For Confirmation
AKAKA, Daniel K. (D-HI)
BAYH, Evan (D-IN)
BENNET, Michael F. (D-CO)
BROWN, Sherrod (D-OH)
DODD, Christopher J. (D-CT)
DURBIN, Richard J. (D-IL)
JOHNSON, Tim (D-SD)
KOHL, Herb (D-WI)
MENENDEZ, Robert (D-NJ)
REED, Jack (D-RI)
SCHUMER, Charles E. (D-NY)
TESTER, Jon (D-MT)
WARNER, Mark R. (D-VA)
BENNETT, Robert F. (R-UT)
CORKER, Bob (R-TN)
GREGG, Judd (R-NH)
JOHANNS, Mike (R-NE)

How You Can Help!

Here is the Online Directory For The 111th Congress .

Whether they are in your state or not, please call all 5 undecided senators.

Concentrate on the senate. The house has no say on this.

What To Say: Make it simple so as to not tie up the lines ... "I am opposed to the reappointment of Bernanke [give your personal reason] and I think we should start all over on health care [or whatever you think about that issue]."

Be prepared to name your city and give a zipcode. Here is the Zip-Code Database.

Next call your senators with the same message.
Look up the phone numbers in the online directory.

Send A Message

Remember it takes 60 votes for confirmation. All it takes to send Bernanke flying is a change in a handful of undecided senators!

Call Now!

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

 

 

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!
Farmer Brown wrote:

We don't need musical chairs.  Replacing one vegetable with another will not make any difference.  End the music and throw all the chairs and chairmen, out the window.  Then bury them in Fort Knox.  I hear there is plenty of space.

LOL, Farmer! Some folks are quite attached to Benny's 'magic beanstalk,' which you don't seem to believe in. I'll bet you don't believe in Santa Claus either. Frown

An interesting possibility, since 'we're all populists now' (at least via lip service) is that a real old school inflationist, promising 'easy credit' for farmers, homeowners, car buyers, students, small businesses -- hell, EVERYBODY! -- gets slotted in.

In other words, if they choose the wrong person, the dollar could experience a crisis of confidence. And I hardly think that a Paul Volcker sort, promising what would be denigrated as 'hair-shirt austerity,' has a chance of being confirmed.

Let's have some nominations from the floor. WHO'S YOUR DADDY? With the right candy man shakin' the money tree, we'll be LIVIN' LARGE. Cool

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!
machinehead wrote:

Let's have some nominations from the floor. WHO'S YOUR DADDY? With the right candy man shakin' the money tree, we'll be LIVIN' LARGE. Cool

Who's your Daddy" Ugh John Edwards?

All kidding aside: Wow. Some food for thought here. A Volckerite would send the deficit to the moon. My math can't even calculate 20% on 2 trillion and printing.

Someone who won't print: Now that would be interesting since we can't cover the deficit without the Queen Elizabeth II.

They will pull Bernake back from the ledge. Too bad. Would have been quite the party.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

The job of The ChairIdiot is to print, so electing a non-printer is a non-starter. 

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I Vote For Steve Keen!

Well if they have to print, why not bail-out the households instead of the banks. This was the Australian approach to dealing with this crisis and its much more effective than ours. The money-multiplier effect that Obama and team are counting on to deliver inflation is an empirically bogus theory. Besides, I would like to give myself a record bonus this year.Cool

We need an economist that can do differential equations. I vote for Steve Keen for the new Fed Chief. Who cares if he is Australian. Here is an excellent presentation to Google (Australian Campus) that he recently gave. 

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!
Davos wrote:

All kidding aside: Wow. Some food for thought here. A Volckerite would send the deficit to the moon. My math can't even calculate 20% on 2 trillion and printing.

Someone who won't print: Now that would be interesting since we can't cover the deficit without the Queen Elizabeth II.

They will pull Bernake back from the ledge. Too bad. Would have been quite the party.

Yes that would be the correct action, but I think it would be too little too late.  I think the only alternative will be a new currency system, but the fed (and our uninformed (intentionally ignorant?)  politicians) will never go there voluntarily.  It will be at the point of an economic gun.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

Cramer: Could Obama Cause 1,000-Point Correction?

http://www.cnbc.com/id/35022745

 

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!
docmims wrote:

 I think the only alternative will be a new currency system, but the fed (and our uninformed (intentionally ignorant?)  politicians) will never go there voluntarily.  It will be at the point of an economic gun.

I think along these lines as well. Which reminds me, I have to get more familiar with Nate's operation Freedom currency. It may sound like a long shot now but when the stuff hits the fan it won't be a stretch, I don't think. It would be nice to ditch a 100 year failure for something better.

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

Here's the solution to getting rid of the Fed, I think Paul is being a bit stealthy here because most people don't understand the consequences of what he's presenting.

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Re: I Vote For Steve Keen!
JAG wrote:

We need an economist that can do differential equations. I vote for Steve Keen for the new Fed Chief. Who cares if he is Australian. Here is an excellent presentation to Google (Australian Campus) that he recently gave. 

Alright, we've got a contender! Just to keep it competitive, I'd like to submit my own candidate ... [drum roll] ... Dr. Fredric MISHKIN!

Let me review his many merits. For one thing, Rick already knows his way to the men's room, having served on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors from 2006 to 2008, and also at the New York Fed in the 1990s.

A second key qualification is that, like the legendary monetary maestro, Sir Alan Greenspan, Rick has a knack for economic forecasting. It would be hard to beat Greenspan's cockeyed forecast, in 2000, that 'surpluses as far as the eye can see' would eventually retire the entire supply of U.S. Treasurys. But Rick Mishkin came in a close second with his ace timing on Iceland. From Wikipedia:

In 2006, Mishkin co-authored a report called "Financial Stability in Iceland". The report maintained that Iceland's economic fundamentals were strong. The report was commissioned by the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce in response to critical coverage of the Icelandic economy and certain Icelandic companies in the international business media.

Iceland subsequently experienced a spectacular collapse within a year of Mishkin's good report.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_Mishkin

Well, hey, anybody could be misled by those shoulder-slapping Chamber of Commerce booster types. Especially when they're jabbering in Icelandic, and keep toasting 'Skoal!' as they hand you shot glasses of fiery clear liquid.

However, where Rick really shines as a colleague of Bernanke (they've authored papers together) is in his advocacy of 'unconventional measures.' Like Benny Bubbles, Rick has studied the sorry legacy of prolonged Japanese deflation. And he knows what to do about it:

Since long-term interest rates figure in household and business decisions about spending, open-market purchases of these bonds might succeed in lowering long-term interest rates, thereby stimulating the economy.

Bernanke (2002) has stated that the apparent failure of Operation Twist [the Fed's targeting of long-bond yields in the early 1960s] does not mean that the central bank could not drive long-term bond rates down as long as the central bank announced that it would peg interest rates on long-term bonds at a very low interest rate (possibly zero) and stood ready to purchase any amounts of these bonds at this low rate.

This peg could certainly work because the commitment is easily verifiable since the price and interest rates on long-term bonds are immediately known. However, this could require the central bank to purchase the entire stock of long-term bonds, which it might not be comfortable about doing.

http://www0.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/fmishkin/PDFpapers/2536-w10878.pdf

SEE WHAT I MEAN? In one masterful riff, Rick integrates Bernanke's zero interest rate 'unconventional measures' with the Maestro's clairvoyant forecast of the entire stock of Treasurys disappearing. And with this one bold stroke, the crippled housing market emerges phoenix-like on the back of a never before witnessed engine of prosperity: the zero interest rate mortgage. (With all the Treasurys gone, they'll have to suck up all the mortgages next.) Everyone qualifies! No one refused! If you've got a job and 99 dollars, you can live in a McMansion!

Ladies and gentlemen -- I give you RICK MISHKIN! Time magazine's NEXT Man of the Year! Laughing

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Re: Night of the Politically Dead

Aw shucks -- now the Times says we're still stuck with the Benster. Crap!

WASHINGTON — After a full-scale mobilization, White House officials expressed confidence on Saturday that they had contained a populist uprising among Democratic senators that had threatened President Obama’s nomination of Ben S. Bernanke to a second term as the Federal Reserve chairman.

Hoping to quell fears in the financial markets that Mr. Bernanke could become a casualty of rising anti-Wall Street sentiment, Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Democrat from Connecticut who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican who is a member of the panel, said in a statement that “based on our discussions with our colleagues, we are very confident that Chairman Bernanke will win confirmation.”

The effort to secure Mr. Bernanke’s confirmation, which had intensified after two Democratic senators announced their opposition on Friday, continued through Saturday and included calls to senators by both Mr. Obama and Mr. Bernanke. By late afternoon, senators began issuing statements of support. White House and Congressional Democratic leaders say they now believe that they have the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster of Mr. Bernanke’s reappointment. They expect some Democrats will oppose him on the confirmation vote, but that requires only 50 votes.

The first break in what had seemed a potential stampede against Mr. Bernanke was the statement from Mr. Dodd and Mr. Gregg. About four hours later, two Democrats — Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois — issued separate endorsements. Mr. Kerry, acknowledging many Americans’ anger about the bailouts of the big banks, said, “It’s understandable why there is debate, questioning and even anger” about Mr. Bernanke’s renomination. “Still,” he added, “out of this near calamity, I believe Chairman Bernanke provided leadership that was urgent, nimble, strong and vital in staving off greater disaster.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/us/politics/24bernanke.html?hp

'Near calamity'? Laughing

We may be insolvent, but at least we've still got Printer Ben manning the press!

Sigh!

* gulps down another Damitol 2L headache powder *

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

The patient has terminal pancreatic, lung, liver, colon and brain cancer and we are talking about changing doctors.

It would be funny if it wasn't such a pathetic dog and pony show.

V

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Re: Bernanke on the Brink -- WALK THAT PLANK, DUDE!

Actually Ben probably wishes he wasn't confirmed.  Then he wouldn't be conducting this train wreck.

 

Also, what's going on wotj the real world leadership (no, not the state of the union dog and pony show) at the economic conference in Davos, Switzerland?  Strange we don't hear much about that.Undecided

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A Vote for Steve Jobs and the iDollar

OK, I have another nomination for Ben's seat: Steve Jobs

Chairman Jobs would immediately employ the iDollar. The iDollar is owner-specific denominational using multi-touch technology.

  • In the hands of a politician a single iDollar unit is redeemable for $1000 government debt.
  • In the hands of a banker a single iDollar unit is redeemable for $1000 of private debt, $10,000 of bailout capital, and $5000 towards a year-end bonus.
  • In the hands of a corporation a single iDollar unit is redeemable for $10,000 of lobbying capital and $10,000 of environmental destruction.
  • In the hands of a wall street firm a single iDollar unit is redeemable for $10,000 of capital gains and a $5,000 reduction of the capital gains tax.
  • In the hands of the consumer a single iDollar unit won't buy anything, but it will keep them entertained and oblivious to whats going on around them for an indefinite period of time.
  • In the hands of a goldbug a single iDollar unit self-destructs, killing the owner, while alerting the Fed to the location of more PMs for confiscation.
  • In the hands of a middle class taxpayer a single iDollar is redeemable for a "government make sex to you" session, sans lubricant.

So there you go, technology is the answer to our problems.

 

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